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Discuss several aspects of the socio-economic cleavage in Israel

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Alyot are at the origin of the main socio-economic cleavages.
    1. The challenge of the Law of Return.
    2. An active public policy in order to reduce the cleavages tied to the immigration.
  3. The Alyot as the scapegoat for all the socio-economic problems.
    1. The Haredim issue: A volunteer socio-economic segregation.
    2. The Israeli Arabs issue: An undergone socio-economic segregation.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

On July 5th, 1950, the Knesset unanimously passed the Law of Return which gives the Israeli citizenship to every Jews who want to immigrate to Israel. The Law of Return, criticized by some Human Right Organizations , symbolizes the legislative concretisation of the Zionist dream: the return and the redemption of the Jewish people in Eretz Israel. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, massive waves of immigration came from Europe after the Holocaust, North Africa and Middle East in the 50s and 60s and finally from the former Soviet Union after 1989. Those massive immigrations from different countries, continents and cultures represent a key challenge for the state. The government has to deal with different religious, social, economic and cultural backgrounds in order to integrate the new immigrants in the Israeli society and economy. Though, can only immigration explain the socio-economic cleavages in Israeli society?

[...] In 1991, a report to a Knesset committee concluded that Arabs constituted 55% of those below the poverty line in Israel. At the birth of the State, Behor Shalom Shitrit, as Minorities minister, tried to promote the integration and civil equality of the Arab community but, one year after its creation, Ben Gourion eliminated the ministry. The main problem is that the latent segregation which hits the Israeli Arabs is not considered as a main issue by the authorities. Many organizations, such as the national committee of Heads of Local Arab Councils or Sikkuy, a joint Jewish-Arab body, try to promote equality and integration. [...]

[...] Beause they don't recognize the legitimacy of the secular State of Israel, the haredim are not involved into the society and live in an hermetic world. The social distance between the religious and nonreligious society is reinforced by residential concentration and educational segregation. A striking paradox is that most of the haredim institutions are state-supported, such as the haredim schools, in spite of their autonomy and the fact that the haredi community don't recognize the State. Consequently, the communal split between the haredi community and the rest of Israel represents a challenge to the nation's integrative capacities. [...]

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