The “Jewish premium”: attitudes towards Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants arriving in Israel under the Law of Return

Oshrat Hochman, Rebeca Raijman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines discriminatory attitudes of Israeli Jews towards non-Jewish immigrants admitted into Israel under the Law of Return. We looked at three spheres of discrimination: admission, political rights, and welfare rights and focused on the role of realistic socioeconomic and symbolic threats in the emergence of discriminatory attitudes. We used a mixed-methods approach that allowed to test our hypotheses among a representative sample (survey) and examine the logics underlying the respondents’ justifications for endorsing discrimination (focus groups/in-depth interviews). The findings show that discrimination endorsement is strongest in the case of admission and political rights where Israeli Jews seek to prevent the presence of outgroups and deny them the right to become part of the society. By contrast, discrimination with respect to welfare rights is less pronounced–possibly because it is not viewed as awarding membership in society, but rather providing individuals their basic needs based on universalistic or democratic values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-167
Number of pages24
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (grant 769-241.4/2002). Authors wish to thank Michael Braun and Noah Lewin-Epstein, as well as the anonymous reviewer for their useful and constructive remarks.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • attitudes
  • ethno-religious discrimination
  • immigration
  • Israel
  • mixed-methods
  • non-Jewish immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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