Land of Israel: Aliyah and Absorption
ALIYAH AND ABSORPTION
Aliyah, "ascension" or "going up," is the coming of Jews as individuals or in groups, from exile or diaspora to live in the Land of Israel. Those who "go up" for this purpose are known as olim – a term used in the Bible for the children of Israel who went up from Egypt (Gen. 50:14 and Num. 32:11) and, at a later period, for the exiles who returned from captivity in Babylon (Ezra 2:1, 59 and Neh. 5–6). The call of Cyrus – "Whosoever there is among you of all His people – his God be with him – let him go up…" (Ezra 1:3; ii Chron. 36:23) – has been used as a watchword for aliyah. It was aliyah that re-created the Jewish commonwealth in the Land after the Babylonian Exile, provided the community with some of its prominent spiritual leaders during the Second Temple and subsequent periods, preserved and repeatedly renewed the Jewish presence in Ereẓ Israel during the periods of Byzantine, Arab, Mamluk, and Ottoman rule, and reestablished the State of Israel in modern times.
Motives for Aliyah
The following were the principal motives that led individuals and groups to leave the Diaspora to settle in Ereẓ Israel at various periods:
1) The divine commandment (mitzvah) to go to Ereẓ Israel and settle there. There is a dispute about this precept in the Talmud (Ket. 110–111a), where both advocates and opponents of aliyah are presented. The Tosafists (see *Tosafot) stated that the precept was no longer in force (see Tos. to the passage beginning "If the husband desires to go up…" – Ket. 110b), and *Maimonides did not include it in his list of mitzvot. *Naḥmanides was the first to maintain that settlement in Ereẓ Israel was a commandment fixed for posterity. This assertion aroused controversy throughout halakhic literature. The dispute was revived with the appearance of the Ḥovevei Zion (see *Ḥibbat Zion), who advanced the commandment to go to Ereẓ Israel, in addition to national and social factors, as a reason for settlement. In the heat of the argument a new position was formulated by some of the orthodox, who argued that not only is it not a mitzvah to go to Ereẓ Israel but it is even forbidden, as it contradicts the oath sworn by the Jews: "That Israel shall not go up [all together as if surrounded] by a wall," and that "they shall not rebel against the nations of the world" (Ket. 111a).
2) The desire to study the Torah in Ereẓ Israel, where the Sanhedrin and the great academies were to be found. Aliyah for this purpose occurred mainly in the tannaitic and part of the amoraic periods, and has recurred in modern times with the increase in the number of important yeshivot in Ereẓ Israel. There have been cases of entire yeshivot moving to Israel.
3) The belief that one who is buried in Ereẓ Israel has many privileges (tj, Kil. 9:4, 32c; Gen. R. 96), which led many elderly people to come to Ereẓ Israel in order to die there. This belief existed during the time of the Temple, although it was attacked by some of the talmudic sages (Gen. R. 96:5). Characteristic of this outlook in later generations were the statements of Solomon Shlomel (Dreznitz), a disciple of Isaac *Luria and author of Shivḥei ha-Ari ("He who was privileged by God to fix his home in Ereẓ Israel is blessed, and blessed is he who can attain the World to Come"; Ha-Me'ammer, ed. A.M. Luncz, 3 (1919), 294).
4) The belief that only in Ereẓ Israel can one fulfill the mitzvot of the Torah. This was the watchword of the Karaites in the ninth to 11th centuries, and was stressed by religious groups during the period of the Ḥovevei Zion movement.
5) The persecution of the Jews in Europe. Beginning with the 13th century, Jewish refugees, in order to escape persecution in Europe, began to go to Ereẓ Israel since it was not under Christian rule. There are several questions in thehalakhah concerning those who vowed in times of stress to emigrate to Ereẓ Israel and broke their vows when the trouble had passed.
6) The messianic factor and the anticipation of redemption. Emigration to Ereẓ Israel would help to bring the advent of the Messiah nearer. The following statement of Raphael Mordecai Malki (late 17th century) is characteristic of this approach: "It is a known fact that the Messiah son of Ephraim does not come and is not revealed before 100 or 200 people (as in Jerusalem today), but before thousands and tens of thousands." The emigration of kabbalists after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 was considered to be due to messianic motivations – a letter dated 1521 announces that signs of the redemption are at hand (Ha-Me'ammer, 196–201). So are the aliyyot of the disciples of *Elijah the Gaon of Vilna and the *Ḥasidim, though the messianic factor in the ḥasidic aliyah is a subject of dispute among contemporary historians, some of whom think that it was motivated by the desire to win Ereẓ Israel for Ḥasidism.
7) The curing of illness and barrenness.
8) National and social factors – see *Historical Survey, Introduction, and also Modern Aliyah, below.
Many difficulties stood in the way of those coming to Ereẓ Israel. Transportation was arduous and irregular. Many of the ships which set sail for Ereẓ Israel were dilapidated and they sometimes sank with all their passengers. *Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk, leader of the hasidic aliyah of 1777, boasts that only one ship sank on his voyage. In addition there were cruel captains and pirates, who sometimes murdered their passengers or sold them into slavery. Large ransoms often had to be paid by various Jewish communities. As a result of these difficulties, there arose the halakhic question of whether it was permissible, for reasons of safety, for a convoy to continue its journey through the desert on the Sabbath. In addition to the many difficulties encountered by the travelers on arrival, there were the harsh political and economic conditions in Ereẓ Israel itself. Despite this, aliyah encompassed all currents of Judaism and all Diaspora communities.
From the Second Temple to Ḥibbat Zion
During the time of the Second Temple there were many immigrants to Ereẓ Israel. A famous example is the aliyah of Hillel, who went from Babylonia (Pes. 66a) poor and without means, and later became the head of the Sanhedrin (Suk. 20a), founding a long line of nesi'im (see *nasi). One of the high priests appointed by Herod was Hananel ha-Bavli, i.e., of Babylonia. Aliyah, mainly from Babylonia, did not cease after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 c.e.). Sources cite many immigrant scholars who achieved a prominent place in the Jewish community of Ereẓ Israel. In the third generation of tannaim after the destruction of the Temple (110–135 c.e.), Hanan ha-Miẓri ("of Egypt"; Yoma 63b) and Yose b. Dormaskos, who went from Damascus (Sif. Deut. 1), are mentioned. The next generation (135–170 c.e.) included R. Johanan ha-Sandelar of Alexandria (tj, Ḥag. 3:1, 78d) and R. Nathan ha-Bavli, who was the son of the exilarch in Babylonia. Among the fifth generation of tannaim are (170–200) R. Ḥiyya the Great, the disciple and colleague of Judah ha-Nasi (Er. 73a), and Issi b. Judah (Pes. 113b), both of whom emigrated from Babylonia, and Menahem the Gaul (i.e., France; tj, Ber. 4:4, 8b).
Aliyah from Babylonia did not cease in the amoraic period, despite the fact that the great centers of Jewish scholarship were located there. Of the first generation of amoraim (220–250), R. Ḥanina b. Ḥama, a disciple of Judah ha-Nasi and one of the greatest amoraim in Ereẓ Israel, emigrated from Babylonia (tj, Pe'ah 7:4, 20a). In the second generation (250–290), Eleazar b. Pedat, rosh yeshivah in Tiberias (Ḥul. 111b), R. Zakkai (tj, Shab. 7:1, 9a) and R. Ḥiyya b. Joseph (Ḥul. 54a), who emigrated from Babylonia, and Ḥinena Kartigna'ah (of Carthage; tj, Shab. 16:2, 15c) are mentioned. The latter attests emigration from Africa. Two amoraim called Rav Kahana also emigrated from Babylonia (Zev. 59a). There was a particularly large aliyah among the third generation of amoraim (290–320), some of the immigrants forming the leadership of the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. Prominent among them were: R. Abba (Ket. 112a); R. Avina (tj, Shev. 4:2, 35a); R. Oshaiah and his brother Hananiah (Sanh. 14a); R. Assi, the colleague of R. Ammi, who was rosh yeshivah of Tiberias (mk 25a); R. Zera, a central figure of both Talmuds (Ket. 112a); R. Ḥiyya b. Abba (Shab. 105b); and R. Ḥelbo (Yev. 64b; tj, Ta'an. 2:1, 65a); R. Yudan of Gaul (Lev. R. 20:4); R. Jeremiah, who later became rosh yeshivah at Tiberias (Ket. 75a); R. Samuel b. Isaac (tj, Ber. 3:5, 6d); R. Samuel of Cappadocia in Asia Minor (Ḥul. 27b); R. Simlai (tj, Pes. 5:3, 32a); and others. In the fourth generation (320–350) the well-known immigrants included: Ray Huna b. R. Avin (tj, rh 2:2, 59a), R. Haggai (mk, 25a), R. Yudan of Cappadocia (tj, Ber. 3:1, 6a), and R. Kahana (tj, rh 2:6, 59b). Constantine the Great's proclamation of Christianity as the official religion of the state in 323 and his persecution of the Jews in his dominions initiated the decline of Jewry in Ereẓ Israel. In this period – the fifth generation of amoraim, in which the Jerusalem Talmud was completed – the stream of immigrants from Babylonia stopped almost completely. The statements of the amora R. Abiathar (250–290 c.e.), who opposed the aliyah of Jews who left their families behind without a livelihood (Git. 6b), attest that the flow of aliyah was coming to an end. In 520, Mar Zutra, a descendant of the exilarchs in Babylonia, settled in Tiberias and was appointed head of the academy. Because the times were not conducive to aliyah, only individuals came.
There is little information on aliyah in the next few centuries, in which the Muslim conquest took place (636–38), but the aliyah of R. Aḥa of Shabḥa, one of the greatest Babylonian scholars, who came in about 750, is well known and other disciples probably immigrated with him. The Karaites, who proclaimed to their faithful: "Be assembled in the holy city and gather your brethren," began their aliyah as early as the ninth century. Among them was the author *Daniel b. Moses al-Qūmisi. A Karaite legend attributes the beginnings of their community in Ereẓ Israel to the founder of the sect, *Anan b. David. In the tenth century a cultural efflorescence took place among the Karaites in Ereẓ Israel, among whom were Sahl b. Maẓli'aḥ and Salmon b. Jeroḥam, and the Karaite community spread to Ramleh. In the 11th century important arrivals included Solomon b. Judah, from Morocco, head of the Academy in Jerusalem and Ramleh (1025–1051), and the nasi Daniel b. Azariah, a scion of the exilarchs of Babylonia. From the 12th century, testimonies of travelers and not of immigrants have been preserved; the political situation under the Crusaders did not facilitate aliyah. According to a famous legend (now known to be untrue) *Judah Halevi went to Ereẓ Israel in 1141 and was killed at the gates of Jerusalem. In 1165 Maimon b. Joseph, the father of Maimonides, went there with his sons, but left after six months. In the late 12th century more Jews from North Africa arrived as a result of the persecutions there during the Almohad regime. Benjamin of Tudela found approximately 1,000 Jewish families during his stay in Ereẓ Israel (c. 1170). Ten years later, Pethahiah of Regensburg mentioned a much smaller number. According to Judah Al-Ḥarizi, who traveled to Ereẓ Israel in 1218, Saladin invited the Jews to settle in the land in 1190, after his victory over the Crusaders. Al-Harizi stated: "From the time when the Ishmaelites [Arabs] occupied the land, Jews settled there" (Taḥkemoni, ed. A. Kaminka (1899), No. 28, p. 245).
Persecution of Jews in Europe also contributed to aliyah. The most important immigration of this wave was that of the "300 French and English rabbis" who went to Ereẓ Israel in 1210–11. According to an anonymous source: "The king honored them greatly and built synagogues and academies there… A miracle occurred when they prayed for rain and were answered, and, thus, they sanctified God's name" (Shevet Yehudah, ed. Azriel Shochat (1947), 147). There are many opinions as to the causes of this aliyah. Horodezky holds that it resulted from spiritual pressure – the decline in Torah study in France; in contrast, Dubnow believes that it stemmed from severe economic oppression (Divrei Yemei Am Olam, pt. 5, p. 15). A new and improbable view has been advanced: that the purpose was to establish a Sanhedrin – in accordance with Maimonides' opinion that the establishment of a Sanhedrin is a condition for redemption. In about 1260, there were more olim from these countries, including Jehiel b. Joseph of Paris, whose yeshivah in Acre was called by the name of his town, Midrash ha-Gadol de-Parisi. The most important aliyah in this century was that of *Naḥmanides in 1267. Since his arrival, settlement is said to have been continuous in Jerusalem; hence his title "Avi ha-Yishuv" ("Father of the Community"). In the late 13th century, aliyah ceased as a result of the fierce battles between the Crusaders and the Muslims. The expulsion from France (1306) led R. *Estori ha-Parḥi, the first Jew to write a geography of Ereẓ Israel, to come to the Land in about 1322. Many came from Spain and Germany in the 14th century, as stated in a letter from a disciple of Naḥmanides: "At present many have arisen willingly to emigrate to Ereẓ Israel" (S. Assaf, Yerushalayim, Koveẓ shel ha-Ḥevrah la-Ḥakirat Ereẓ Yisrael ve-Attikoteha, A.M. Luncz (1928), 51). Among those who came from Spain was the well-known kabbalist R. Shem Tov b. Abraham Gaon, who wrote his Keter Shem Tov in Ereẓ Israel. In the 15th century Jewish pilgrims and prospective olim had to fight against a new obstacle: an order by Pope Martin v (1428) forbidding Italian ships to transport Jews to Ereẓ Israel. This decree remained in force for only a very brief period but it was renewed toward the end of the century, and led to many wanderings in order to circumvent the sea routes, if possible – for instance, as suggested by R. Isaac Ẓarefati in a letter to the Jews, via Turkey (see Historical Survey, above). A number of Italian Jews went to Ereẓ Israel in the 15th century and made their mark on the Jewish community. Among them were *Elijah of Ferrara, who wrote a letter of great importance for the history of aliyah in the late 14th and early 15th centuries (first published by Eliezer Ashkenazi in Divrei Ḥakhamim (1849), 61–63), and members of his family. The Ashkenazi Joseph da Montagna came from Italy via Venice and was appointed dayyan in Jerusalem at the end of 1481. Isaac b. Meir Latif apparently came from Ancona in about 1480.
Immigrants from Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Yemen, and North Africa are also mentioned in this century. Yemenite Jews came in caravans from Aden and Turkey, e.g., R. Abraham B. Solomon Treves of Constantinople. The increase in aliyah between 1488 and 1495 is attested by the fact that in 1495 it was difficult to find a place to live in Jerusalem. The most important of the Italian scholars who immigrated to Ereẓ Israel was R. Obadiah of *Bertinoro, who arrived in 1488 after three years of wandering. In his letters he writes about other aliyyot from Italy and under his influence the number of immigrants increased. In a letter written in 1495, an anonymous student of his praises his master's manifold activities in Jerusalem and he tells of immigrants from Italy and Sicily, some of whom had drowned. After the Turkish conquest (1516), many Jews from the Orient, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany, as well as refugees from the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions, immigrated to Ereẓ Israel. One of them was R. Isaac *Sholal ha-Kohen, the last nagid of Egypt, whose aliyah (1517) was of great importance in the development of the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The immigration of Spanish Jews with their characteristic laws, manners, language, and customs had an important impact on the community. Some of them settled in Jerusalem – the most important being the kabbalist *Abraham b. Eliezer ha-Levi and *Levi Ibn Ḥabib – but most of them settled in *Safed, notably Joseph Saracosti, Jacob *Berab, Joseph *Caro, Moses *Cordovero, Moses *Galante, and *David b. Abi Zimra. The immigrants to Safed also included a considerable number from Italy, who even established an independent "Italian community." The extent of the increase of aliyah to Safed is attested by the fact that its population numbered 10,000 in the mid-16th century, while according to the Yemenite traveler *Zechariah al-Ḍāhiri, it numbered 14,000 in 1567. A great role in aliyah was played by the immigrants from North Africa. Among important immigrants from North Africa were Issachar ibn Susan, who went to Ereẓ Israel in about 1527: Aaron b. Abraham *Ibn Ḥayyim, author of Korban Aharon; and R. Solomon ibn Ẓur. The flourishing of the Kabbalah in Safed contributed to additional aliyah, which continued throughout the 16th century, from France, Germany, Italy, and other European countries, as well as from North Africa and the Orient. The immigrants from Europe included: R. Ephraim b. R. Judah, son-in-law of R. Solomon *Luria, who headed the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem; R. Solomon Shlomel of Dreznitz (Moravia); R. Judah of Ofen (Buda), and his brother-in-law R. Jacob Zak, father of Ẓevi Ashkenazi ("Ḥakham Ẓevi"). Ofen (Buda) served as a gathering place for Jews from France and Germany, who could travel from there in convoy via Turkish territory. Simeon Bak went in 1582 and R. Masʿud Saggi Nahor (*Azulai) went from North Africa. Important newcomers were R. Bezalel *Ashkenazi, author of Shitah Mekubbeẓet, who arrived in 1588 and became head of the community in Jerusalem, and R. Isaiah ha-Levi *Horowitz (author of Shenei Luḥot ha-Berit), who came in 1621 and became head of the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem, whose members were "multiplying greatly, literally by hundreds, and constructing great buildings" (letter to his sons). In the early 17th century a renewed aliyah of Karaites began, but the persecutions of Ibn Farukh (1625–27) slowed down the influx. Nevertheless, immigrants continued to arrive; among them was Abraham *Azulai, author of Ḥesed le-Avraham.
