Mizrahim and Development Towns - Deliberate Exclusion or a Plan that Went Wrong

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In the popular discourse, as well as in some of the research discourse in the social sciences, the reason for referring immigrants from Islamic countries to development towns is presented as a deliberate plan to push those immigrants to the margins of society. The proposed lecture will address this question based on historical research. Development towns were part of the population dispersion policy that was introduced in the 1950s. The plan linked the success of population dispersal to the mass immigration. Immigrants were candidates to populate the new areas. However, the program did not focus on any specific group of immigrants. Moreover, in the eyes of the planners, remote areas were not related to social margins. The implementation of the program did not begin with the mass immigration from the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but with immigration from North Africa in the mid-1950s. The immigrants from North Africa soon became the largest group in development towns. Social difficulties, employment difficulties and poor quality of education appeared in development towns soon after they were established. The residents of the development towns had become part of the social margins of Israel. Based on this situation, some scholars and researchers assumed that the goal of population dispersal policy was to exclude the Mizrahi Jews from the Israeli hegemony. This assumption is based on drawing conclusions from the present to the past. The lecture will present the intentions of the planners and the state of mind among Israeli leaders based on historical documents.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018
EventAnnual Meeting of the European Association for Israel Studies - European Association for Israel Studies, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20184 Sep 2018
http://www.israelstudies.eu/events/eais-7th-annual-conference-israel-studies/ (Website)


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the European Association for Israel Studies
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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