Perceived threat and exclusionary attitudes towards foreign workers in Israel

Rebeca Raijman, Moshe Semyonov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present article focuses on determinants of attitudes towards granting social rights to overseas labour migrants in Israeli society. The analysis is based on a national representative sample of the adult population in Israel. The findings reveal that a substantial number of respondents (both Jews and Arabs) oppose granting equal social rights (i.e. education, welfare, health, housing) to foreign workers. These attitudes can partially be explained as resulting from perceived threat to social and economic well-being of individuals as well as threat to national identity and Jewish character of the state. Part of the exclusionary attitudes that cannot be attributed to threats, are explained by individuals' socio-economic characteristics, ethnicity and political orientation. The findings are discussed within the context of Israel as an ethno-national state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-799
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Israeli Foundation Trustees (grant no 72u98) and by a grant from the G.I.F., the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Developmant (grant no. 1-596-14).


  • Competition
  • Exclusionary attitudes
  • Israel
  • Labour migrants
  • Minority rights
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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