Shabbateanism (see *Shabbetai Ẓevi) stimulated a new wave of longing for aliyah. Rumors of vast aliyyot spread everywhere; there were rumors of "80 ships" from Amsterdam and "400 families ready to depart" from Frankfurt. However, this enthusiasm died out with the apostasy of Shabbetai Ẓevi. The only great aliyah that occurred as a result of Shabbateanism was that led by R. *Judah Ḥasid and Ḥayyim *Malakh (both crypto-Shabbateans) at the turn of the 17th century. There was no aliyah like it for many generations before or after it until modern times. In its beginnings the group numbered only 31 families, but more joined it along the way. The enormous influence of the emissaries of the immigrants, who assembled at Nikolsburg (Mikulov) for departure is attested by an eyewitness, the German author J.J. Schudt (Juedische Merckwuerdigkeiten, 2 (Frankfurt on the Main, 1714), 58). On its arrival the convoy numbered about 1,500 – some said 1,700. There was a serious setback, however, when R. Judah Ḥasid died immediately after the group's arrival in Jerusalem and the lack of sources of livelihood, illness, and anti-Shabbatean persecutions contributed to the dispersal of the new arrivals. The aliyah of R. Abraham Rovigo from Modena, Italy, in 1702, with a convoy of 25 persons was also influenced by Shabbateanism.
But these were not the only convoys. According to one emissary, the Jewish community in Jerusalem numbered 10,000 persons in 1741. Ḥayyim *Abulafia came from Smyrna in 1740 and reestablished the yeshivah in Tiberias. Moses Ḥayyim *Luzzatto and his family arrived in 1743, although his activities in Ereẓ Israel were less important than his work in the Diaspora. There was an important aliyah of Turkish Jews at the time, including Gedaliah Ḥayyun, who founded Beth El, the bet ha-midrash of the kabbalists in Jerusalem, and the Rosanes, Gabbai, Nahmias, and Pardo families. There were also Shalom *Sharabi, a Yemenite immigrant, who held a position of prominence in Jerusalem, and Eleazer Rokeaḥ, the rabbi of Amsterdam, who settled in Safed. R. Ḥayyim b. *Attar, author of Or ha-Ḥayyim, went from Salé (Morocco) in 1741 and established a yeshivah in Jerusalem. Nathan *Bordjel, author of Ḥok Nathan, went from Tunis. An organized aliyah of proselytes, who settled in Safed and even sent a special emissary abroad, also took place in the 18th century.
The end of the 18th century marks the beginning of the aliyah of Ḥasidim, who made it a principle of their teachings. Ḥasidic legend describes at length how *Israel Ba'al Shem Tov, the founder of Ḥasidism, longed to immigrate to Ereẓ Israel in order to meet with R. Ḥayyim b. Attar, and even made attempts to fulfill this wish, but was compelled to reconsider. His disciples, however, did everything to carry out their master's will. Thus, R. Abraham Gershon of Kutow (Kuty), the Ba'al Shem Tov's brother-in-law, immigrated with his family, and many Ḥasidim from Galicia and Volhynia followed him. The first organized aliyah of Ḥasidim took place in 1764, led by the Ba'al Shem Tov's disciples Menahem Mendel of Peremyshlyany, who settled in Jerusalem, and *Naḥman of Horodenko in Tiberias. An aliyah of great value to the community in Ereẓ Israel took place in the spring (Adar) of 1777, 14 years after the first; it was led by *Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk and Abraham of Kalisz, whose convoy numbered 300 persons. They left Galatz, Romania, in small boats for Constantinople and from there they sailed to Acre. The voyage lasted four months, and the convoy endured much hardship. They settled in Safed, where they met with many difficulties and most of them moved to Tiberias. This aliyah was rightly regarded as having revived Galilee and laid the basis for Jewish settlement there. Many of the leaders of the ḥasidic aliyah are worthy of mention: *Jacob Samson of Shepetovka; *Ze'ev Wolf of Zbaraz (Zbarazh); *Jacob b. Aaron the Great of Karlin; Issachar Dov Baer of Zloczow, author of Bat Eini; David Solomon of Soroki, author of Levushei Serad; *Ḥayyim b. Solomon of Czernowitz, author of Be'er Mayim Ḥayyim; and Aryeh Leib of Woloczyska, author of Ahavat Shalom. More Ḥasidim came in subsequent generations, notably Abraham Dov of Ovruch in 1832, who headed the ḥasidic community of Safed, and Israel *Bak, who brought his publishing house with him from Volhynia in 1831. The Ḥabad Ḥasidim formed another organized aliyah, consolidating the Ashkenazi community in Hebron, which was first organized by Ḥabad Ḥasidim from Safed and Tiberias. Ḥasidim have continued to come up to the present day.
At the same time the Perushim, the disciples of Elijah the Gaon of Vilna, also organized an aliyah, establishing a community in Jerusalem. The Gaon of Vilna is reported to have made many efforts to go to Ereẓ Israel himself but did not meet with success. The first Perushim arrived as early as 1722, led by R. Israel of Shklov, but their impact was not noticeable and they did not even have a minyan. A second group, headed by *Menahem Mendel of Shklov, arrived in 1808. Later, Saadiah b. Nathan Nata of Vilna and Nata b. Menahem Mendel of Shklov arrived. Menahem Mendel of Shklov and R. Israel of Shklov are rightly considered the fathers of their community in Jerusalem because of their initiative and powers of organization. Among other members of the community were Hillel Rivlin, scion of the prominent *Rivlin family; R. Abraham Solomon Zalman *Ẓoref; R. Shemariah Luria, a man of means who arrived with a convoy of 40 persons: R. Joseph Sundel of *Salant, the spiritual father of the *Musar movement; and R. Samuel *Salant, his son-in-law, who officiated as the city rabbi in Jerusalem for many years. It is of interest that these aliyyot included not only scholars but also artisans.
In 1830 the aliyah from Germany began, led by Moses Sacks, the first who thought of large-scale productivization of the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. The German immigrants included Jehoseph *Schwarz (arrived in 1833), the author of Tevu'ot ha-Areẓ, the most thorough work on Ereẓ Israel since the 14th-century Kaftor va-Feraḥ, and R. Eliezer Bergman. A notable aliyah came from Holland, which eventually merged with the German aliyah to form a joint community known as Kolel 'hod' (Holland-Deutschland). There was also a sizable aliyah from Hungary, which was inspired by R. Moses *Sofer, the author of Ḥatam Sofer, and played an important role in Jerusalem, though it consisted mostly of individuals, largely youths. Noteworthy are R. Israel Ze'ev Horowitz, Abraham Sha'ag, and Akiva Joseph Schlesinger. As they increased, they formed a separate kolel, as did the Polish immigrants. In the 19th century sizable aliyyot took place from the Oriental countries as well, including Turkey, North Africa, Iraq, Persia, Bukhara, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and Yemen (see *Israel, State of: Population, section on Jewish Communities (Edot)).
Modern Aliyah, 1880–1948
(See Table on following page.)
the first aliyah
The beginnings of the modern Jewish return to the Land of Israel, which laid the foundations for the establishment of the State of Israel, were due to a combination of three causes: the age-old devotion of the Jews to their historic homeland and the hope of messianic redemption; the intensification of the intolerable conditions under which Jews lived in Eastern Europe; and the efforts of an active minority convinced that the return to the homeland was the only lasting and fundamental solution to the Jewish problem (see *Zionism).
In the early 1880s the growing oppression of the Jews assumed acute forms in several Eastern European countries: the pogroms and repression that followed the assassination of Alexander ii of Russia; the restriction of Jewish autonomy in Galicia; the pogroms and the restrictions imposed on Jewish trade in Romania; and the Tisza-Eszlar blood libel in Hungary. A spontaneous mass migration movement was the result: between 1880 and 1900 over a million Jews fled from persecution and poverty to the United States. The hopes of the *Haskalah movement for a normalization of the Jewish position through education and enlightenment had been shattered; the Jewish masses were on the move.
Simultaneously with this headlong flight to the New World, another Jewish migration movement, infinitesimally smaller but radically different in character, arose. A handful of young men felt that it was not enough to run away from persecution; the time had come to take the first step toward a fundamental solution of the Jewish problem: the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel. This vital first step must be to go up to live in the Promised Land and cultivate its soil. Branches of the new *Ḥibbat Zion movement sprang up all over Eastern Europe, especially in Russia, though they had to meet in secret and their members ran a risk of arrest. The best-known section of the movement, *Bilu, defined its aim as "the political, economic, and national-spiritual revival of the Jewish people in Syria and Ereẓ Israel." On July 7, 1882, a small group of 14 – including one woman – landed at Jaffa and made its way to the *Mikveh Israel training farm, founded in 1870, where it was given work. Further contingents followed, bringing the number of settlers up to over 50. The unaccustomed work was hard, the pay was wretched, and the novices were treated with contempt by the farm manager. Some of the Bilu'im moved to Jerusalem, where they formed a short-lived cooperative carpenters' workshop. Others received a plot to cultivate in Rishon le-Zion, but the crops were poor. Hopes that the Ḥibbat Zion movement abroad would help them buy land for a settlement of their own were disappointed, and the movement began to disintegrate. The Bilu'im were saved by Yehiel Pines, who bought 800 acres of land in the southern Shephelah, where they founded the village of *Gederah, and appealed to Ḥibbat Zion abroad to defray the cost.
Meanwhile, Ḥibbat Zion had been organizing groups to settle in Ereẓ Israel. In January 1882, a conference at Focsani, Romania, had decided to send out representatives to buy land, to be followed almost immediately by the first group of olim (sing. oleh), who would settle in the country. The Turkish government immediately ordered the cessation of Jewish immigration, and efforts to secure the withdrawal of the ban by appeals to Laurence *Oliphant and by representations at Constantinople were unsuccessful. The pioneers were undeterred, however; by 1884 six settlements had been established (including Gederah), and *Petaḥ Tikvah revived. Four were supported by Baron Edmond de *Rothschild, the other three being the responsibility of Ḥibbat Zion. In the same year the first international conference of Ḥibbat Zion, with 35 delegates from Russia, Romania, Germany, Britain, and France, met at Katowice and established a provisional central committee in Odessa. The number of societies reached close to 100, with 14,000 members who collected about 30,000 rubles a year, as well as 20,000 rubles from various campaigns. Ramified propaganda was carried out in many parts of Europe and in America.
In these early beginnings, many of the characteristic features of modern aliyah were already present in embryo. Like the later Zionist movement, Ḥibbat Zion consisted of three main strata: a large periphery of uncommitted sympathizers; smaller groups of organized members, who propagated the idea and collected funds for practical work; and a still smaller nucleus, without whom nothing could have been done, who followed the principle of hagshamah aẓmit ("personal implementation"), to use another term that was current at later stages. Some of those who contributed to the cost of the work did so out of belief in the aims of the movement; others, as in later years, were moved by purely philanthropic motives, or a mixture of the two. There were also rudimentary arrangements in the country to help the newcomers: the Mikveh Israel farm helped to train them; local Jewish leaders cooperated with Ḥibbat Zion missions; Baron de Rothschild sent out officials to administer his benefactions; in 1891 an abortive attempt was made to set up an executive of Ḥibbat Zion in Jaffa, headed by Vladimir *Tiomkin.
Although the seeds of later developments were there, their growth at first was painfully slow. The entire effort would have collapsed but for the benevolence of Rothschild, whose money not only bought land and implements, built homes, and purchased the crops, but also erected synagogues and schools, hospitals and old-age asylums. His administrators, many of whom were corrupt, kept the settlers on a tight rein, however, and stifled any signs of independence. The advent of Theodor *Herzl and the founding of the *World Zionist Organization in 1897, while arousing a tidal wave of enthusiasm in the Jewish world, had little effect at the time in the Land of Israel itself, as the new movement devoted most of its energies to political work in the hope of obtaining a charter for the establishment of a Jewish autonomous territory. The idealism of the settlers was withering away under the pressure of the difficult conditions; most of the new villages employed cheap Arab labor, and the enterprise, started with such high hopes, was producing not a self-reliant community of cheap cultivators, but a class of colonists, with the shallowest of roots in the soil, which was still – even when owned by Jews – being tilled mainly by the native Arab population.
By 1903, the end of the First Aliyah period, a score of new villages had been founded, 350,000 dunams (almost 90,000 acres) of land had been purchased, and some 10,000 Jews had settled in the country, over half of them on the soil. There were also beginnings of urban settlement, especially in Jaffa, where 3,000 newcomers had made their homes. Hebrew was beginning to be a spoken tongue once again, and the first Hebrew elementary schools had been established, though French culture, propagated by the Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Rothschild administration, was widespread. On the whole, however, the pioneering drive had been exhausted and a period of stagnation had set in.
|1 Including immigrants without visas and tourists who settled.|
|2. Immigrants per 1,000 of the Jewish population.|
|1932||12,553||69||Jan. 1– May 14, 1948||17,165||73|
the second aliyah
The depression caused by the stagnation of the first settlements, the controversies in the Zionist organization over the *Uganda Scheme, and the death of Herzl in 1904 were followed by a new upsurge of pioneering fervor which produced the Second Aliyah. The first impetus of the new wave came from the Kishinev pogroms of 1903 and the others that followed two years later. The impotence of the great Russian community in the face of these savage mob attacks shocked thousands of young Jews into a new determination to build a Jewish homeland. Many of them were imbued with socialist ideals and, sorely disappointed by the failure of the 1905 Revolution, decided that they must create their own revolutionary movement on the basis of national revival.
These young men and women were guided not only by a more conscious and consistent national ideology, but also by the ideal of laying the foundations for a workers' commonwealth in the Land of Israel. Naḥman *Syrkin had already advocated an organic synthesis of Zionism and Socialism. The Socialist-Zionist philosophy of the *Po'alei Zion movement, formulated by Ber *Borochov, was founded on a Marxist analysis of the Jewish problem that led to the conclusion that social and economic forces were working for the Socialist-Zionist solution. Others, under the influence of A.D. *Gordon's philosophy of labor, founded the *Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir movement, which emphasized the importance of physical labor, rather than the socialist reorganization of society, as the foundation of national revival. Both parties added to the idea of personal participation in the building of the homeland the concept of avodah aẓmit ("personal labor"; see *Israel, State of: Labor, section on Ideology of Labor).
Among the youth organizations set up at this time was one called *He-Ḥalutz ("The Pioneer") in Romania – the first to use the name. Unlike their elders, its members were not content to make propaganda, collect funds, and prepare for an undefined future. They organized only to make preparations for the journey; once a group, usually consisting of young people from the same town, had gone out, it would make way for another, which would go through the same process. In 1905 a He-Ḥalutz society was set up in the United States, and in 1911 Joseph *Trumpeldor tried to establish a countrywide organization in Russia with a detailed plan for organized training in the Diaspora and activity in the Land of Israel, but the project was dropped when he himself left Russia to settle.
The pioneers of the Second Aliyah were also much more self-reliant than their predecessors. As there was no possibility of exercising political influence on the government of the country, the parties engaged in practical work, looking after the housing, employment, and, later, the health and welfare of the newcomers. The Zionist Organization had also started practical work in the Land of Israel. The *Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901, and two years later the Anglo-Palestine Company (later the Anglo-Palestine Bank) was established in Jaffa as a subsidiary of the *Jewish Colonial Trust; in 1908 Arthur *Ruppin set up the Palestine Office in Jaffa. The workers, however, were far from passive. In 1907 Joseph *Vitkin issued a call for more pioneers, which, coming from one of those who had led the way, had greater force than the exhortations of Zionist leaders in the Diaspora. The workers fought not only for better conditions, but also for the right to employment on the Jewish farms, and in 1909 it was their initiative that led to the establishment of the first kevuẓah (see *Kibbutz Movement), the harbinger of a new type of social unit. They were also active in the beginnings of Jewish self-defense (see *Ha-Shomer) and the introduction of Hebrew into all spheres of life. By the beginning of World War i the yishuv, 85,000 strong, was a source of inspiration to the movement abroad and a magnet for further aliyah.
the establishment of he-Ḥalutz
The Third Aliyah, which started in 1919, was partially a continuation of the second, which had been interrupted by the war. A renewed impetus, the result of the Bolshevik Revolution and the postwar pogroms and excesses in the Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary, coincided with a renewed hope, inspired by the *Balfour Declaration and the British conquest of Palestine. The westward road to the United States was still open, and most of those who chose the Land of Israel did so out of Zionist convictions. In 1915–16 David *Ben-Gurion and Izhak *Ben-Zvi, exiled from the Land of Israel by the Turks, had founded a He-Ḥalutz organization in the United States, which merged with the movement for joining the *Jewish Legion. A larger and more lasting pioneering organization arose in Russia after the February Revolution of 1917. A national council of He-Ḥalutz groups in Russia met in January 1918, and the first conference of the Russian He-Ḥalutz movement took place a year later in Moscow under Trumpledor's leadership. He-Ḥalutz gave the underlying principles of the previous aliyah movements a more definite and consistent form. Its members belonged to the World Zionist Organization, accepted its authority, and took part in its activities, especially the work of the Jewish National Fund. It was not a party body, though it regarded itself as a part of the Jewish labor movement, and its members in the Land of Israel helped to forge the degree of labor unity which led to the establishment of the Histadrut (see *Israel, State of: Labor).
