Mapai and the Oriental Jewish Question in the Early Years of the State

Bareli, Avi
September 2009
Jewish Social Studies;Fall2009, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p54
Academic Journal
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.


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