This paper deals with the potential and actual impacts of the 1990s immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) on the state of multiculturalism, peace orientation and civil society in Israel. It examines the attitudes of these immigrants toward the character of Israel and their location in its cultural fabric. At the same time, it explores their stand toward the indigenous Palestinian Arab citizens and the prospects of creating an all-encompassing civil culture. The analysis shows that immigrants are tending toward the expansion of pluralism and the secularisation of Israel, and a redefinition of the legitimate borders of Israeli society. However, this orientation is not based on a holistic perspective. It is, rather, aimed at serving the needs of the immigrants themselves and facilitating their integration into the existing ethno-national structure from an advantaged position. Therefore, they are expected to reinforce a system of exclusion that places the indigenous Arab population beyond the pale. In this sense, the FSU immigrants are leading toward a type of multiculturalism that may be termed 'ethnocratic multiculturalism'. This type differs from types of multiculturalism that have developed in Western democratic countries by being selective: it draws the borders of legitimacy according to an exclusive ethno-national basis, rather than on the basis of inclusive values.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies|
|State||Published - Jul 2004|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A large part of this article is based on a country-wide survey conducted in 1999 by Majid Al-Haj and Elazar Leshem in the framework of the Center for Multiculturalism and Educational Research at the University of Haifa. It was made possible by the kind support of the ZEIT-Stiftung.
- Civil culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)