He-Ḥalutz set up a network of training centers in the Diaspora in which its members studied the ideals of the movement, learned Hebrew and its literature, and gained experience in manual labor and farming. Some groups found employment with non-Jewish farmers; others set up their own training farms. To some extent, this stage was regarded as a regrettable necessity in the absence of immediate facilities for aliyah, but it ensured that the young men and women arrived not as complete novices, but equipped with a consistent social philosophy, some experience of living in communes, and at least some rudimentary skills. Even while in the Diaspora, they submitted themselves to the democratic discipline of the movement and were ready to set out for the Land of Israel whenever called upon to do so. Contact was maintained with those who had gone on ahead through emissaries (sheliḥim) from Palestine who knew the conditions and spent several months or years in the Diaspora as instructors and leaders. The training farms and communes also performed a valuable function as centers of attraction for youth, who could thus see the principles of the movement put into practice even in the Diaspora.
There were also two other main pioneering organizations: *Betar, affiliated to the *Revisionist organization, and He-Ḥalutz ha-Mizrachi. A non-party religious pioneering body, *Baḥad (Berit Ḥalutzim Datiyyim – "League of Religious Pioneers"), was founded in Germany and later spread to Britain and other countries.
the zionist movement and aliyah
When the Zionist movement started to rebuild its organization immediately after World War i, aliyah and settlement were, of course, among its major concerns. The Central Office established in London had sections for immigration and agricultural settlement. The 1920 London Conference, held instead of a regular Zionist Congress, decided that the Jewish National Fund should safeguard Jewish labor on its land and assist the settlement of Jewish agricultural workers on their own farms. A Central Immigration Office was to be opened in Palestine without delay, with Palestine Offices in all countries from which Ḥalutzim might come. Each office was to be controlled by a committee representing the local Zionist parties in proportion to their size. They were to give preference to candidates for aliyah who had been trained as farm workers or artisans, could speak Hebrew, and were physically fit.
The contributions of Diaspora Jewry to the cost of immigration and settlement were to be channeled through a new agency, *Keren Hayesod, the Foundation Fund, which was to be an instrument of voluntary self-taxation on the principle of the biblical tithe (though this quota was not actually reached in practice). The 12th Zionist Congress in 1921 resolved that Palestine Offices should be set up in the chief ports of embarkation – Trieste in Italy and Constanta in Romania – as well as the principal lands of emigration, and undertook to subsidize the vocational training of the ḥalutzim. Of the executive of 13, six members were to sit in Jerusalem and take charge of affairs in Palestine. Thus the World Zionist Organization, with its democratically elected and controlled legislative and executive organs, representing Jews throughout the world who were devoted to the idea of national revival, established the machinery for financing, fostering, and controlling aliyah and settlement as the basic methods for establishing the Jewish National Home.
Aliyah, however, was now also a major issue in the relations between the Zionist movement and the non-Jewish population of Palestine, in the policy of the British government and its administration in the country, and, through the League of Nations *Mandate, in international affairs. Although Winston Churchill as colonial secretary rejected Arab demands in 1920 for the stoppage of Jewish immigration, aliyah was in fact suspended temporarily after Arab attacks on Jews in 1921. The Churchill White Paper of 1922 (see *White Papers), while affirming that Jewish immigration must continue, stated that it "cannot be so great in volume as to exceed whatever may be the economic capacity of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals" and that "the immigrants should not be a burden upon the people of Palestine as a whole."
the mandatory power and aliyah
The Mandate for Palestine recognized the Zionist Organization's right to advise and cooperate with the administration in matters affecting the establishment of the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population and instructed the administration to "facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and… encourage… close settlement by Jews on the Land," adding the limitation: "while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced." This reservation, as well as the phrase "under suitable conditions" was frequently cited in later years by the British as justification for severe restrictions on Jewish immigration, which hampered the development of the Jewish National Home. Arab pressure for the stoppage of aliyah, reinforced by repeated and violent attacks on the Jews and the restrictions imposed by the British in response to this pressure from time to time, constituted a leading, perhaps the major, theme in the political history of Palestine throughout the Mandatory period.
In September 1920, shortly after the establishment of the British Civil Administration in Palestine, an Immigration Ordinance was issued authorizing the Zionist Organization to bring in 16,500 immigrants per annum, provided that it be responsible for their maintenance for one year. About 10,000 were admitted in the first 12 months, but new regulations were issued in June 1921 specifying the categories of immigrants to be allowed to enter. The main classes were: persons of independent means, professional men, persons with definite prospects of employment, and small tradesmen and artisans with a capital of £500. Other applicants, apart from tourists, had to be approved in each case by the Immigration Department of the Palestine government. After the publication of the 1922 White Paper, permits were granted to groups of artisans and laborers selected by the Zionist Organization's Palestine Offices, the number of permits being fixed every three months by the government after negotiations with the Zionist Executive. A new Immigration Ordinance, issued in 1925 and amended in 1926 and 1927, defined the rights and functions of the Zionist Executive in regard to the Labor Schedule, which was drawn up for a six-month instead of a three-month period on the basis of an estimate of the demand for labor. It provided for the admission of the following categories:
- Persons in possession of not less than £1,000, and their families.
- Professional men in possession of not less than £500.
- Skilled artisans in possession of not less than £250.
- Persons with an assured income of £4 per month.
- Orphans destined for institutions in Palestine.
- Persons of religious occupation whose maintenance was assured.
- Students whose maintenance was assured.
- Persons who had a definite prospect of employment.
- Dependent relatives of residents in Palestine who were in a position to maintain them.
While the Zionist Executive had to be constantly on the watch to ensure what it regarded as a fair interpretation of these definitions, the most serious differences with the administration arose over category c, which was the only one allowing for the admission of workers without means or capital of their own. As the time came round for the issue of each half-year quota, the Executive would submit a detailed estimate of the demand for labor in the existing economy and in enterprises to be set up with its aid or by private enterprise, but these were invariably slashed by the administration. The result was often a shortage of Jewish labor, which hampered economic development and caused a drift from the countryside to the towns in search of better-paid employment.
The ḥalutzim were the outstanding element in the 35,000 immigrants of the Third Aliyah (1919–23). They did not merely find their places in the existing economic social structure or act as passive recipients of aid from the Zionist institutions; they were a creative force, which transformed the character of the yishuv and played a prominent part in its leadership. Together with their predecessors of the Second Aliyah, they founded the Histadrut, the comprehensive countrywide labor organization; played a leading role in the creation of the *Haganah defense organization; provided workers for the construction of housing and roads and the beginnings of industry; strengthened the foundations of Jewish agriculture; and expanded the map of Jewish settlement by establishing many kibbutzim and moshavim. To a large extent, they not only integrated themselves, but also prepared the way for others to follow.
rise in middle-class aliyah
The drop in the influx of ḥalutzim in 1924, mainly due to Soviet restrictions on the work of He-Ḥalutz, was compensated for by a considerable increase in middle-class immigration, bringing the influx up from some 8,000 in each of the years 1920–23 to almost 13,000 in 1924 and 33,000 in 1925. This was the start of the Fourth Aliyah. About half the olim in the two latter years came from Poland, where many Jews were impoverished by an economic crisis and the anti-Jewish policy of Grabski, the finance minister (after whom this wave was often referred to as the "Grabski Aliyah"), while severe restrictions were imposed on immigration into the United States. Most of these newcomers had a little capital of their own, which they invested in small enterprises and construction of housing in the towns.
In 1926, however, the unorganized influx was halted by a severe economic crisis, and of the 13,000 who arrived in 1926 more than half left the country. These were known as yoredim ("descenders" – in contrast to olim). In the following year there was an even more serious decline to 3,000 immigrants, with nearly twice as many yoredim; in 1928 the number of arrivals and departures was about the same – some 2,000 – and it was not until 1929 that the balance was restored, with over 5,000 olim and about one-third as many emigrants. This was a striking illustration of the close connection between conditions in Palestine and the rate of aliyah. For over a year the Zionist Executive had to pay out "doles" to the unemployed, and it was not until public works had been initiated by the government and some municipalities, and the Zionist Executive, with special funds raised in America and Britain, had started works of its own, that unemployment was reduced and the "dole" system abolished. Despite the setback, the Fourth Aliyah made an important contribution to the development of the yishuv, particularly in modern urbanization and the establishment of industry.
assistance in absorption
While the entire structure of the Jewish community in Palestine and the development of its economy was designed to facilitate the absorption of the immigrants into its cultural, social, and economic life, the Immigration Department of the Zionist Organization (later, of the *Jewish Agency) undertook special measures to help the immigrants find their way. Those who had nowhere to go on arrival were generally accommodated in hostels or transit camps. If their destination was a *Youth Aliyah center, a kibbutz, or a moshav, they usually stayed a few days for registration and medical examination; if they were going to the moshavot or the towns, they might stay longer. The Jewish Agency provided the immigrants with health services for an initial period through the Histadrut's *Kuppat Ḥolim or its own medical department. If in need of help, they were provided with bedding, clothing, and financial aid. The Jewish Agency built houses for the newcomers and subsidized various cooperative and private housing schemes. It set up small cooperative workshops for handicapped or elderly immigrants and contributed to the cost of the social welfare services of the *Va'ad Le'ummi and the municipalities. It also subsidized Hebrew classes for immigrants run by the Va'ad Le'ummi, the labor organizations, and the immigrants' associations. The latter played an important role in the integration of the newcomers by dealing with special cases, acting as liaison with the Jewish institutions, and supplying loans, housing grants, etc.
The vital importance of aliyah for the individuals concerned, as well as for the movement as a whole, gave rise to frequent controversies. The Revisionists and other parties complained of discrimination against their members in the allocation of immigration certificates by the Zionist Palestine Offices. Various groups and individuals resorted to a variety of methods to overcome the British restrictions on aliyah, which were regarded as violating intrinsic Jewish rights. Many entered as tourists and remained without permission when their legal period of stay was over. To enable penniless immigrants to enter as "capitalists," they were provided with fictitious deposits of £1,000; formal marriages were arranged to enable two to enter on one certificate; some succeeded in crossing the border surreptitiously from Lebanon, Syria, or via Transjordan. In 1934 the first attempt was made to send over an immigrant ship without the permission of the authorities. In Palestine, Jews, including some in the British government service, regarded it as a national duty to help these immigrants. It is estimated that some 50,000 arrived in such ways between 1920 and 1937. The British government made strenuous efforts to prevent this *"illegal" immigration and from time to time deducted the estimated number of "illegals" from the regular immigration quotas.
political struggle for aliyah
The establishment in August 1929 of the enlarged Jewish Agency (based on Article 4 of the Mandate, which called upon the Zionist Organization to take steps "to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish National Home") extended the responsibility for the Jewish enterprise in Palestine in principle to Jewry as a whole. A brilliant array of distinguished Jews from Europe and the Americas took part in its founding conference, at which a joint Executive was elected under the presidency of Chaim Weizmann. The expected expansion was held up, however, by the outbreak of Arab violence in the following month and the political struggle of the next two years. Aliyah was the major practical issue of this struggle and the touchstone of Britain's capacity to carry out the fundamental provisions of the Mandate. The Zionist Organization had accepted the principle that immigration should be regulated according to the economic absorptive capacity of Palestine, while conducting a continuous struggle with the administration over the interpretation and implementation of the principle. But when Lord Passfield, the British colonial secretary, imposed political restrictions on aliyah, as well as limitations of Jewish land purchases, in surrender to Arab violence, the Zionist Organization and the yishuv regarded this as a blow to the future of the Jewish National Home, and Weizmann resigned from the presidency of the Zionist Organization in protest. The struggle against the Passfield White Paper was ultimately crowned with success, however, and the MacDonald letter of February 1931, which effectively nullified the White Paper restrictions, reestablished the political conditions for further development and progress.
It was none too soon. Dark clouds were gathering over European Jewry. The worldwide economic crisis was having an increasing effect on the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe; antisemitism was spreading and sharpening; the star of Hitler was in the ascendant in Germany; and at the same time immigration restrictions in the countries not so severely affected were tightening. For millions of Jews in Eastern Europe, in the poignant words of Weizmann's address to the Peel Commission in 1936, the world was divided into "places where they cannot live" and "places which they cannot enter." The only place of refuge was Palestine, where a Jewish community of over 200,000 (in 1933) was ready to welcome them.
in the shadow of nazism
Between 1933, the year of Hitler's rise to power, and 1936, 164,000 olim arrived in Palestine; 24,000 of them were citizens of Germany, in addition to nationals of other countries and "stateless" individuals who had been living there. About a quarter of the immigrants arrived with "capitalist" immigration certificates and the £31,570,000 brought in during the period by private investors was about ten times as much as the total contributed by fund-raising organizations.
Almost a quarter of this sum came through a special arrangement between the Jewish Agency and the German authorities for the transfer (*Haavara) of German-Jewish capital. Under this agreement, emigrants from Germany obtained their first £1,000 in cash so that they could get their immigration certificates and deposited the rest of their assets with a clearinghouse in Berlin; the sterling equivalent was recovered after arrival from a second clearinghouse in Palestine, to which Jewish merchants made their payments for goods imported from Germany, while the German exporters were paid in Berlin. Moneys collected for the Jewish national funds and various other remittances to Palestine were also transferred through Haavara. The arrangement was fiercely criticized as a breach of the worldwide Jewish boycott of German goods, but it was strongly defended on the grounds that it was the only way to salvage the property of German Jews. The 19th Zionist Congress, which met at Lucerne in 1935 and which paid special attention to the plight of German Jewry, approved the agreement but ruled that it be placed under the control of the Executive.
In 1933 a new type of immigration, called *Youth Aliyah, was started to enable boys and girls to be looked after in educational institutions and villages in Palestine. The government issued special immigration certificates for them on the basis of guarantees given by the Jewish authorities. The work was largely financed by *Hadassah and organized by its leader, Henrietta *Szold. Up to the outbreak of the war, 5,000 young people were saved in this way (70% of them from Germany, 20% from Austria, and the rest from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Romania); another 15,000 were brought over to Britain and the Scandinavian countries.
The German and Austrian Jews made an important contribution to the progress of the yishuv. They constituted the first large-scale influx from Western and Central Europe, and their skills and experience raised business standards and improved urban amenities. A relatively high proportion of them practiced medicine or one of the other professions, and they provided a majority of the musicians who formed the new Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a considerable part of its audiences.
The flood tide of immigration was again halted, however, in 1936, when the Arab revolt began. One of its major demands was the stoppage of Jewish immigration, and the Peel Commission (see *Palestine Inquiry Commission), while proposing the partition of Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state, also recommended that the government should fix a "political high level" of 12,000 Jewish immigrants a year for the next five years, irrespective of the country's economic absorptive capacity. In August 1937, a new Immigration Ordinance was issued empowering the high commissioner "temporarily" to fix a maximum aggregate number of immigrants for any specified period, as well as the maximum number to be admitted in any category. For the eight-month period up to March 1938, not more than 8,000 Jews were to be allowed in. From March 31, 1939, the ordinance was given general validity, despite the increasing intensity and range of the persecution of the Jews in Europe. The Zionist movement bitterly protested against the imposition of the "political high level" and denounced it as a violation of one of the most fundamental provisions of the Mandate.
The sufferings inflicted on the German Jews by the Nazi regime attracted worldwide attention, and in 1938 President Roosevelt called an international conference at *Evian to seek homes for the refugees. The dismal failure of the conference, which was not allowed to consider Palestine, showed that no one was ready to welcome them but the yishuv. The Jewish Agency submitted to the conference a plan for the rapid and constructive absorption of 100,000 refugees in Palestine, but the Jewish National Home was not permitted to perform its most vitally important function at the very time when it was most desperately needed. Immigration had dropped from some 27,000 in 1936 to 9,400 in the following year, and, although it rose slightly to 11,200 in 1938 and 13,700 in 1939, it was far too little to save the Jews of Europe. The British *White Paper of 1939 went a long way to meeting Arab demands for the artificial limitation of Jewish immigration, which was regarded as the major instrument for establishing the Jewish National Home, and envisioned the stoppage of its future development by making further immigration at the end of the five years dependent on Arab consent. The yishuv, supported by Jews in the Diaspora and many non-Jewish sympathizers, denounced the White Paper as a betrayal of Britain's obligations under the Mandate. The organization of "illegal" immigration was intensified, and more and more refugee ships made their way to Palestine.
