Unformatted text preview: Week TWO
QUESTIONS: What was the role of the Jewish Agency? -‐ basically the governing body of the
Jews in Pales:ne.
How was immigra:on diﬀerent under the Mandate and aAer independence?
When was the Oriental Immigra:on and what were its eﬀects?
Why did the Jews leave the Arab world?
What were the biggest dividing lines within the Israeli popula:on? Arab/Jew; reilgious/secular; Ashkenazi/Oriental
Chapter XV: Ingathering and the Struggle for Econ=omic Survival
Immigra:on was always inevitable, it was the rate of it that was debated.
Before -‐ Immigra:on in Israel under the Mandate
1. Under the Mandate, immigra/on was restricted by the Bri/sh in response to unhappy
1. In 1922, the Bri:sh enacted a law regula:ng immigra:on and establishing the
Economic Absorp/ve Capacity.
1. The number of Jews allowed in would be based on the capacity of the
economy and should not aﬀect Arab unemployment.
1. i.e. if the economy could expand to encompass the incoming
immigrants, more would be allowed in.
2. For the rest of the mandate, immigra:on was restricted based on economic
sta:s:cs and es:mates reported by the Jewish community with which the Bri:sh
would provide immgira:on cer:ﬁcates.
1. The Arab economy was largely agricutlural while the Jewish one was
industrial. 1. Israel opened its doors to unlimited immigra:on as an asylum for Jews in need. 1. Israel experienced the biggest inﬂux in modern :mes with its "Open Door" policy,
which was created because of the need for a popula:on.
2. Following the Declara:on of Independence, 18,000-‐30,000 Jews arrived each
month, compared to the 18,000 per year that arrived under the mandate.
3. The popula/on nearly doubled between 1948 and 1953.
4. The government also priori:zed emptying refugee centers from the Holocaust.
5. People came for security.
2. The government needed an instant popula:on because:
1. The military needed manpower.
2. Land needed to be occupied so it wasn't vulnerable.
3. To create a modernized economy, which would lead to a higher standard of living.
3. The Arabs became a troubled popula:on and remained politcally inac:ve. 4. The Jewish popula:on was now around 650,000.
The Great Arab Revolt from 1936-‐1939 erupted aAer the inﬂux of Jewish immigrants following
the rise of HItler.
This caused the Bri:sh to place a immigra:on limit to prevent Arabs from
becoming a minority and limited immigrants to 75,000.
Before Israeli independence, immigra:on to the Yishuv depended on the economic capacity of
Israel. Because immigra:on was restricted migrants were also selected. The Bri:sh printd a set
number (10k) of immigra:on cer:ﬁcates and allowed the Jewish Agency to distribute them
anywhere. Demand was higher than supply of the cer:ﬁcates, leading to a process of selec:on.
Young, healthy people prepared to join a kibbutz/contribute to an agricultural society were the
ﬁrst to get these cer:ﬁcates. Old urbanites were not accepted.
If you were apart of the labor party, you were almost guaranteed a cer:ﬁcate. The opposite
applied to those in right-‐wing par:es.
In this sense, immigra:on/selec:on became a poli:cal issue.
Mizharachi Jews were angry because selec:on had not occurred during the Holocaust
survivor immigra:on period.
Agricultural people were preferred because the Jewish Agency was controlled by the labor
movement at the :me.
ZIonism is the ideology of Jewish na:onalism. IT also suggested that Zionism like any na:onal
movement was a movement that as going to rebuild the people in represented. They believed
that the Diaspora was fundamentally [screwed over] and that there were not enough Jewish
workers. Zionists believed that labor was a purifying experience and could rebuild the idea of
the “Jewish man.” Thus, agriculture was believed to be the necessary in building Israel.
Agriculture would also allow the Jews to entrench and :e themselves to the physical land
(against Arab peasants).
Immigrants came to live in the kibbutz because they were ideologically mo:vated (and most
were 18-‐35). An agrarian economy was established farming life was idealized
— despite all this the Jews only provided. a small % of its food; most came from the Arabs. The
expulsion of the Pales:nian popula:on in 1948 led to a collapse in agriculture (at the same :me
of the popula:on doubling). Simultaneously the war had destroyed the economy -‐>>>>
economy sec:on Yishuv is used to refer to the Jewish community.
