Mapai and the Oriental Jewish Question in the Early Years of the State: Jewish Social Studies

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This article deals with the place of the oriental Jewish immigrant question within the matrix of policy debates and political dilemmas faced by Mapai in the early years of the state. Its main argument is that conflicts over the oriental Jewish immigrant question were, in part, a manifestation of a conflict-ridden political culture, which fluctuated between two poles: centralism and egalitarianism. Alongside support and endorsements of a policy that would encourage paternalism, dependency, and patronage in the relationship between the government and the country's new immigrants, we can also find clear, well-articulated, and not infrequent protests against the promotion of passivity in political life. These oppositional voices sought to advance a distinct vision of their own that called for giving real political power to immigrants in order to transform them from a controlled public into an active partner in government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-84
Number of pages31
JournalJewish Social Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • 1948-1967 ; Analysis ; Articles ; Cultural conflict ; Debates ; Egalitarianism ; Emigration and immigration ; Equality ; Ethnic groups -- Israel ; Immigrants ; Immigration policy ; Israel ; Israel -- Emigration and immigration ; Israel -- History ; Jewish culture ; Jewish migration ; Jewish peoples ; Jewish studies ; Jews -- Islamic countries -- Migrations ; Jews, Oriental ; Kibbutz ; Middle Eastern politics ; Mifleget poʻale Erets Yiśraʼel (Political party) ; Mifleget poʻale Erets-Yiśraʼel ; Paternalism ; Patronage ; Political culture ; Political debate ; Political parties ; Political power ; Political systems ; Politics ; Politics and government ; Social classes ; Socialism ; Society ; Socioeconomics ; Zionism


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