"Illegal" ships had been dispatched by He-Ḥalutz, bringing pioneering youth, and later by the Revisionists and some individuals, who brought out large numbers of Central and East European Jews, sometimes in collusion with their governments. It was known in the yishuv as "Aliyah Bet" ("b Aliyah"). At first this activity was frowned upon by the Jewish authorities, but in 1938, when British restrictions were maintained despite the growing and urgent needs, the underground Mosad le-Aliyah Bet ("Institute for Aliyah Bet"), headed by Shaul *Avigur, took the lead on behalf of the Haganah and the Jewish Agency. Between July 1934 and the outbreak of war in September 1939, 43 ships succeeded in disembarking over 15,000 refugee passengers on the shores of Palestine. The yishuv and the Zionist movement did not regard these Jews – most of whom were refugees from poverty, persecution, and, as the event showed, death – as "illegal immigrants"; for them the Mandatory government's attempts to stop them entering the Jewish National Home were illegal. They were referred to as ma'pilim ("trail-blazers" or "daring pioneers").
Of the Jews trapped in Europe by the outbreak of war in September 1939, only a few thousand managed to escape the impending catastrophe. It was desperately difficult to get ships, fuel, supplies, and crews willing to risk the voyage in wartime conditions. Legal immigration had declined to a trickle, and those who landed without getting permission in advance, which was seldom possible, were still treated as illegal immigrants. The British navy kept constant watch. Some of the refugee boats were fired on as they approached the coasts. Some were turned back: three of these sank, and only the human cargo of one of them (the Pancho in May 1940) was saved from drowning; the passengers on the others were interned in camps or deported to British colonies. The refugees were embarked at ports in the Balkan countries, and some of them landed at Constantinople, whence they made their way by land to Palestine. Twenty-one boats in all completed the voyage, carrying some 15,000 refugees, whose numbers were deducted from the official quotas. There was also some "illegal" immigration overland by Jews from Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon across the northern border.
In the summer of 1943, after the world had learned of the Nazi Holocaust, the British government instructed its embassy in Turkey to give entry permits to Palestine to Jews who succeeded in escaping from Nazi-occupied Europe. The emissaries of the Haganah, including those who were parachuted into enemy territory, did all they could to facilitate the flight of the refugees. From the beginning of 1944 they were assisted by the United States, which set up the War Refugee Board for the purpose. Altogether, some 61,000 persons entered Palestine, with or without immigration certificates, during the years 1940–45.
the postwar struggle
After the war, when the British maintained the White Paper policy despite the pressure of the survivors of the Holocaust in the *displaced persons' camps in Europe, aliyah became, even more than before, the major practical preoccupation of the Zionist movement. The urgent problem of the survivors, which could not be solved anywhere but in Palestine, aroused the movement and the yishuv to greater exertions and stiffened their determination to fight the British policy of continued restrictions. At the same time it was a striking demonstration to the world of the central importance of the Jewish National Home for the Jewish people and the inadequacy of the Mandate, as interpreted by the British government, to provide an answer. The arrival of the refugee boats and the treatment of their passengers by the British did more than anything else to arouse world sympathy for the Zionist cause. The demand for the admission of 100,000 Jews, supported by U.S. President Truman and later by the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine, was a major focus of the Zionist struggle. The visits paid by the un Special Committee on Palestine to the dp camps and the determination expressed by the survivors of the Holocaust to accept no solution but aliyah were major factors in persuading the members of the committee that the Mandatory regime must be ended and a Jewish state established. (As this phase of the struggle for aliyah was of such central importance in the history of the yishuv, it is described in greater detail in the Historical Survey.) Between August 1945 and May 1948, 65 refugee boats, all but one of which were brought by the Mosad, arrived, with almost 70,000 immigrants on board, bringing the total of Aliyah Bet since 1934 to over 100,000, of which some 80% had come in the Mosad's ships.
During the entire period of the Mandate, some 483,000 Jews had settled in Palestine – almost six times the size of the Jewish population at the beginning of the period. Almost 88% had come from Europe, where the Zionist movement was strong and the pressure of persecution was great, including 39.6% from Poland, 14.2% from Germany and Austria, 12.2% from the Soviet Union, Lithuania, and Latvia, and 4.1% from the Balkan countries. Less than 2% came from the Americas, and some 10.4% from Asia and Africa, which for some time had been outside the mainstream of the development of Zionism.
In the State of Israel
"ingathering of the exiles" begins
With the departure of the British and the assumption of sovereignty by the independent State of Israel, the nature of aliyah was radically transformed. The first of Israel's aims, as defined in the *Declaration of Independence, was: "The State of Israel shall be open to Jewish immigration and the ingathering of the exiles." The first act of the newly constituted Provisional Council of State was the abolition of all previous restrictions on Jewish immigration: the only limitations henceforward were to be the readiness of Jews to come, their freedom to leave, and the facilities for transporting them; absorptive capacity was taken for granted. The way was open for the realization of the prophetic dream of the *ingathering of the exiles, i.e., the return to the homeland of all Jews who were willing and able to come and the transfer of complete Jewish communities within a short space of time. This national purpose was given legislative expression in the *Law of Return 1950, which granted every Jew the automatic right to become an oleh, i.e., to settle permanently in Israel, and the Citizenship Law, 1952, which enabled every oleh to become a citizen as soon as he set foot on Israel soil. At an early stage, it was decided that immigration and absorption should be the joint tasks of the State of Israel and Jewry in the Diaspora. The World Zionist Organization, represented by the Jewish Agency, was therefore charged to encourage and organize immigration and assist in the absorption of the immigrants in close cooperation and coordination with the Government of Israel. The terms of these responsibilities and functions were set down in the World Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency Status Law, 1952, which recognized the Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency as representing Diaspora Jews in all matters concerning immigration and absorption. In 1954 a Covenant was signed by the government and the Agency, further defining the latter's functions and methods of coordinating their activities.
Between May 15, 1948, and the end of 1970, over 1,300,000 Jews – twice as many as the Jewish population at the end of the Mandate – settled in Israel. (See tables: Immigration to Israel, 1948–1970; Immigration to Israel, 1971–2004; Immigrants and Potential Immigrants to Israel by Period of Immigration and Country of Birth, 1919–2004.) They started coming as soon as the State was established. First to arrive were the 25,000 "illegal" immigrants detained by the British in Cyprus: within a few short weeks, they were all brought over. During May–August 1948, while the War of Liberation was raging, 33,000 immigrants came in; then the pace quickened and 70,000 arrived during September–December, mostly survivors of the Holocaust from the displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In the next four months, January–April 1949, the number of immigrants reached 100,000. In all, 203,000 Jews from 42 countries arrived in the first year of independence. This mass immigration continued until the end of 1951. During this period entire Jewish communities were transplanted to Israel, producing drastic changes in the map of Diaspora Jewry. More than 37,000 of Bulgaria's 45,000 Jews came; 30,500 of Libya's 35,000; all but about 1,000 of the 45,000 in Yemen; 121,512 of the 130,000 in Iraq; two-thirds (103,732) of Polish Jewry; and one-third (118,940) of the Jews in Romania. The dp camps in Europe could be closed because their inmates had gone to Israel. This mass immigration was marked by unexpected and dramatic events, when the Jewish Agency had to improvise the movement of tens of thousands of people within a very short time and in adverse conditions. These migrations were organized as special operations, planned and executed by special emissaries. The most dramatic were Operation Magic Carpet, for the Yemenite Jews, and Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, which brought over Iraqi Jewry.
Thousands of Yemenite Jews, gripped by messianic enthusiasm, had been making their way south on foot, carrying their scanty belongings, to the British colony of Aden. On the establishment of independence, Jewish Agency representatives started negotiations with the imam of Yemen, the local sultans and sheikhs, and the British authorities, and in May 1949 agreement was reached. Although the Jews of Yemen were not forced to leave, almost the entire community made the long and arduous trek to Aden, whence they were brought to Israel in an intensive large-scale airlift. About 47,000 were thus transported "on eagles' wings" (Ex. 19:4) and by the end of 1950, when the operation was concluded, only a few hundred remained.
In March 1950, the Iraqi government suddenly enacted a "Special Law Authorizing the Emigration of Jews" providing they renounced their citizenship in writing. Those above the age of 20 were permitted to take out a sum equal to some $16 each; young people up to 20 and children up to 12 could take only $10 and $6 respectively. Many Jews had to sell their property in haste for pitiful sums not in any proportion to its real value, but they could not take out the proceeds. The Jewish Agency immediately made emergency arrangements to move the Iraqi Jews to Israel. They were flown to Cyprus and then brought to Israel by air or sea, the whole operation being completed within 18 months.
All in all, 684,201 immigrants – more than the entire Jewish population the day independence was proclaimed – came between May 15, 1948, and the end of 1951. (See Table: Mass Immigration to Israel, May 1948–December 1951.)
absorbing the first wave
Aliyah was the lifeblood of the new state, but it was only the beginning of the process of integrating veterans and newcomers from a hundred countries into one nation. The second stage was kelitah ("absorption"), a word that denoted a multitude of tasks: collecting the immigrants at the port or airfield; providing them with food and lodging; building temporary and permanent housing; finding employment; expanding health services; organizing education. Complete absorption was a task that affected all areas of the country's life and demanded massive financial participation by Diaspora Jewry through the Jewish Agency. In one year the Agency's staff had to transport 200,000 immigrants from the point of arrival to their new homes. In the first place, most of them were taken to Sha'ar ha-Aliyah ("Gateway of Aliyah"), near Haifa, a converted British army camp, where they were registered, medically examined, inoculated and vaccinated, classified, and sent on to their destinations. An average of 1,000 a day passed through Sha'ar ha-Aliyah at peak.
At first large numbers were accommodated in dwellings abandoned by the Arabs who had fled during the War of Independence.
|Soviet Union (Lithuania, Latvia)||4,698|
|Other European Countries||147|
|Other Asian Countries||3,700|
|Other African Countries||108|
|Other Latin American Countries||870|
A national housing corporation, *Amidar, was set up in 1949, and by the end of 1951 28,000 homes had been built (see *Israel, State of: Housing). At the same time prefabricated huts were imported from Sweden. Some went to villages of various types and a number were received by relatives, who helped them to find housing and employment. All these expedients, however, were not sufficient to accommodate the influx and many of them had to be sent to camps – some converted from British army quarters – where they were fed and looked after until homes and work could be found for them. Those who needed to know Hebrew to work in their professions were sent to *ulpanim, special language courses using intensive modern methods, the first of which was set up in 1949.
More than two-thirds of the 393,197 immigrants who arrived during two critical years, from May 1948 to May 1950, were settled in towns and villages: 123,669 were accommodated in houses abandoned by Arabs and 53,000 in permanent housing in towns and villages; 36,497 were helped by relatives to find homes and work; 35,700 settled in newly established moshavim and 16,000 in kibbutzim; and 6,000 children were placed in Youth Aliyah institutions (see section on Youth Aliyah, below). Less than one-third – 112,015 persons – remained in immigrant camps and temporary housing, while no information was available with regard to 9,596.
As the pressure of immigration increased, the camps were filled to capacity. The overcrowding and enforced idleness, without work for the adults or decent conditions for their families, were demoralizing and it became urgently necessary to find better methods of dealing with those for whom permanent housing was not yet available. The immediate solution, devised in 1950, was the *ma'barah, the transitional camp or quarter, in which the newcomers were provided with work and made responsible for looking after themselves. Some of the large camps were closed down; others were converted
|Country||Main period of Aliyah||Number of Immigrants to Israel||Jewish Population in 1945|
|* Iraq served as an assembly center for immigrants from other places. The high emigration figures do not indicate that all the Jews left Iraq in this period.|
into ma'barot by closing the communal dining hall and providing each family with facilities for buying and cooking its own meals. In addition, ma'barot were specially built near the towns or in other places where work was available in the neighborhood. At first some of them consisted of tents, but these were soon replaced by canvas-walled huts or tin shacks. In each ma'bara there were wooden huts for the labor exchange, clinic, school, and kindergarten. The construction of a large ma'barah took not more than a few weeks and thus thousands of immigrants were given temporary shelter within a short period. By May 1952 there were 113 ma'barot with a population of 250,000.
|Year||Number||Percent born in Europe, America, or Oceania|
|1 Including tourists settling.|
For those who could not as yet find employment, special relief-work projects were organized in afforestation, clearing and reclamation of land, weed-removing and other agricultural work, and road construction. Many such schemes were carried out by the *Jewish National Fund, which specialized in afforestation and land reclamation, the government, road making, etc., and private employers, who were subsidized to encourage them to "make work." Although the projects were often artificial from the purely economic point of view, they provided the unskilled with opportunities to earn an income and accustomed them to manual labor. In each ma'bara there were social workers to handle the individual problems of the immigrants: from the repair of leaking huts and contact with the labor exchange to the running of the local kindergarten and school, the provision of facilities for learning Hebrew, maintenance of sanitary conditions, and full medical and social welfare services. Ninety clinics were established in the ma'barot, employing more than 100 doctors and 300 nurses.
Meanwhile, there had been an enormous advance in the establishment of new villages: kibbutzim, mainly manned by young people who had been denied the opportunity to settle on their own because of the White Paper restrictions and the shortage of land, and moshavim, the form favored by the great majority of the newcomers. In 4½ years, up to the end of 1953, 345 new villages – 251 moshavim and 96 kibbutzim – with a population of over 20,000 families, were founded – more than in the preceding 70 years. The new settlers cultivated 1,048,000 dunams (262,000 acres) of land, of which 130,000 dunams were irrigated and 53,000 were planted with orchards and vineyards. Their livestock consisted of 660,000 poultry, 22,000 sheep, and 21,000 head of cattle, including 8,000 milch cows. With the aid of Jewish Agency instructors in each village, the apprentice farmers were rapidly increasing their skills, expanding production, and beginning to make a significant contribution to the replacement of imports by home-grown food (see also section on Settlement, below).
|Total||Europe, America, Oceania||Asia, Africa|
|Age distribution (percent)|
|65 and over||4.5||6.0||3.2|
|Average Number of Persons per Family Unit, 1952–1967||2.9||2.3||3.7|
|Occupational distribution of earners, 1965–1967 (percent)|
|Industrial, building, transport, and services||54.5||50.3||59.8|
|Managerial, administrative, and clerical||15.4||17.7||12.5|
|Professional and technical||15.1||21.8||6.7|
lull in immigration
Following the peak, a regression set in: in the years 1952–54 the total number of immigrants was only 51,463. The main reason was the economic recession, which compelled the government to impose a strict austerity regime and reduced the standard of living of the greater part of the population. There was mass unemployment and housing conditions for the immigrants were woefully inadequate. In addition, there was a significant increase in emigration: veteran Israelis and new immigrants were tempted to emigrate to affluent countries, and at times the number who left was higher than the total of those who came in. The lull was used to overhaul the machinery and methods of immigration and absorption. Instead of sending the new arrivals to ma'barot or camps, they were taken directly from the ships to homes ready for them and in a few days they were able to go out to work. A start was made with the establishment of new "development" towns, some with the ma'barot in the Negev and Galilee as nuclei. Thus *Yeroḥam was originally a ma'bara; the Bet She'arim ma'barah became the town of *Migdal ha-Emek; and the one at Ḥalsa became *Kiryat Shemonah. Other towns were established from the start on a permanent basis, e.g., *Dimonah, *Kiryat Gat, and *Beth-Shemesh, while existing towns, like *Afulah and *Safed, were given "development" status.
new methods of absorption
In 1955 mass immigration was renewed and from 1955 to the end of 1957 most of the immigrants came from Morocco, Tunisia, and Poland. During these years immigration totaled 162,308, as against 51,463 during the slack period of 1952–54. Immigration from Morocco was stimulated by the surge of nationalism which swept that country in 1954 and was further intensified after it achieved independence in March 1956: during these three years 70,053 Moroccan Jews arrived. Following a similar surge of nationalism and the achievement of independence by Tunisia in 1956, 15,267 Jews came from that country during the same period. The political situation in Poland, and particularly the influx of Polish Jews and their families expatriated from the U.S.S.R., also led to a considerable rise in Jewish emigration: 34,426 in the years 1955–57. Following the Hungarian revolution in 1956, thousands of Jews succeeded in fleeing to Austria, whence the Jewish Agency brought over 8,682, and after the Sinai Campaign in the same year 14,562 Egyptian Jews reached Israel.
The absorption of immigrants during this period was facilitated by the country's economic recovery. There was a considerable growth in industry and agriculture and new development projects increased absorptive capacity. The ship-to-settlement method was put into general use; immigrants founded villages and towns in the regional settlement areas, like the *Lachish area, in the south, with its central town of Kiryat Gat, and the *Taanach area, in the Jezreel Valley, where *Afulah was the urban center.
From 1958 to 1960 immigration slowed down again: the total during this period was 72,781. The largest group came from Romania (27,697) and the total from Eastern Europe was 41,702. During these years there was an increase in the number of professional men among the immigrants: doctors, engineers, economists, and teachers – a trend which had started in 1956. In order to cope with immigrants of this type, the Jewish Agency set up a network of hostels where they could stay with their families in small flats for periods of up to six months, while learning Hebrew and looking for suitable work and housing.
The ulpanim, run jointly with the Ministry of Education and Culture, which was responsible for the teaching, were expanded. Besides the resident ulpanim, which had boarding facilities, there were non-resident ulpanim in the cities, which also catered to part-time students and provided evening classes. Ulpanim were also held in the kibbutzim, where the immigrants put in half a day's work and studied half a day. These schools were described in a unesco report as an "excellent institution for adult education." In addition, hundreds of Hebrew courses were run by municipal authorities and voluntary organizations.