Following the Dispersion two paths of Jewish culture emerged.
Ashkenazi -‐ Jews from Europe. A Hebrew term for Germany/Central Europe
Language was Yiddish -‐ a mix of German and Hebrew
Overwhelming secular; ultra-‐Orthodox ones existed in Jerusalem but those in Yishuv
were all secular because they faced a religious reforma:on.
Originaly the majority of the Yishuv un:l the Oreitnal Immigra:on
Oriental/Sephardi (Spain)/Mizarachi -‐ Jews from the Arab world (East)
Ladino (Judaeo Spanish)
Religious; never faced any reforma:on; tradi:onal religious views but more moderate. Basically, by the end of 1961, 690,000 Jews had immigrated to Israel.
Immigra:ons from Europe
1. Holocaust survivors -‐ 300k
1. Those persecuted in camps, fascist regimes, etc. whom had lost their previous
1. Many of their countries were gesng inﬂuenced by Communists.
2. Camps in Cyrpus -‐ 25k
1. Some had tried to come earlier, but if they were caught coming in illegally (without
cer:ﬁcates) they were sent to camps in Cyprus (with the excep:on of the Exodus,
which was sent back to Germany).
3. Bulagria -‐ 37k (80% of the community)
1. Bulagaria was an aly of the Nazis but the gov’t decided to not send its Jews to the
extermina:on camps. They had all been displaced. The Oriental [email protected] (during unlimited immigra:on)
1. There were about 1.7 million Jews living in the Middle East. Jews went there in the wake
of Arab expansion around the 7th century.
1. In those countries they were discriminated against and placed under special laws.
In the 1900s, some had immigrated to Pales:ne but were among the poorest in
the Yishuv. 2. Following the decoloniza:on of these countries, the Jews began to iden:fy
themselves with the European colonizers. 3. All of North Africa (except for Egypt) had been occupied by the Nazis or their allies
and had an:-‐Semi:c laws (loss of civil rights through speciﬁc laws).
1. Iraq’s society was disrupted by the events of WWII and the Jews became a
target of the Muslim popula:on. In 1941, there was a coup imposing a pro-‐
Nazi Iraqi regime (trying to kick out the Bri:sh regime). Baghdad has an
an:Semi:c pogrom, the Farhud, killing many of its Jewish residents.
4. The conﬂict in Pales:ne itself aﬀected the public opinion of Arabs everywhere.
The Jews had kicked out many of the Arabs and Israel had even defeated Arab
1. Arab popula:ons in the Middle East started awacking Jews at home.
2. By 1951, almost all of the Iraqi Jewish community (even tho it hadn’t been
ZIonist) went to Israel.
2. Yemeni Jews
1. In 1948, Yemen's Jews were awacked by Arab forces, and Jews went to Israel in
order to survive, transported through American-‐backed "Opera:on Magic
Carpet." 3. Iraqi Jews
1. 121,000 Jews immigrated to Israel. Iraqi Jews originated from sewlements in
2. Placed under segrega:ng mar:al law, not allowed certain rights, etc. Jews were
eventually allowed to emigrate to Israel & the government took their property.
4. Libyan Jews
1. 23,000 Jews.
2. They ini:ally lived under security and established themselves as merchants and
ar:sans. AAer the emergence of the Pales:nian issue and the Libyan Na:onalist
Movement, they were awacked and many died. The Jewish Agency organized their
transporta:on to Haifa.
5. Syria-‐Lebanese Jews
1. 30k Jews arrived in Israel.
2. In Syra-‐Lebanon the Jews were well-‐oﬀ, working as traders inx the Mediterranean
import-‐export trade and in civil service under the French mandate. AAer Syria
became independent, the Jews were gradually evicted and rioted against. They
were also treated as horribly as Jews were in Libya.
6. [email protected] Jews
1. 30,000 Jews (?) Ini:ally, they were among the European bourgeois elite. Druing
WWII, they were immediately awacked and faced economic ruin, which became
worse during the Pales:ne issue.
