As a state founded on Jewish immigration and the absorption of immigration, what are the ideological and political implications for Israel of a zero or negative migration balance? By closely examining data on immigration and emigration, trends with regard to the migration balance are established. This article pays particular attention to the ways in which Israelis from different political perspectives have portrayed the question of the migration balance and to the relationship between a declining migration balance and the re-emergence of the “demographic problem“ as a political, cultural, and psychological reality of enormous resonance for Jewish Israelis. Conclusions are drawn about the relationship between Israel's anxious re-engagement with the demographic problem and its responses to Iran's nuclear program, the unintended consequences of encouraging programs of “flexible aliyah,“ and the intense debate over the conversion of non-Jewish non-Arab Israelis.
Ian S. Lustick
Efraim Inbar and Ian S. Lustick
A Debate between Efraim Inbar and Ian S. Lustick
Time is on Israel's Side Efraim Inbar
From a realpolitik perspective, the balance of power between Israel and its neighbors is the critical variable in the quest for survival in a bad neighborhood. If Israel’s position is improving over time and the power differential between the Jewish State and its foes is growing, then its capacity to overcome regional security challenges is assured. Moreover, under such circumstances there is less need to make concessions to weaker parties that are in no position to exact a high price from Israel for holding on to important security and national assets such as the Golan Heights, the settlement blocs close to the “Green Line,” the Jordan Rift, and particularly Jerusalem.
With a Bang or a Whimper, Time Is Running Out Ian S. Lustick
Israel’s existence in the Middle East is fundamentally precarious. Twentieth- century Zionism and Israeli statehood is but a brief moment in Jewish history. There is nothing more regular in Jewish history and myth than Jews “returning” to the Land of Israel to build a collective life—nothing more regular, that is, except, for Jews leaving the country and abandoning the project. Abraham came from Mesopotamia, then left for Egypt. Jacob left for Hauran, then returned, then left with his sons for Egypt. The Israelites subsequently left Egypt with Moses and Joshua, and “returned” to the Land. Upper class Jews who did not leave with the Assyrians left with Jeremiah for Babylon, then returned with Ezra and Nehemiah.
Sergio DellaPergola and Ian S. Lustick
When Scholarship Disturbs Narrative: Ian Lustick on Israel’s Migration Balance Comment by Sergio DellaPergola
Leaving the Villa and Touching a Raw Nerve Response by Ian S. Lustick