After the 1958–60 lull, immigration swelled again from 1961 to 1964, when a total of 215,056 immigrants arrived. There was great disappointment, however, in 1961 and 1962, when most of the 130,000 Algerian Jews who were French citizens, rooted in French civilization, and wished to benefit from the generous assistance given by the French government, opted against aliyah when Algeria achieved independence. The great majority settled in France; only 7,700 came to Israel.
During this period the liquidation of the ma'barot was speeded up, as more permanent housing schemes were started in all parts of the country. By the end of 1964 only 2,350 families and 980 single persons remained in them; ultimately, only a few who refused to be transferred to permanent homes were left.
Youth Aliyah was an important factor in the absorption of the immigrants. It looked after their children in special educational institutions and in kibbutzim, as well as organizing the immigration of children in advance of their parents. Its aims were: to rescue boys and girls from countries where their physical welfare or cultural identity as Jews was threatened; to help them to adjust to their new home by overcoming physical, emotional, and social handicaps; to raise their cultural standards, and develop their intellectual potentialities. Youth Aliyah provided its wards, in addition to a complete education, with clothing, social and medical services, vocational training; guidance in free-time recreation; psychological guidance and care; religious teaching for children of religious families; and recreation camps. Its educational program was based on the ḥevrat no'ar ("youth group") and included study and work on the land in a youth community, guided by madrikhim ("youth instructors") and teachers. Special day centers were set up in several new development towns, where adolescents were given vocational training as well as general education. Youth Aliyah graduates also benefited from scholarships for higher education and professional training. The newcomers from Yemen and Iraq, from Persia and Tunisia, differed from their predecessors, and Youth Aliyah had to learn by trial and error how to cope with the new problems. In the course of time, it had to turn its attention to new-immigrant families with poor home conditions which were not conducive to the educational development of the children. Besides, Israel itself was changing: it was becoming more industrialized, and greater technical skill, instead of being the prerogative of the few, was now a necessary part of the equipment of any wage earner, so Youth Aliyah had to adapt its educational program to these changing needs. Since the 1960s some 12,500 children have been under Youth Aliyah's care every year: about 3,000 in kibbutzim; 6,000 in children's and youth villages; 500 in special rehabilitation institutions; and about 3,000 attending day centers in the towns. From its inception in 1934, after the rise of the Nazis in Germany until the end of 1969, Youth Aliyah brought up over 120,000 children and young people. One out of every 20 Jewish citizens of Israel has received his education in Youth Aliyah. As of September 1996, Youth Aliyah became a division of the Israel Ministry of Education.
educational and youth work
The Zionist Organization's educational work among youth and adults in the Diaspora was of considerable long-term importance for aliyah, especially from Western Europe and the Americas. The Youth and He-Ḥalutz (Pioneering) Department maintained contact with Zionist and, later, other Jewish movements in the Diaspora (as well as the pioneering youth movements in Israel), providing them with emissaries, guidance, educational material, training facilities, and financial support. Its Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem, established in 1946, offered a year of study and work, including five months' study of Hebrew language and literature, Judaism, geography of Israel, the history of Zionism and of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel, and youth leadership methods, and five months' work and continued study at kibbutzim. In addition, thousands of young people attended the department's annual six- to eight-week Summer and Winter Institutes in Israel. Two departments were set up for education and culture in the Diaspora, one general and one for Torah education and culture. They organized short seminars for teachers in Israel and abroad and set up two permanent centers in Jerusalem for the training of Diaspora teachers: the Ḥayim Greenberg Institute in 1955 and the Rabbi Ze'ev Gold Institute, for religious teachers, in 1957. These and other schemes helped to foster closer links between Israel and the Diaspora, disseminate knowledge of Judaism, strengthen commitment to Israel and the Jewish people, and stimulate the desire for aliyah. Up to 1967 over 30,000 persons spent some time in Israel under one of these schemes, and it is estimated that at least one-third of the participants returned eventually as olim.
The overwhelming majority of the immigrants in the mass-immigration period came from what have been called "lands of stress," who were motivated not only by the positive pull of the free, sovereign Jewish State, but also by the push of various negative factors. Such were the survivors of the Holocaust who wished to have nothing more to do with Europe, the Jews in certain countries where the defeat of Nazism had failed to stamp out traditional, endemic antisemitism, and the Jews in the Arab and Muslim countries. By the early 1970s, in addition to the 3,000,000–4,000,000 Jews of Soviet Russia, from which there had never been more than a small trickle of Jewish immigration for family reunion, only about a quarter of a million Jews remained in the "lands of stress."
From 1965 to 1967 there was a decline in the rate of immigration: in 1965 the total fell to 33,098; in 1966 there were only 18,510, and in 1967, 18,065. Many came from *Latin America at that period. A number of these people found it hard to settle, in view of the economic recession and other causes, and went back. The Jewish Agency devoted much thought and resources to the requirements of "free" immigration – that is, the immigration of Jews who are free to leave, if they wish, and settle in Israel out of positive motives. The small numbers who came from the "lands of stress" during this period also required, and received, individual treatment.
|Year||Immigrants1||Tourists Settling2||Temporary Residents3||Returning Residents 4||Total|
|Source: Statistical Abstract of Israel, Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel* Empty spaces denote absence of information.|
|1 Until 1956 Jews only.|
|2 Until 1965 Jews only.|
|3 Figures for temporary residents arriving before 1963 are not available.|
|4 In the years 1967–1970 returning residents were given some immigrants' privileges.|
|5 For 1970, tourists settling were counted in the figures for immigrants.|
|May 15–Dec. 31, 1948||101,819||9||101,828|
A first step in this direction was taken in 1965, when the Agency started setting up hostels – actually small-scale hotels – where newcomers could stay for six months, or even a year, while they studied Hebrew at special ulpanim, looked for jobs, decided where they wanted to live, explored possibilities, and became familiar with the conditions of life. Now more of these hostels were set up and the existing ones improved and enlarged. Then the concept was broadened and "absorption centers" were established, each containing all the services and facilities – residential, social, and cultural – that the new immigrants required until they could move into permanent housing. Special personnel helped them to adjust to the new environment, choose schools, and find employment and housing.
To encourage immigration from the free countries it was necessary not only to "process" immigration, but also to further the idea of aliyah and encourage prospective immigrants by facilitating their absorption. This kind of immigration was marked by its individualistic character. Each immigrant was moved to aliyah by his own reasons and each had his specific potentialities and needs. In addition to his positive inner motivations, he also had to know that he could find in Israel a job in keeping with his training and experience, housing that reasonably approximated what he was used to, and suitable schooling for his children. Immigrants of this type were easily discouraged by bureaucratic inefficiency and the need to make the rounds of Agency and government offices. Those who gave up the struggle and went back deterred others from making the attempt. Most newcomers from the West came in the first place as "temporary residents," changing their status to that of immigrants only when they were assured of successful integration. The government and the Jewish Agency, therefore, had to make special efforts to provide suitable facilities and minimize the "run-around" to which the immigrants objected. Various schemes were initiated by groups of immigrants who set up housing estates in Israel with the Agency's assistance. Some of these were organized by ḥasidic rabbis who lived in the United States and wished to transplant their communities to Israel. The first, Kiryat Tsanz, near Netanyah, was the blueprint for similar projects in other parts of the country (see also *Israel, State of: Religious Life.).
immigration after the six-day war and during the 1970s
A significant breakthrough in immigration from the West came after the Six-Day War in 1967. The unprecedented rallying of material and moral support for Israel during the crisis embraced many Jews in the Diaspora who had long since renounced any interest in and concern for things Jewish. It had a particularly cathartic effect on Jewish youth, and over five thousand volunteers went to Israel during May–June 1967 to help in any way they could. By the beginning of 1968, the total number of volunteers from abroad was 7,500, of whom 4,500 went for short periods of up to four months and the rest for six months to a year. They hailed from 40 countries, mainly from Britain (1,900), Latin America (1,500), South Africa (850), France (800), the United States (750), Canada (300), and Australia and New Zealand (275).
More than 4,700 worked in kibbutzim; 450 in moshavim; 1,200 as civilian auxiliaries attached to the Israel Defense Forces; more than 200 in the reconstruction of the University and Hadassah Hospital buildings on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, and 150 in archaeological excavations; others worked in their own professions, including 225 doctors and nurses, and 100 teachers, youth-group leaders, and social workers, or in land reclamation. The majority received instruction in Hebrew.
About 1,800 remained – as students, or working in their professions or in kibbutzim with a view to permanent settlement. From 1968 volunteers came at a steady annual rate of about 1,800 under various schemes. The largest was Sherut la-Am ("Service to the People") – a year's voluntary service in kibbutzim and development areas. It was estimated that about a third of the volunteers remained in Israel after their year's service, while many of the others eventually returned as immigrants.
There was also a considerable overall increase in aliyah from western countries. On July 10, 1967, the Israel government and the executive of the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency issued a "Call to Aliyah" appealing to the Jewish people the world over to come to Israel and build the land. During the second half of 1967 there was a visible rise in the rate of immigration; in 1968 the total increased to over 30,000 and in each of the years 1969 and 1970 to over 40,000. To cope with the new mood and the new absorption requirements it was necessary to introduce radical changes in the immigration machinery. Thus, in 1967, the three Agency departments involved – Immigration, Absorption, and Economic – were merged into one and a joint Government-Agency Authority on Immigration and Absorption was set up to centralize planning and execution of policy. The Authority worked out various proposals, later passed into law, for special facilities for new immigrants in the spheres of customs, taxation, housing, school and university tuition fees, etc. New absorption centers, hostels, and kibbutz ulpanim were set up all over the country. At the beginning of 1970 there were 14 absorption centers, with a capacity of 4,000 beds; 13 hostels, with 2,500 beds; 6 students' hostels, with 1,700; and 64 kibbutz ulpanim with 2,250. Since these facilities were intended for half-yearly periods, their annual capacity was double these figures.
In June 1968 the 27th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem decided to found the Aliyah Movement, organized in local circles or countrywide movements in the Diaspora. Each member committed himself to settle in Israel within three years of joining, but many came within a short period and the membership was in constant flux, members leaving for aliyah and others taking their places. In May 1970 there were 125 aliyah circles in 22 countries with a total membership of over 15,000, the largest being in the United States (4,000), France (4,000), Argentina (1,400), South Africa (1,000), Britain (900), and Brazil (900).
With the rapid increase in immigration from the West, absorption became an issue that more directly involved several government agencies, in housing, employment, and other services. It was therefore decided in 1968 to set up a Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. It was agreed that, in the main, the Agency should handle immigration while the Ministry would deal with absorption, but the Agency also continued to be directly responsible for the absorption of needy immigrants and refugees, and operated the hostels, absorption centers, and ulpanim. The work was coordinated by the Authority, whose joint chairmen were the minister of immigrant absorption and the chairman of the Agency Executive, with a coordinating committee meeting once a week. One of the objects of the new arrangements was to cut down on the bureaucratic procedures of absorption which had often come under criticism, especially by newcomers from the West.
Facilities and concessions available to immigrants in 1970 included: interest-free loans to cover passage and part of shipping costs; exemption from customs and purchase tax on personal and household effects and factory or farm equipment; exemption from purchase tax and reduction in customs on automobiles; exemption from registration fees and part of property tax on purchasing house or business premises; preferential treatment in obtaining employment; partial exemption from income tax and capital gains tax; the right to hold foreign currency for ten years and to redeem State of Israel bonds; accommodation in absorption centers, hostels, and ulpanim; housing on easy terms or assistance in purchase or renting of housing; loans for establishment of businesses; free health assistance through a sick fund for six months; various concessions in national insurance benefits; free secondary schooling and university education; and exemption from travel tax. Most of the concessions were available for three years from the date of immigration and also applied to temporary residents.
The government and the Agency established a Student Authority to assist the greatly increased number of students – many of them originally volunteers – who wanted to study in Israel after the Six-Day War. During the academic year 1969–70 there were 7,000 students and 1,500 yeshivah students from abroad in Israel. Over 5,000 of them, who came as immigrants or intended to settle, received assistance and services from the authority: guidance, grants, Hebrew study in ulpanim, and support for special preparatory courses. It also helped the universities build additional dormitories and lecture rooms.
From 1971 to 1973 there was an increase in aliyah compared with the previous years, the number being 42,000 in 1971; 56,000 in 1972; and 55,000 in 1973. As a result of the Yom Kippur War, however, there came a considerable drop and the figures for 1975–76–77 were: 20,281, 19,745, and 21,420, respectively. Of the 56,000 in 1972, 13,000 were from the Soviet Union.
From the U.S.S.R. The Six-Day War was also followed by the intensification of Jewish consciousness and devotion to Israel among Soviet Jews – partly, it seems, as a reaction against official support for Arab hostility to Israel and partly due to renewed pride in Israel's achievements. In previous years a few Jews had been allowed to leave the U.S.S.R. to join relatives in Israel, but the Knesset, the government of Israel, and representative Jewish institutions everywhere had always demanded that all Jews who wished to leave the Soviet Union and settle in Israel be permitted to do so.
In 1969 and 1970 there was a new development: scores of Soviet Jews publicly declared, in letters to the Israel government and international organs signed with full names and addresses, that they regarded Israel as their historic home-land and demanded recognition of the right to aliyah, invoking the Declaration on Human Rights which explicitly guarantees the right of every man to leave any country, including his own. Those who were allowed to leave – often after years of effort – reported that there was a widespread awakening among the younger generation, many of whom were studying Hebrew and hoping to come to Israel. Toward the end of 1970 the severe sentences imposed, after a trial in Leningrad, on a number of Jews accused of planning to hijack a Soviet plane aroused intense indignation among Jews everywhere and widespread support for the Soviet Jews' right to settle in Israel. In 1970 almost 1,000 Jews were permitted to leave the U.S.S.R. for Israel; in 1971 the pace of aliyah increased, despite the obstacles raised by the authorities and the holding of further trials of Jews who wanted to go to Israel.
There was a melancholy last act to the tragedy of Polish Jewry. After the Six-Day War the Polish government unleashed an antisemitic campaign against the small Jewish community that still remained, but allowed them to leave. Of the 20,000 Jews who lived in Poland, about 11,500 left by May 1970, but only 3,500 of them went to Israel.
[Zvi Zinger (Yaron)]
|Country||Period of Immigration|
|1919-Nov. 14 1948||Nov. 15 1948-1951||1952-1960||1961-1964||1965-1971||1972-1979||1980-1989||1990-2001||2003||2004|
|Source: Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1995, Jerusalem.|
|Hyphens indicate unavailability of information.|
|* Includes Sudan.|
|1 Since the establishment of the State of Israel (5.15.48), includes tourists who changed their status to immigrants; as from June 1969, includes tourists who changed their status to immigrants or potential immigrants. As of 1970 excludes immigrating citizens.|
|2 Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark.|
|3 Including South Yemen and the former state of Aden.|
|4 Including Tunisia.|
|5 Included in figure for Algeria.|
|6 Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama.|
|America and Oceania||7,189||3,317||12,523||9,925||30,299||43,099||37,818||39,682||4,083||3,035|
|Unregistered Central America6||-||17||43||18||111||104||8||824||83||70|
The aliyah from the U.S.S.R. in 1972 was the beginning of the massive immigration of Jews from the U.S.S.R. Although Russia continued to be a primary source for aliyah, there were worrying factors which began with the Yom Kippur War and have since worsened. The percentage of dropouts continued to rise and reached 50.4% in 1977 compared with 49.5% in 1976, 36% in 1975, and 19% in 1974, and continued to increase. In addition, there was also a rise in the emigration of Russian olim from Israel in 1976 as compared to previous years, and it reached 10% for the immigrants of 1973, though it must be added that 1973 was the peak year of Russian aliyah – 33,477.
Immigrants from the U.S.S.R. can be divided into three categories:
1) European Ashkenazi Jews who had been Soviet citizens since the October Revolution of 1917. These Jews involuntarily underwent a forced, intensive process of assimilation. Their culture was Russian and their attachment to Judaism weak. The national reawakening among Russian Jewry in the wake of the Six-Day War, which is gauged primarily by their desire to settle in Israel, affected only limited circles, mostly among the social elite, while the masses were not attracted.
2) Ashkenazi Jews from regions annexed to the U.S.S.R. during World War ii: the Baltic States, Belorussia and Western Ukraine (previously East Poland), Transcarpathia (originally part of Czechoslovakia), and Northern Bukovina and Moldavia (which belonged to Romania). Before the annexation of these areas to the U.S.S.R., and the sufferings of their Jewish communities during the Holocaust, they were the very heart of Eastern European Jewry, and Jewish life flourished there. The survivors of the Holocaust who returned there after the war, in contrast to the veteran Soviet Jews who also came to these regions, continued to lead a full and dedicated Jewish life with no tendency to assimilate.
The same is generally the case with their children brought up under the Soviet regime who, in spite of having had no formal Jewish education, absorbed their Jewishness from the warmth of their parents' home. It is natural that the national reawakening attracted these Jews in large numbers and that they were, in fact, the pioneers of the struggle for the right to settle in Israel after the Six-Day War.