7. Turkish Jews
1. In:ally tolearted under the old Owoman regime, many leA aAer the Kemalist govt
became an:Semi:c during the rise of the Nazis. Most of the 33k that arrived in
Israel were poor and ruined by Ankara's war:me taxa:on laws.
8. Iranian Jews
1. Although respected, Jews here were extremely poor. Most came to Israel in
2. The demographic impact of the immigra:on was profound. 7% of the en:re Diaspora arrived in the ﬁve years aAer 1948, doubling the popula:on of Israel. In
1955, Moslem Jews made up 92% of immigrants.
The Shock of Absorp/on -‐ Newcomers' Life in Israel
1. Housing was scarce and could not match the rate of immigrants and was not of the best
2. Jobs were also scarce, especially aAer soldiers came home. 1. Tent ci:es and shelters were quickly rid of in lieu of transit camps situated closer
to big ci:es, where there were more jobs.
1. About 40,000 newcomers immigrated.
3. Transit camps (“ma-‐barot”) were tent ci:es (refugee ci:es) and horrible to live in.
1. In total, there were bout 125 of them.
1. In 1949, there were 90,000 in transit camps.
2. By 1951, (mass migra:on is con:nuing) 250,000, of 17% of the Israeli
popula:on, was living in these tent ci:es.
2. They were slowly transformed into permanent housing by 1963, and some grew
into bigger ci:es.
1. These ci:es are all assocaited with the more problema:c issues of Israeli
3. The dispersion of immigrants into these camps and turning them into ci:es was a
1. It perpetuated the pockets of poverty and disadvantage and incidentally
created massive resentment.
1. Prior, Israel had been an egalitarian society with a good army that
could do everything on its own, ideologically commiwed to Zionism.
2. AAer the mass immigra:on, the popula:on didn’t necessarily share
3. Disadvantage was perpetuated because the camps were located far
away from the big ci:es.
4. The growth of the Israeli economy, educa:on system, infrastructure helped make
these ci:es bewer.
LANGUAGES -‐ Hebrew was taught universally and other languages were suppressed.
Eﬀorts to Disperse & Feed
1. Almost 50% of the Jews had no skills whatsoever.
2. It was mostly Oriental Jews who worked agriculture in Israel.
3. Land was allocated by the same laws as before -‐ only to Jews and for free.
4. The number of Yishuv kibbutzim doubled and the moshavim quintupled, surpassing that
of the former. Most newcomers were awracted to the security of the moshavim. 5. In other farm communi:es, families were ra:oned land and supplies.
6. The agency helped decide what would be produced and provided the means to produce. 7. 35% of newcomers deserted (and leA debt) their farms and moshavim for the city.
8. Despite this, the agricutlural popula:on of Israel grew and created major economic value
for the country. 9. This enabled Israel to feed itself.
By 1951, it had become clear that immigra:on had collapsed the economy.
Where funds had been coming from up to this point:
1. Jewish philanthropic support
2. Sterling balances from the Mandate
1. Exports (limited)
Experts -‐ if we con:nue unlimited immigra:on, the econmy/society will collapse completely.
Gov’t -‐ stay ideologically commiwed. The Crisis of the Israeli Economy
1. In its beginning, Israel’s economy remained underdeveloped because investment and
produc:vity was low.
1. Israel’s military success in the War of Independence caused less dona:ons.
2. Jewish businesses abroad oﬀered to establish factories and private companies in
Israel but investment s:ll remained low because produc:vity in Israel was s:ll
lower than that of countries in the West.
1. In 1950 the Knesset passed the Law for the Encouragement of Capital
Investments but it did not draw much awen:on.
3. The government’s high taxes decreased produc:on incen:ve and Jewish workers
did not respect equipment and new techniques.
4. Imports were higher than exports, despite being on the verge of famine.
5. Agriculture only produced 1/4 of the country’s food.
3. How was it ﬁxed?
1. Mid-‐1949 -‐ The minister of ﬁnance taps into foreign sources of credit and the
Jewish Agency obtains loans from Scandinavia, Belgium, Switzerland, etc.
2. Late 1949-‐1951 -‐ Dov Joseph is appointed to place austerity measures (cut
3. He launched a program of ra:oning and wage control, which dras:cally reduced
the cost-‐of-‐living index.
