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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 54-84
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.