3) Non-Ashkenazi Jews living in the southern republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The three communities in this category are: the Georgian Jews, the Bukharan Jews, and the Mountain Jews, the Tats, of the Caucasus.
The members of these communities, although Soviet citizens ever since the victory of the Bolshevik revolution, have remained faithful to Judaism both religiously and nationally. They speak their own national dialects and have not assimilated culturally or linguistically. They meticulously observe some of the practical commandments, especially in the sphere of family life, such as circumcision, religious weddings (in addition to civil marriages according to the law of the land), and Jewish festivals, especially the Day of Atonement.
The 1970 U.S.S.R. population census showed that 90% of Russian Jewry belong to the first group (Ashkenazim who are long-standing Russian citizens), while the remaining 10% is divided equally between the two other groups.
Whereas, however, in the years 1971 and 1972 the Georgian Jews comprised more than one third of all the immigrants, and in 1972 they constituted 34% of all immigrants, there has been both an absolute and relative reduction in the years following, and in 1977 they were only 5% of all the Russian olim, the total of which was only about a quarter of the 1973 figure – the peak year.
The number of Bukharan olim declined from 3,750 in 1973 to only 380 in 1976, but rose to 760 in 1977. The aliyah of Mountain Jews from Dagestan and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus began in significant numbers only in 1974, when 1,570 emigrated to Israel, reaching its peak in 1975 with 2,270 olim, constituting 27% of all Russian olim in that year, but in 1976–77 this aliyah also decreased.
Since the scope of aliyah from the European sectors of Russia, according to its pre-World War ii borders, was stable throughout the whole period under discussion, it is reasonable to assume that this stability reflects the Soviet policy of a fixed yearly quota in relation to aliyah from these areas, and the reduction of aliyah during 1975–77 by about a quarter each year, as compared to the peak year 1973, is the result of a drastic decrease in the aliyah of the non-Ashkenazic communities in these years. Since the Russian authorities adopted a relatively liberal attitude to this aliyah, it would seem that the main reason for the reduction is to be found with these Jews themselves, due probably to the defamation of Israel's image by Soviet propaganda, and the absorption problems of relatives and friends in Israel, as described in their letters.
It may be said that the absorption of immigrants from the Soviet Union is one of the most difficult and painful processes experienced by any group of new arrivals and that most of the problems have been psychological for both the authorities and the newcomers. It was fortunate that the years of large-scale immigration (1971–74) were a time of comparative affluence and economic prosperity, when there was a large demand for manpower, and the State had sizable resources to finance absorption. The national awakening and the heroic struggle of Soviet Jewry evoked widespread admiration and profound sympathy in Israel. Nevertheless serious misunderstandings arose between the community and the newcomers. It became evident that the favorable conditions were insufficient to bridge the deep gap between the unrealistic expectations of both sides and did not prevent deep disappointment and hostility between both the absorbing and the absorbed.
In spite of all these difficulties, the absorption and integration of Soviet immigrants into the Israel economy, community, and way of life progressed. Their identification with Israel, its problems, and its struggles was increasing. Gradually they were beginning to feel that they belonged, and their children, growing up in Israel, bridge the gap and assuage misunderstandings.
|Ethnic group||Number||Percentage||Relative percentage within Sov. Jewish pop.|
Although (according to the Russian population census of Jan. 1979) non-Ashkenazi Jews – Georgian, Bukharan, and Mountain Jews – constitute only 6.5% of Russian Jewry, they continue to comprise, as during the whole decade, a third of all Russian immigrants. Moreover, the proportion of dropouts among them was minimal.
The issue of the drop-outs and the methods for dealing with it became a disputed issue between the government of Israel and the Zionist Executive on the one hand, and the Jewish organizations – hias, jdc, United Jewish Federations, and the welfare funds in the United States – on the other. The disagreement focused on two main issues:
(1) recognition of the drop-outs as political refugees who were therefore eligible to emigrate to countries willing to absorb them, especially the United States;
(2) the generous material assistance given to them to ease their absorption in those countries.
The former wished to nullify the recognition of the dropouts as refugees on the grounds that an emigrant with an entry permit to Israel who refuses to proceed there is not to be considered as a homeless refugee seeking a haven. They also maintained that the generous assistance given at that time to the drop-outs was an irresistible attraction and constituted unfair competition to the conditions of absorption in Israel.
Those who supported the drop-outs maintained that they are honoring the right of the Jewish emigrant to choose his country of destination. They also claimed that the aid afforded was reasonable and modest, especially since it was covered by the government of the United States to a large extent. They argued that if they would stop dealing with the drop-outs and aiding them, other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations would take their place and alienate the drop-outs even further from Israel and the Jewish people.
From May 1980 on there was a drastic decline in the number of Jews allowed to leave Russia. The exit from Ukrainian cities such as Kiev, Odessa, and Kharkov, among whom the percentage of drop-outs was close to 100% in 1979, was especially restricted. In the first half of 1980 only 570 Jews were allowed to leave Kiev compared with 3,893 in the first half of 1979 (a decrease of 85.3%); from Odessa 441 as against 4,736 (a decrease of 90.6%); from Kharkov, 52 as against 550 (a decrease of 90.5%), respectively. This decline reinforced the arguments of the Zionist representatives who claimed that the drop-outs harm the chances for the exit of other Russian Jews, since the Russians granted exit permits only when they were accompanied by requests from relatives in Israel for entrance permits to it. In the early 1980s the Russians also rejected applications for emigration if the party was not a member of the immediate family.
As a result, a partial agreement was reached between the Zionist groups and hias and the jdc that assistance and support be given only to drop-outs joining close relatives, but it was rejected by the United Jewish Federations, the welfare funds, and the leaders of the large Jewish communities of the U.S.A. and at the time of writing no acceptable agreement had been reached.
Moreover the "internal" conflict between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency which had gone on since 1976, as to who should be responsible to deal with aliyah and absorption remained unsettled. The Jewish Agency insisted on the complete application of the recommendations of the Ḥorev Commission (see below) according to which one single authority for aliyah and absorption was to come into being, consisting of representatives of the government and the Jewish Agency, in place of the hitherto separate functioning by the Ministry of Absorption and the Department for Aliyah and Absorption of the Jewish Agency. The government suggested in its stead the establishment of one supervisory authority headed by the minister of absorption, which would establish policy, coordinate, and supervise the two existing authorities, which would however continue to exist separately with parallel activities but with a clear division of function and areas of authority.
In the absence of an agreement, the Jewish Agency announced that it would not participate in the budget of the Ministry for Absorption as of January 1981.
Other countries. The figures for aliyah from other countries are given in tables on Immigration to Israel.
The political situation in South Africa and Argentina resulted in an exodus of Jews from those countries; only a minority of those leaving came to Israel however, but although the actual numbers are small, they show a relatively significant increase over previous years; from South Africa about 41% over 1975 and 148% in 1977 over 1976, and from Argentina 81% in 1976 over 1975 and 34% in 1977 over 1976.
About a third of all the olim had completed higher education at the time of their immigration. Approximately another 10% had post-secondary education. Almost all from North America had more than 12 years of education. Only about 12% defined themselves as religious. About two-thirds of the olim had no previous Jewish education, but nearly all the North Americans had received some; 18% of all the olim had been members of a Jewish or Zionist organization during the two years preceding their aliyah. Almost all the West European and North American immigrants had visited Israel prior to their aliyah; naturally, the Russians had not visited Israel before.
White collar workers constituted a large majority of all olim. The Israeli economy has suffered for many years from a chronic problem of imbalance between workers in industry versus those in services, with a large excess of white collar workers. It is natural, therefore, that the economy has difficulty in absorbing the work force which comes through aliyah, since it suffers from the same imbalances, but even more acutely. Moreover, the economy had hardly grown since the Yom Kippur War.
A well-developed system of courses for professional retraining was set in operation. In 1976, 53 retraining courses were opened with 1,585 immigrants participating, and 50 courses were completed in which 1,376 olim took part. In 1977, 80 courses were begun with 2,200 participants, and 55 with 1,520 participants were completed. They were mainly in the fields of bookkeeping, pricing, quality control, teaching, medicine and nursing, engineering and technicians. In addition to these courses, there were preparatory classes for about 1,000 olim in 1977 in Hebrew and English, as a step towards the retraining programs.
Until the early 1980s immigrants with academic backgrounds were immediately sent to an absorption center where they studied Hebrew intensively for five hours a day for five months. During this period the immigrants received living expenses and initial arrangements were made for their employment. Grants were also made to academicians, quasi-academicians, or government workers who did not reside in absorption centers, but whose continued attendance at daytime ulpanim was a requirement towards finding employment, and to those who did not require retraining, but who could not be employed because of the freeze on budgets and hiring.
In 1978–79 some 7,000 immigrants arrived from Iran and about 30,000 from the Soviet Union, making up for the decrease in aliyah from South Africa and Argentina whose increase in 1976–77, albeit in more moderate dimensions, aroused unfulfilled expectations for increased growth. In 1980 there was a disappointing decrease in aliyah from Iran and Russia, and a general drastic decline in the number of immigrants as compared to 1979. In the first eight months of the year only some 15,000 immigrants arrived as compared with 25,000 during the same period of 1979 – a decrease of about 40%.
aliyah, 1982–1992. The decade 1982–1992 witnessed both the lowest annual immigration figures and the highest recorded since the first years of statehood. The decade also marked the reopening of the gates of the Soviet Union, a cherished dream, and the completion of the evacuation of Jews from certain countries of stress. Some 573,000 new immigrants arrived in this decade and in many respects revolutionized Israeli society. Between 1989 and 1992 some 476,000 immigrants came, the majority from the former Soviet Union, compared with a yearly average of 12,000 during previous years.
For decades, Israeli governmental and non-governmental bodies had worked for the eventual emigration of Soviet Jews. Massive pressures were exerted by Israel and world Jewry through a variety of organizations and institutions to bring about a change in Soviet emigration policy, and eventually these bore fruit. The Soviet government, in return for winning a most-favored nation status in its trade relations with the United States, began to ease emigration restrictions. In the two decades, 1969–1989, some 190,000 Soviet Jews arrived in Israel, of whom 170,000 remained. However, this period was also marked by a growing number of Soviet Jews opting to drop out on the way to Israel and travel to settle in the United States and to other countries. The percentage of these dropouts reached 90% in the mid-1970s. Since these Jews were leaving the Soviet Union on the basis of a scheme for family reunion in Israel, this trend endangered the operation. Israel found itself confronting a growing number of American Jewish organizations who favored the freedom of choice of Soviet Jewish emigrants to decide their destination. Israel claimed that there was no point in moving Russian Jews from one diaspora to another. The issue was resolved in 1989 in an agreement between Israel, the Soviet Union, and the United States, whereby from October 1, 1989, Russian Jews who wished to travel to the United States (or elsewhere) would have to obtain an entry visa in the embassies of their country of destination in Moscow. The United States established a quota of 40,000 emigrants a year. Those traveling to Israel would get their entry visa in the Israeli consulate in Moscow, which had been reopened in 1988.
The end of the 1980s also marked a massive change in Soviet-American relations with the realization of the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, that his country's economic development would require massive Western, especially American, aid. This meant that he had to reduce elements of friction with the United States, one of them being the issue of human rights in general and Jewish emigration in particular. The end of the Cold War in 1989 brought about radical changes in Soviet emigration policies, which allowed most Jews who so wished to leave for Israel, although restricting the movements of a few hundred whom the Soviet government claimed were in possession of state secrets because of previous employment.
The massive wave began in late 1989 and soon swelled into a human tide. The Jewish Agency, which was responsible for the movement of immigrants to Israel, established transit stations for Soviet Jews on their way to Israel in Budapest, Warsaw, and Bucharest. A few traveled through Prague and Helsinki. These stations played a major role in the transit of Jews who came from the Soviet Union by bus, train, and plane, sometimes in private cars, to Israel. The reestablishment of consular, and later full diplomatic, relations between Israel and the Soviet Union also facilitated the transit of Jews. After 1989 the Jewish Agency was permitted to set up Hebrew classes in various parts of the Soviet Union and send emissaries and teachers to prepare Jews for aliyah and to teach them Hebrew, Judaism, and Jewish history.
The Soviet Government estimated in late 1988 that there
|Age||Thereof Jews||Year of immigration|
|1 Incl. 109.9 thousand children aged 0-14, born in Israel to mothers who immigrated from USSR (former), by mother's year of immigration.|
were some 1.8 million Jews in the country, the Israelis put the figure at 2.8 million. By early 1993, some 420,000 Soviet Jews had gone to Israel, another 150,000 to North America, and some 20,000 to Germany. In April 1993 there were still some 1.7 million Jews in the cis (Commonwealth of Independent States), a million of whom were holding Israeli documents as a first step towards their immigration. It was assumed that at the current rate of emigration (70,000 a year), some 500,000 Jews would remain in the cis at the end of the century.
Jewish emigration was a result of both a push and a pull. The push came in 1989 when Jews feared that there might not be much time before the Iron Curtain would slam down again and left en masse. There was genuine fear that the collapse of the Soviet empire would be accompanied by a civil war in which the Jews would be the main victims. They thought that in a period of vast social, economic, and political instability, antisemitism, long ingrained in Russia, would reappear. Moreover the greater democratization allowed in Russia meant that antisemitic propaganda and organizations were also permitted. Chief among these groups was Pamyat, a virulently anti-Jewish nationalist organization. Jews felt that life in the former Soviet Union was becoming intolerable for them. There were limited economic and occupational possibilities. Promotion in the army and government was very limited and there were quotas on the number of Jewish students at universities. Academic and professional promotion was also very slow. Many wanted to reunite with families already in Israel. The majority of the immigrants were not permeated by Zionist or even Jewish sentiments. The majority were secular, some third having married non-Jews. But as the Iron Curtain lifted, more people discovered their Jewishness and wanted to leave, most of them for economic reasons. There were some drawbacks. A number feared that the Jewish state was a theocracy. Being secular, and cut off from Judaism for seventy years, this could have problems, mainly for those with non-Jewish spouses. There was concern over military service, intifada, and above all fear that the professionals among them would not be able to find suitable jobs. The last concern proved to be true. A number of Jews chose to remain behind to participate in the building of a new society in the cis, but many of these became disappointed, especially those who found themselves in the midst of civil war in Moldova, Abkhazia, and Tadjikistan.
From a figure of some 200,000 in 1990, 176,000 in 1991, the numbers dropped to 76,000 in 1992. The task of moving Russian Jews to Israel and settling them there was shared by the *Jewish Agency, representing world Jewry, and the government of Israel. The Agency launched a fundraising campaign called "Exodus" which resulted in over $500 million being raised in three years to help cover the costs of flying the Jews to Israel, bringing their luggage and helping in their initial absorption. The government of Israel provided housing, education, health care, and welfare.
Unlike previous years, when immigrants were directed to absorption centers where they would learn the language before being let out into the Israeli economy and society, the
|Thousands, end of year||2004|
|Age||Born abroad||Born in Israel||Total|
|Immigrated since 1990||Immigrated until 1989||Total|
|1 Incl. children born in Israel to fathers who immigrated from Ethiopia.|
majority of Soviet Jews were absorbed in what was termed "direct absorption track," in which they were given a yearly allowance to cover costs of housing and subsistence, were told to look for work, put their children into school, and become absorbed almost overnight. This, on the whole, proved successful. By 1993 some 35,000 Soviet Jews had found work in industry, others in professions and trades. A major problem was posed by the large number (over 16%) of immigrants over 65 years old who were no longer productive and became the responsibility of the local and national governments. Another difficulty arose with those immigrants who had to be certified again by Israel before they could practice, among them physicians and engineers. They had to be maintained while studying for their qualifying examinations. Many had to be re-trained as the number of physicians, for example, who came between 1989 and 1993 was 12,000 as against the 16,000 doctors already practicing in Israel. Scientists and academics also found difficulties obtaining suitable jobs. But only 2.8% of the immigrants who arrived since 1989 left Israel. Immigrants continued to arrive even during the Gulf War when Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scuds.
The addition of some 420,000 high-quality immigrants from the cis had vast strategic implications for Israel. The Jewish population increased by 12% in three years. The quality of the immigrants was remarkable. They raised the cultural level of Israel, in music, arts, literature, and drama. Three new orchestras were created for immigrants. They began slowly to replace some Arabs from the Administered Territories who were working in Israel. Their numbers meant that once again there was a Jewish majority in Galilee. Strenuous Arab efforts to stop this immigration demonstrated that the Arab states realized the magnitude of this immigration and its potential for Israel in the scientific, technological, and military areas. The immigration also had an impact on the peace process. Israel with over 4.4 million Jews was a different country from previously. The new reality was slowly grasped by Arab governments, especially after their efforts to block the aliyah failed. Sheer numbers enabled the Israel army to consider reducing the length of military service. Israel's economy received a tremendous boost by the arrival of almost half a million new consumers. In 1992 the country recorded a 6.4% growth in its Gross Domestic Product and a rise in exports.
