Though vaccinations are usually considered a paradigm of bio-medical success, their use has frequently provoked fierce criticism and unparalleled opposition.1 This article focuses on the social history of vaccination policy and practices during the period of mass immigration to Israel. Between 1948 and 1956, the newly established country, with a population of only about 700,000, faced the formidable task of absorbing over one million new immigrants. Following a short overview of health and immigration policies during the first years of the newly established Israeli State, this chapter will focus on vaccination as a case study to demonstrate the reciprocal relationships between the health system, various health agents and the immigrants --- particularly the immigrant's body as an entity that the state seeks to supervise and define. Although the Israeli vaccination programme for immigrants was generally described by its designers as an unproblematic and necessary step in transforming the immigrants into members of `modern civilisation', deeper research reveals that on many occasions vaccination policy did indeed encounter difficulties. As historian David Arnold has claimed, states supervise and control the body politic by disciplining individuals bodies.2 Vaccinations, as part of a broader system of regulations that govern the care of infants, hygiene and health, constitute one example of the ways countries supervise the bodies of their citizens.
|Title of host publication||Migration, Health and Ethnicity in the Modern World|
|Editors||Catherine Cox, Hilary Marland|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Palgrave Macmillan UK|
|Number of pages||23|
|State||Published - 2013|