1. Food, clothing, etc. were all ra:oned at set prices and life became drab and
gray, unknowingly producing a black market with the unused money.
4. Early 1950 -‐ David Horowitz traveled to England and unfroze Israel’s sterling
accounts there. 5. Late 1950 -‐ Government places requisites on all foreign securi:es for
sale against hard currency.
6. 1951 -‐ Riots cause Joseph to be relieved of his post but everything is s:ll giong
downhill — the army is even plan:ng vegetables.
7. 1952 -‐ The New Economic Policy is inaugurated as a measure of despera:on.
1. Currency was devalued; inﬂa:onary credit expansion, treasury bills, land
bonds, etc. were stopped. All bank deposits were forced a loan of 10%.
2. The General Zionists enter the new coali:on gov’t and abolish ra2oning,
causing the black market to disappear. They also reboot manufacturing and
investment opportuni:es (bringing back inducements).
3. Immigra:on was limited to only those in the gravest physical peril abroad.
8. 1953 -‐ The economy gradually began to stabilize, and with German repara:ons &
U.S. Jewish-‐abroad help, it con:nues to grow.
9. By 1954, immigra:on is allowed again because the economy was a lot bewer.
The Role of the Public Sector (in economic development)
1. Israel’s government exerted the most inﬂuence of any na:onal economy.
1. In the years of economic decline, public sectors began to grow with
the enlargement of na2onal ins2tu2ons including the Jewish Na:onal Fund, the
Keren H Y’sod, Histadrut, Va’ad Le’umi, etc. 1. The government raised the money so it allocated it.
2. By 1954, the gov’t budget was 50% of the na:onal income and 1/4 of all
1. Half was used on housing.
2. Defense was the second principal expenditure.
3. Government grants/loans were used on almost every facet of the na:on’s
economy (gov’t corpora:ons, communica:ons, water, power, etc.)
3. By 1960, the public sector (gov’t, municipali:es, Histadrut, na:onal ins:tu:ons employed 60% of wage earners. 1. Gov’t ac:ons (subsidies, loans, tax reduc:ons part ownership) shpaed most
of the larger private enterprises in Israel.
2. The Histadrut also had a decisive impact on economic development and was present in
almost every economic/social ac:vity across the board.
1. During the mandatory period, the labor federa:on was not just a collec:on of
unions but the organizer of the coopera:ve sector of society (kibbutz, moshav,
marke:ng & consumer).
1. These included Soleh Boneh, the Koor network of industries, the Workers’
Bank, and Israel’s largest insurance company.
2. In 1954 it was the na:ons single largest industrial employer with a work force of
3. The Histadrut was able to be this way because it was huge and could func:on
autonomously within the na:onal economy.
1. Solel Boneh was so big it could freeze out private builders and was basically
a monopoly. 2. It also got abandoned Arab property below market cost.
3. Employees occasionally drove companies to accept HIstadrut purchasing
4. The Histadrut also priori:zed social welfare.
1. Its leadership believed that even the poorest needed protec:on and
recognized and also inaugurated sick insurance.
1. The Kupat Cholim provided almost every medical treatment needed
for free/monthly fee.
2. 75% of the country’s people were registered under the Histadrut. Its
councils’ demands were so compelling that almost every employer agreed
to raising wages. 1. Wages thus rose steadily during the ﬁrst decade of Israel’s incep:on.
5. Employee beneﬁts were also achieved through na:onal legisla:on, through the
work of the Mapai leadership and the HIstadrut.
1. The Fundamental Law of 1949 gave workers the right to organize adn
2. The Na:onal Insurance Law of 1954 provided insurance for old age,
disabili:es, unemployment, re:rement, mothers, orphans, dependency, etc.
3. The Hours of Work and Rest Law established a work week limit of 47 hrs
and 25% higher pay for over:me; two weks of paid leave, etc.
6. Compared to a true welfare state (Sweden), Israel s:ll had many things not in the
hands of the government (i.e. insurance nego:ated by employees/employers).
3. As the economy stabilized, immigra:on rose again. Most came from Norht Africa. ...
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