The major problems accompanying this immigration were in the social sphere. Israeli society welcomed immigrants with open arms. They were absorbed mainly by voluntary organizations, previous Russian immigrants, and local authorities. But there were strains, some of them due to a different mentality. Since most of the immigrants were not motivated by Jewish or Zionist ideology, they had to be re-educated in many ways about the meaning and nature of life in a Jewish State. There was some grumbling among Jews of Asian and African origin who feared that well-educated Russian Jews would get the better positions. The ultra-Orthodox and the Orthodox were dismayed over the prospect of the Russian immigrants voting mainly for secular parties, and affecting their political clout. Inevitably, there was considerable disappointment and disillusionment among many of the newcomers. For all the efforts to help a quick absorption, the country could not cope with many of the problems while the immigrants found themselves in unaccustomed surroundings and faced with a new language which some could not master. It was the economic problems that were uppermost. While the immigrants received grants for their initial period, this ran out and they had to face the challenge of finding work, with the possibilities especially limited in the professions and arts. Many found themselves unemployed and others took menial jobs in order to survive. Some of them organized demonstrations to draw attention to their plight. Reports of these difficulties reaching Russia dampened the enthusiasm of many potential immigrants and were a major factor in the drop in immigration figures from 1990 to 1991 and from 1991 to 1992. But on the whole, the Russian immigrants absorbed themselves well into Israeli society and many were beginning to make meaningful contributions to its economy, science, and technology.
The decade also witnessed the end of a number of diasporas. In two dramatic air lifts, the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency brought to Israel over 22,000 Ethiopian Jews. Some 7,500 were airlifted at the end of 1984 from Sudan in an operation called "Moses." To escape famine Ethiopian Jews walked hundreds of miles to Sudan and from there were taken to Israel with the help of the United States government and air force. Between 1985 and 1991, Israeli emissaries brought thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Addis Ababa to prepare them for immigration. Two days before the final collapse of the Mengistu government, in May 1991, and with the active help of the United States, Israel secured use of the Addis Ababa airport for 36 hours. During this time 41 flights brought to Israel 14,440 Jews in "Operation Solomon." Subsequently the rest of Ethiopian Jewry was brought to Israel and effectively, apart from Falas Moura, converts to Christianity, the Jewish community of Ethiopia ceased to exist.
By the end of 1992, Israel airlifted the entire Jewish community of Albania (350 souls) while over a 1,000 Jews were rescued from the civil war which engulfed Yugoslavia. Eventually, the numbers of Jews in distressed countries diminished significantly during the decade under review. In 1948 there were over 800,000 Jews in Arab countries, by 1993 there remained some 60,000 Jews in those countries, the three largest communities being Iran, Turkey, and Morocco with about 20,000 Jews in each.
Immigration from Western countries continued to arrive in a trickle. Some 2,500 Jews came annually from North America, and hundreds from South Africa, Australia, France, and Britain.
developments in aliyah and absorption, 1993–2002. From 1993 the rate of aliyah to Israel averaged between 5,000 and 6,000 a month, the majority coming from the Commonwealth of Independent States (cis). As compared to the figures for 1990–1992 (1990 – 199,500 immigrants, of those 184,681 from the former Soviet Union; 1991 – 176,000 and 147,673, respectively; 1992 – 77,00 and 64,790, respectively), the numbers for 1993 showed that some 76,800 immigrated to Israel; in 1994 the number rose to 79,800. Some 76,300 arrived in 1995, 60,192 in 2000, and 33,567 in 2002. Immigrants came mainly from the Ukraine, the Central Asian Republics, and the Caucasus areas, driven by the uncertain local conditions, and civil war, the eroding economic situations and sometimes by fear of antisemitism. There was a marked drop in the number of immigrants coming from the Russian Republic. Immigration remained the sole responsibility of the Jewish Agency, which had some 70 emissaries spread throughout the cis registering Jews for immigration and processing them for travel to Israel.
A new program designed to bring to Israel high school students started in 1993. Called "Aliyah 16," it sent to Israel thousands of teenagers to complete their studies in Israeli high schools, hoping they would remain in Israel after graduation and bring their families in their wake.
The Jewish Agency was also involved in rescue operations of Jews in such distressed areas as Chechniya and Bosnia. Emissaries risked their lives to bring out hundreds of Jews trapped in civil war situations. In 1994 it was announced that the emigration from Syria had been completed with many going to Israel, including the chief rabbi of Damascus. Some 400 Jews remained in Syria of their own free will. Efforts were made to complete immigration from Yemen and bring the Jews remaining in Ethiopia. Between 1990 and 2001, 2,655 came from Ethiopia.
Once in Israel, the major problems were finding suitable jobs for the large number of professionals, among them thousands of doctors, engineers, scientists, and musicians. Surveys have shown that most immigrants made a positive adjustment to Israel after being there for three or four years. This was illustrated by the number of housing mortgages taken out, cars and durable goods purchased, and small businesses established.
Immigration from Western countries continued at about 6,000 annually, mainly from the United States, Britain, France, and Latin American countries.
[Meron Medzini (2nd ed.)]
to end of the mandatory period
Throughout the history of modern Palestine, the construction of housing played a dominant role in the country's economic life. Before World War i, and up to the early 1930s, industry and agriculture were not on a large enough scale to provide immediate employment for new immigrants, and building was the occupation in which they could be absorbed almost as soon as they stepped off the boat. In 1925 no less than 43% of all Jewish workers were employed in construction, and in 1926-27 the percentage was still 34.2. It was only in the 1930s, after the rapid development of industry and agriculture, that the share of construction in total employment was sharply reduced, declining to 19.4% in 1935 and 11% in 1936. Even so, construction remained an important factor in the economy, and in the period 1932–39 it accounted for as much as 47% of capital investment from Jewish sources.
Jewish Housing Quarters
Even before the period of modern resettlement, Jews tended to leave the traditional confines of the old, established cities in order to establish their own urban quarters. As early as 1860, a group of Jewish inhabitants left the unsanitary and overcrowded Old City of *Jerusalem and took the revolutionary step of moving into a new quarter outside the city walls, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, founded by Moses Montefiore. Later, two other quarters were established: Nahalat Shiv'ah (1869) and Me'ah She'arim (1874). This trend was continued by the new settlers who came to the towns. At first they found homes in Jaffa, Jerusalem, or another of the existing cities, but after a while they sought to establish more modern and spacious quarters for themselves. Perhaps the most striking example was the founding in 1909 (by a group of Jaffa Jews) of Tel Aviv, which, from a mere suburb, became the country's largest city. New Jewish quarters were also founded in Jerusalem (Beit ha-Kerem, Talpiyyot, Rehavyah, Kerem Avraham) and Haifa (Hadar ha-Karmel, Har ha-Karmel, Kiryat Ḥayyim, Kiryat Motzkin, etc.). A variety of factors contributed to this trend. In addition to the desire to escape from the primitive conditions of the Arab urban centers, there was the urge to create completely Jewish surroundings; to live among people of the same origin and background, or among equally observant Jews; and to enhance security. Furthermore, the price of land inside the old cities was too high to permit the construction of popular housing on any appreciable scale.
Expansion of Building
Every new wave of immigration resulted in an expansion of building activity. In 1934–35, the record year for immigration in the Mandatory period, housing construction reached unprecedented heights, while at the end of the 1930s, when immigration was curtailed, there was a corresponding decline in building. As a rule, however, the rate of construction lagged behind demand and severe housing shortages arose. A census taken in 1937 disclosed that 40% of Histadrut members had less than one room to accommodate their families, while only 15% lived in two-room apartments. The price of land soon became a severe problem in the new Jewish cities and quarters. This brought about a sharp rise in the cost of rented dwellings, which, it became apparent, could not solve the housing problem. On the eve of World War ii the price of a building plot accounted for 30–50% of the capital investment required for housing. Credit was another problem: the rate of interest was high (8–9%) and adequate mortgages were not available, so that the builder had to look for additional finances, which was even more expensive. During the war rents were frozen by law, while prices and building costs kept rising. The controlled rents no longer had any realistic relationship to actual building costs. The result was the introduction of "key money," a large one-time payment to the landlord and the former tenant whenever an apartment changed hands. For the lower-income groups, the war veterans and the refugees from Europe, this payment was too heavy a burden.
As a result of this situation, various forms of public and cooperative housing came to the fore. This was not a new feature; most of the Jewish quarters and towns were founded by building societies. In the course of time, large housing companies were established and sought to lower the costs and lessen the burden upon the individual. They obtained low-cost land from the Jewish National Fund and mortgages from public or semi-public financial institutions on comparatively easy terms; lowered contractors' profits; and introduced more rational and standardized construction methods. The Histadrut played a leading role in this field since its early years (see *Israel, State of: Labor) by building workers' quarters (Shekhunat Borochov, near Tel Aviv, built in 1922, was the first) and in 1935 had founded its own housing company, Shikkun, which built houses for immigrants and, after World War ii, for war veterans. In addition, the Histadrut founded Neveh Oved, a housing company for agricultural laborers, and Shikkun Amami, for non-Histadrut low-income groups. Another large housing company was Rassco (Rural and Suburban Settlement Co.), founded by the Jewish Agency, which had been engaged in the settlement of middle-class immigrants on the land and now went in for urban housing as well. Some of the political parties had their own housing companies, and in 1945 the municipalities were also authorized by the government to provide housing. The growing share of public and semi-public housing companies in residential construction after the war is illustrated by the figures for 1945–46, when they were responsible for the construction of 12,742 rooms out of 29,000 built for the Jewish population, or 44% of the total.
in the state of israel
The Early Years
Housing was one of the most pressing problems faced by the infant state. While the population doubled by immigration in the first three years (see *Israel, State of: Population), improved housing for the existing population was urgently needed. At the end of 1949, the government established a Housing Division, which became the main agency for immigrant housing, as a branch of the Ministry of Labor and put at its disposal budgetary funds, land in various parts of the country, and the planning facilities of the Government Planning Division. The building-materials industry also adapted itself to the growing needs. Other important factors which facilitated the execution of a great housing program in these years were the training of building workers and the experience gained in earlier periods by public and private construction companies.
The rate of construction grew by leaps and bounds: from 843,000 sq. m. in 1949 to 2,137,000 in 1952. There was a slowdown in 1953, but the rate picked up again the following year and continued to be high for most of 1955. The number of building workers increased considerably, but not sufficiently to meet demand, and there was a scarcity of building materials; consequently, the quality of the houses built in this period was rather low. Housing and public works accounted for 45% of all capital invested in 1949, 44% in 1950, and 70% in 1951. Building on this scale was one of the principal causes of the inflation that marked the Israel economy in this period. The pressing needs forced the government to finance two-thirds of all construction, including practically all immigrant housing, public buildings, and housing for special groups. The government was able to use housing to effect a greater dispersal of the population, resulting in an increase in the percentage of the rural and semi-rural population. Private building, accounting for the remaining third, supplied the needs of the established residents.
A unique aspect of housing in Israel was the fact that only a small percentage was built for rental. This was partly due to the freezing of rents by the Tenants' Protection Law 1954, and although rents were raised from time to time, they did not provide sufficient incentive for investors. Moreover, due to the high cost of building, rentals had to be subsidized if they were not to be too high for the great majority of tenants. In view of the need for economy and the avoidance of inflation, therefore, the government favored apartment purchase wherever possible.
As the standard of living rose, large sectors of the population sought to improve their accommodations. The average size of publicly built apartments grew from 44.6 sq. m. in 1955 to 77.4 sq. m. in 1968; in 2002 privately built apartments averaged 142 sq. m. The average number of rooms per apartment also grew: from 2.0 in 1955 to 2.9 in 1968 and 4.5 in 2002. There was also a general improvement in the finish of the apartments, as well as planning and environmental services. The owner's share in the financing of construction grew appreciably and a considerable part of the finance was raised by stocks issued by financial institutions.
In 1955 a Saving-for-Housing Scheme was introduced by the government, designed to facilitate saving and the use of the proceeds to finance current construction. By the end of 1967, some 70,000 apartments had been built under this scheme, which from 1961 no longer received aid from the government development budget (except for houses built in development towns). Building was increasingly mechanized: modern equipment made it possible to accelerate the rate of construction and erect high-rise buildings (a matter of necessity in view of the increase in land prices after 1960, especially affecting private housing). Most of the public building in this period was for new immigrants. Almost half of immigrant housing was constructed in the development towns (see below), adding further to the dispersal of the population. In 1961 the Housing Division became a separate ministry. This has facilitated advances in the standard of housing and its planning and adaptation to the general development of the country and its social aims.
Housing for Immigrants
It was immigration that was responsible for the extraordinary dimensions of the housing problem in the State of Israel: in two decades homes had to be built for a trebled population, the newcomers carrying with them the habits and the prejudices of sharply contrasting cultures from East and West. The housing authorities had not only to provide them with a roof, but also to establish the conditions for immigrants from a hundred countries to live harmoniously together and adapt policies to the needs of a rapidly developing modern economy. In the five years 1948–53, during which the population grew by 117%, homes had to be built rapidly with inadequate resources in money, materials, and skilled labor. Inevitably, improvised solutions had to be adopted. Abandoned Arab housing provided a breathing space, but thousands had to be accommodated in camps. The Housing Division of the Ministry of Labor cooperated with the Jewish Agency officials in choosing locations for 123 ma'barot all over the country and put up every kind of temporary shelter, using wood, corrugated iron, asbestos boards, and canvas stretched over wooden frames.
The next stage was the erection of permanent housing in the old and new villages, in the suburbs, and on the sites of ma'barot. Owing to the tremendous pressure, standards were necessarily low: houses were built of the cheapest materials by methods suitable for the relatively unskilled manpower available. The area of the dwellings ranged from 28 to 54 sq. m.; they were often handed over to the tenants barely finished, without internal doors to the rooms, except for lavatories and bathrooms, and the occupants had to make do with a shower until they could find the money to install a bath. It was only in the second half of the 1950s that some progress in housing standards was possible. In the 1960s, and especially with the growing immigration of Jews from Western countries, standards became, on the whole, reasonably satisfactory.
In the early stages, the immigrants themselves, though unskilled, were given employment in the building of their own homes, and as much use as possible was made of materials available in the neighborhood. Efforts were made to mechanize the building industry. Thirteen plants for the manufacture of prefabricated structures were established, and a degree of mechanization was introduced in conventional building methods. From the establishment of the state until 1970, 40,000,000 sq. m. of housing have been built for the accommodation of immigrants and other social purposes. In addition to dwellings, the state also had to erect in the new villages, towns, and suburbs buildings for public services, such as commercial centers, industrial estates, schools and kindergartens, synagogues, cultural centers, and cinemas.
[Haim Darin-Drapkin and
Slums and Overcrowding
Slums and defective or inadequate housing were created by:
(1) the rapid deterioration of abandoned Arab houses in some of the larger towns and the Jewish quarters constructed before World War i (some of these could be repaired, while others had to be pulled down and the inhabitants re-housed);
(2) the building of small and overcrowded, though generally sound and habitable, apartments in the early years of the state (rooms were added where possible, two adjacent apartments turned into one, and large families transferred to more spacious quarters);
(3) the continued occupancy of some temporary buildings by immigrants (these were gradually transferred to permanent homes and the buildings demolished).
A Slum Clearance and Building Authority was set up under the Clearance and Building Law of 1965 to deal with the legal, social, economic, and planning aspects of the problem. Tasks still to be tackled were: reexamination of housing operations in the past, with a view to correcting planning and other defects of the work done in the early years of the state; more building in the development towns to provide accommodation for the growing population; and speeding up slum clearance.
From 1948 to 1967, 600,000 units of permanent housing were built in Israel, 225,000 by private enterprise and 375,000 by public bodies. In addition, 22,000 dwellings were completed in 1968 and 26,000 in 1969. From 1970 to 2002 around 807,000 permanent housing units were constructed.
The problem of housing had become more difficult. In 1976–77 the situation which had arisen in earlier years, of lack of coordination between the apartments available (both number and size) and the demand, continued. Although thousands of apartments were available in the development towns, opportunities of employment in these towns are few and in 1976 alone the Ministry of Absorption returned about 1,000 apartments which could not be used to meet the needs of immigrants. On the other hand, there was a serious shortage of housing in the central areas and at the end of 1976 there was a shortage of 3,000 apartments for the immigrants, which was reduced by only a few hundred by the end of 1977. In 1976, 7,450 apartments were provided for the olim and 7,060 in 1977. In addition, in 1976, 2,750 mortgages for a total of il231 million were granted to olim for buying apartments on the open market, and in 1977 there were 3,400 mortgages totaling il293 million. Thus in 1977 the number of immigrants who preferred to buy apartments themselves with the aid of a mortgage, increased significantly.
