“We are a Generation of Slaves. We Support the Protests But do not Take to the Streets”: Why Older Immigrants From the Former Soviet Union are not Part of the Protests Against the Judicial Overhaul in Israel

Natalie Ulitsa, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Beginning in 2023, Israel has been the site of extensive protests against a proposed judicial overhaul, drawing widespread participation. However, there is a notable absence of older individuals from minority groups, particularly older immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), within these protests. This study aims to explore the perspectives of this group on the judicial overhaul and to reveal the reasons behind their non-participation in the protests. The study involved semi-structured interviews with 20 older FSU immigrants (age 65+). Through thematic content analysis, two main themes emerged: the attitudes of FSU older immigrants towards the proposed judicial overhaul and the factors contributing to their non-involvement in the protests. Participants exhibited diverse opinions on the judicial overhaul, ranging from outright disapproval to ambivalence or indecision. The lack of participation in the protests was attributed to multiple factors, including (1) older age and age-related limitations, (2) unique historical experiences and characteristics of the FSU immigrant cohort, and (3) a lack of unified stance and organization within the FSU immigrant community. The study provides insights into the challenges and barriers faced by older individuals in FSU immigrant minority groups in engaging with political processes and decision-making. These findings are of significant importance to policymakers, researchers, and professionals working with immigrant communities. Understanding these dynamics can aid in developing more inclusive and representative political processes and support engaging mechanisms for older minority immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Early online date29 Jan 2024
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • FSU Immigrants
  • Older Adults
  • Older Immigrants
  • Political Activism
  • Political Engagement
  • Protests

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