About two-thirds of all olim in 1976–77 received permanent housing in the central coastal region; 10% in the Jerusalem area, and the remainder in development areas. Two-thirds of the 1977 immigrants were directed to their temporary or permanent residences by the Ministry of Absorption; the others chose by themselves. However, 70% of those who were directed by the Ministry agreed to the choice, while 16% went against their will; the others did not consider the choice important. In 1976, 1,130 immigrants were accepted by kibbutzim and 980 in 1977; 95% of them from Western countries. In 1976–77 immigrants were no longer sent to apartments rented by the Ministry of Absorption; the great majority were sent to other temporary residences, about half to absorption centers, and the remainder to relatives, kibbutz ulpanim, or other transition frameworks.
university and yeshivah students
The diminution of aliyah in the past few years was reflected also by a decline in the number of student immigrants. The special administrative body set up to deal with them cared for 5,000 students in 1977 compared with 5,600 in 1976 and 6,200 in 1975. (The number of students under the care of the Student Administration in any year is not identical with the number of immigrant students in that year, because many students are handled for several years. However, there is undoubtedly correlation between the two.) In addition, at the end of 1977 there were 2,000 yeshivah students, also under the care of the administration. Of the students in 1977, 54% were immigrants, 43% potential immigrants, and 3% returning minors; 44% came with their parents. Among East Europeans the percentage is 85% as contrasted to 21% from South America. Of the yeshivah students, 72% came from North America, the great majority from the United States. Almost all of them came alone for a fixed time, after which they intend returning to their country of origin. Despite the fact that yeshivah students usually come only for study, a survey undertaken five years after their immigration showed that about half of the yeshivah students who came in 1969–70 had remained in Israel. There was, however, no similar follow-up for yeshivah students who arrived after those years.
Among the yeshivah students were included 25% who came to study at Torah institutions for women; 53.4% of all the university students in 1977 were females. The Student Administration helped the university and yeshivah students in registering at their educational institute (sometimes while the student was still abroad), in preparation towards their studies, with Hebrew ulpanim, in professional guidance and counseling, with individual and group auxiliary lessons, with cultural and informational activities, and with financial aid.
organization of absorption
The diminution in immigration, the growing drop-out rate which increased monthly in 1974–75, and the increased criticism of the various absorption authorities in the Israeli mass media, all prompted the Israeli government and leaders of the Jewish Agency to reassess the issues of immigration and absorption. At the beginning of 1976 the prime minister, Yiẓḥak Rabin, and Yosef Almogi, then chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, appointed a "Public Committee for Studying Issues of Aliyah and Absorption." Gen. (Ret.) Amos Ḥorev, president of Haifa University, was appointed chairman of the committee, and the members were mostly well-known public figures from various sectors of the society and the economy, long-term residents and immigrants. The main suggestion in the report of the committee was to abolish both the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Aliyah and Absorption Department of the Jewish Agency and to set up instead an "Authority for Aliyah and Absorption to be operated by the chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and under its auspices." The practical meaning of this suggestion was to transfer the handling of immigration and absorption to the Jewish Agency, as was the case before the establishment of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption in the second half of 1968. This suggestion gave rise to considerable controversy between the ministry and the Jewish Agency, the former firmly rejecting it and the latter urging its implementation.
Three well-known Hebrew University scholars, who had undertaken extensive research into absorption, since the establishment of the State – Dr. Rivka Bar-Yosef, Dr. Tamar Horowitz, and Prof. Judith Shuval – sent a memorandum to Yiẓḥak Rabin sharply criticizing the method of operation and the conclusions of the Horev Committee. They alleged that the committee had heard the testimony and opinions of immigrants chosen at random, who were not representative of immigrants as a whole. Those who turned to the committee of their own accord were naturally interested parties or persons of extreme positive or negative opinions. The committee presented the current treatment of immigrants as a series of mistakes and ignored the achievements in several areas. They also felt that the committee ignored the objective reasons for the scant immigration and the absorption difficulties; for instance, the decrease of ideological-national motivation toward aliyah among Diaspora Jews, the low quality of life in Israel, the closed nature of Israeli society, the lack of correspondence between the Israel labor market and the occupation of the immigrants, etc. The main thrust of the criticism was that the committee considered the organizational aspect as the root of the trouble, while they felt it was of secondary importance.
until world war i
Modern Jewish settlement (hityashevut) in the Land of Israel is usually reckoned as beginning with the founding of *Petaḥ Tikvah in 1878 by Jews from Jerusalem, with the aid of a group from Hungary. The Zionist movement initially left urban resettlement almost entirely to private initiative, so that the term hityashevut was identified with the establishment of new villages. It is only in recent years that it has been extended to cover the development of new towns and urban areas.
The First Settlements
The impetus to the large-scale renewal of Jewish settlement on the land was given by the First Aliyah. (See Table: Population and Area of the Jewish Settlements of Israel, 1898.) The newcomers founded *Rishon le-Zion, *Zikhron Ya'akov, and *Rosh Pinnah in 1882, *Yesud ha-Ma'alah and *Ekron in 1883, *Gederah in 1884, and *Reḥovot, *Mishmar ha-Yarden, and *Ḥaderah in 1890. They were primarily interested in setting up agricultural communities and tried to establish villages like those they had known in Europe, calling them moshavot. Many obstacles were placed in the way of the settlers by the Turkish authorities, and few of them had the slightest knowledge of farming methods.
|Region||Settlement||Inhabitants||Area (in dunams1)|
|1 Four dunams = one acre.|
|Tanturah and Athlit||1,070||20,000|
It was not long before the moshavot were threatened with collapse.
At this stage Baron Edmond de Rothschild stepped in. He made considerable investments in the farms, sent out experts to teach viticulture, and installed his own administrators. The settlements were saved, but at a considerable price: the settlers became completely dependent on outside support and had little say in the management of their holdings. By 1898 there were 22 of the new Jewish villages in the country, most of them based on monoculture, with fruit plantations as their mainstay. In 1900 the *Jewish Colonization Association (ica, founded in 1891), which at first acted only as a source of credit for the farm communities, took over the management from Rothschild's administration. It developed a wider range of activities, established a training farm for agricultural laborers in *Sejerah (1901) and founded Mesḥa (*Kefar Tavor), Menaḥemiyyah, and *Yavne'el (1902), Beit Gan (1902), and *Mizpeh (1908), based on field crops (cereals).
The Zionist Organization's Role
In 1898, at the Second Zionist Congress, the Zionist Organization recognized the major role of settlement in the national revival, appointing a committee for the purpose. It started real activity, however, only after the foundation of the *Jewish National Fund in 1901 and, in particular, after the establishment of its Palestine Department and Palestine Office, headed by Arthur *Ruppin, in 1907 and 1908 respectively. Many of the newcomers of the Second Aliyah wanted to work on the land; at first they sought employment in the existing villages, which employed Arabs almost exclusively, and then, in 1908, began to found their own settlements. The Zionist organization's first settlement enterprise, in 1908, was the Dalāyikat Umm Jūnī training farm on the Jordan. In the following year the Palestine Office handed over part of the farm at Dalāyika, on the west bank of the river, to a group of workers who set up the first kevuẓah or collective village (see *kibbutz), called *Kinneret. Another group later leased the land at Umm Jūnī, on the east bank, on similar terms; it was later called *Deganyah. A third venture, in *Merḥavyah, based on the cooperative principles of Franz *Oppenheimer, proved a failure.
Starting with field crops, Deganyah and Kinneret gradually added new types of agriculture. Yosef *Busel, one of the founders of Deganyah, suggested diversified farming, combining fruit plantations with field crops and animal husbandry, so that the kevuẓah could pay its way and lay the foundation for permanent settlement. Ruppin and Y.A. *Elazari-Volcani, who was then setting up an agricultural research station at *Ben
|End of 1900||End of 1914||End of 1922||End of 1941||End of 1944||May 1948|
|1 Some rural settlements have become urban.|
|2. Agricultural schools, farms, etc.|
Shemen, supported the idea, which gradually gained general acceptance. Settlement progressed slowly but steadily until the end of World War i, spreading to new areas in which the Jewish National Fund had acquired land. The moshavot also donated plots of land for daughter settlements, which were set up in 1912–13 by immigrants from Yemen: Maḥaneh Yehudah on the outskirts of Petaḥ Tikvah, Naḥali'el near Ḥaderah, and Sha'arayim near Reḥovot, "Workers' neighborhoods" – auxiliary farms for farm laborers – were established in Ein Gannim, *Naḥalat Yehudah, and Ein-Ḥai (*Kefar Malal), as well as independent villages like *Gan Shemu'el, founded in 1913. By the beginning of World War i there were 47 Jewish villages in the country, 14 of them supported by the Zionist Organization through the Palestine Office.
under the mandate
Kibbutz and Mosha
During World War i settlement activities came to a virtual standstill, but in 1919, after the *Balfour Declaration and the start of the Third Aliyah, activities were resumed by the Zionist Organization's Settlement Department, which replaced the Palestine Office. Much attention was paid to the ideological, as well as the practical aspects of the work. The ideal of the kevuẓah or kibbutz (the latter term was first used for the large settlement of *En-Harod, founded in 1921) was fully defined. In 1920 a renewed attempt was made, on a scientific basis, to settle in the hill areas, with the establishment of *Kiryat Anavim, west of Jerusalem, and *Atarot, to the north of the city. (Previous attempts had been made at Moẓa, in 1894, and Hartuv, in 1895.) Between 1921 and 1923 four kevuzot and three kibbutzim were founded in the Jezreel Valley – Emek Yizre'el, known simply as the Emek – where the first large, continuous stretches of land for settlement had been purchased by the jnf (see Table: Jewish Agricultural Settlement).
At the same time a new type of settlement, the cooperative smallholders' village or moshav, developed out of the workers' neighborhoods, but while the latter were intended as auxiliary farms for farm laborers working elsewhere, the moshavim were designed for independent settlers. This development, suggested by Eliezer *Joffe, was first applied in 1921 at Nahalal, in the Emek.
With the acquisition of additional areas in the Kishon basin, southeast of Haifa, in the Jordan Valley, and on the Coastal Plain, the network expanded. The land remained in the ownership of the jnf, which leased it to the settlers for long terms. The settlements established by the Zionist Organization were based mainly on diversified farming, including fruit plantations, field crops, and livestock. Some private villages, based mainly on citrus, also made headway, and moshavot were founded: *Binyaminah in 1922, and *Pardes Ḥannah and Ramatayim in 1928, mainly by middle-class settlers who raised all or part of the funds by their own efforts, requiring less help from the Settlement Department.
Standardizing Farm Units
As yet there were no well-defined types of farms. The size of holdings was not standardized, and the various villages engaged in different varieties of mixed agriculture, so that income levels varied greatly. To encourage standardization, the Zionist Executive appointed a committee in 1929 to devise a "farm index" for the different parts of the country. It examined the size of holding required for a family's livelihood, the equipment and supplies needed per unit, and the crops and livestock best suited to each area. In irrigated areas, such as the Beth-Shean and Jordan valleys and the Coastal Plain, 25 dunams (6¼ acres) were allotted for each farm unit; in non-irrigated or partially irrigated areas, such as the Jezreel Valley, 140 to 280 dunams (35–70 acres). This was the first step toward overall agricultural planning based on the natural conditions of the country.
As irrigation was extended, Volcani proposed reducing the farm unit to 24–30 dunams, to be made viable by more intensive methods, so as to facilitate the maximum utilization of the limited land resources and maintain the principle of "personal labor" (avodah aẓmit), to which both moshavim and kibbutzim adhered. The system also enabled each settlement to become an autonomous unit, almost independent of outside supplies and able, if necessary, to subsist in isolation and withstand a state of siege. Volcani's "organic diversified farm" became the prevalent type in Jewish agriculture during the Mandatory period and the early years of statehood.
The countrywide federations of kibbutzim and moshavim, run by the villagers' representatives, played an important role: they recruited new members, made regulations for the affiliated settlements, and dealt with economic problems. Newcomers were frequently organized abroad as "nuclei" (garinim), which could settle as a group immediately on arrival. Sometimes the organizations set up new villages on their own, without initial assistance from the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency, which took them under its wing at a much later stage.
Special Settlement Projects
Between the early 1930s and World War ii, a number of special settlement projects were carried out. The "Thousand Family Project" (which in the end comprised only a few hundred families) was started in 1932 and led to the founding of several villages on the Coastal Plain near Rehovot – *Kefar Bilu, *Neta'im, *Bet Oved – and in the Sharon region – *Ẓofit, *Kefar Hess, *Rishpon, and others. Immigrants from Germany, starting in 1933, set up villages in the Ḥefer Plain and the Sharon. The Arab riots of 1936–39 inspired a new method of setting up outposts overnight: the *Stockade and Watchtower (ḥomah u-migdal) settlements, in order to forestall Arab attacks and official British opposition. The Zionist Organization decided to speed up the pace of settlement and set up strongpoints in areas where Jews had not lived previously, so as to create a new Jewish population map in case partition was adopted. The main areas concerned were the Beth-Shean Valley and upper Galilee. In all, 53 new villages, mostly based on diversified farming, were set up between 1936 and 1939. Despite the White Paper restrictions, the establishment of new villages continued during and after World War ii: 94 were founded, almost half of them during the war. After the end of hostilities, there was a renewed effort to extend the area of Jewish settlement, special attention being devoted to the northern Negev, where 11 new villages were set up in a single night (Day of Atonement, 1946). Seven more were set up in 1947, and a provisional pipeline was laid from the center of the country to provide them with water.
in the state of israel
The War of Independence in 1948 provided ample validation of the doctrine that settlement ensures control. Practically all areas in which there were Jewish settlements, however few or isolated, withstood the invading Arab armies and helped to determine the boundaries of the state. Political and economic conditions were completely transformed, and the new situation led to a new settlement policy, much broader in scope, covering wider areas, and founded on new organizational and economic principles. The severe food shortage of the first few years necessitated an immediate increase in farm production. At the same time employment had to be found for the new immigrants, many of whom lacked vocational training. Land was no longer a problem, since there were large unsettled areas within the armistice boundaries, though they were exposed to marauders.
Vast agricultural settlement projects were launched, with the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department still in charge. The department was responsible for the planning, execution, and supervision of the work, including the siting of the villages; the planning of buildings, water supply, and irrigation networks; the provision of equipment, seeds, and livestock; and expert guidance in farming methods and the problems involved in the establishment of self-reliant, socially integrated rural communities. Veteran farmers were sent to live in the villages as instructors and, in the early stages, help the villagers solve their social problems. At first the settlers were employed largely in building or (in the case of abandoned Arab villages) repairing houses, paving roads, and laying pipelines; they were usually provided with outside employment in afforestation and the like until they could live on the produce of their farms. The department's central and regional offices, with their expert agronomists, engineers, and architects, supervised the work of the men in the field and, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, coordinated the choice of crops and the methods of cultivation in accordance with the climatic and soil conditions in various parts of the country.
In each of the two years 1948–49 and 1950–51, some 100 new settlements were founded, at first mainly in abandoned Arab villages on the Coastal Plain and in the mountains of Jerusalem and Galilee, then in the Negev, the Lachish and Adullam areas in the south, the Taanach area in the eastern Jezreel Valley, and finally in the arid Arabah. Settlements in border areas were sometimes established first as outposts by *Naḥal units of the Israel Defense Forces and some of them later became civilian villages.
Between the end of 1947 (when the un partition resolution was passed) and 1970, 439 new villages were established, with over 27,000 families living in them, while many existing ones were expanded and new urban communities established.
popularity of the moshav
An outstanding feature of this period was the growing popularity of the moshav. Before independence kibbutzim outnumbered moshavim; of the new villages founded subsequently (up to the end of 1970, 309 were moshavim and only 130 kibbutzim). The development is shown in Table: Jewish Agricultural Settlements. The main reason for the shift was the ethnic and social background of the newcomers. Before 1948 most of the immigrants who were of European origin intended from the first to become farmers. The later arrivals, on the other hand, over half of whom came from Asia and Africa, were placed on the land without any prior practical or ideological preparation. The collective structure, making as it does much greater ideological demands on the individual, hardly suited their social background and they preferred the moshavim, which are closer to the ordinary type of village.
Modification of Farm Patterns
Until 1953 most of the new villages were based on diversified farming because of the urgent need for fresh agricultural produce, especially milk, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. The structure of the farms was almost identical with the diversified organic farm type, for which the pattern had been set some 15 years before, and it was only after the beginning of 1953 that certain modifications were introduced. In some of the newly settled regions, the hill areas and the Negev, natural and climatic conditions were not suited to this type of farming. Moreover, production methods had improved and increasing mechanization called for greater specialization. The political conditions which had required small farm units and large settlements crowded into a small space, or autonomous units independent of outside supplies, no longer existed. The diversified farm model was therefore gradually abandoned or modified. Specialized farms were set up according to specific local conditions and domestic and foreign market requirements, the farms in each region now specializing in a particular branch of agriculture. Most of the moshavim established in 1955 – in the Lachish region, for instance – were based on field crops, allowing almost twice as much land per farmer as the diversified farms – some 50 dunams (12½ acres) per unit. Industrial crops for export or for replacement of imports, as well as vegetables for consumption and processing, are grown. Farms suited for growing export vegetables are located in special areas, mainly the Besor region in the western Negev. The diversified farms have also been modified in the direction of greater specialization, most of them being converted into dairy farms, while others concentrate on citrus, vegetables, and similar special products.
Regional Settlement Schemes
The political, economic, and social changes that followed the establishment of the State of Israel have also affected the rural pattern. Instead of each village being a closed, independent economic and social unit, they are integrated in a comprehensive regional structure. A pattern of this kind was first adopted in the Negev settlements founded between 1951 and 1952, which were clustered around service centers, and was further developed in the Lachish area, settled in 1955. The pattern is based on the comprehensive planning of all the agricultural settlements and urban and rural centers in the area. The villages are placed in clusters of four or five around a rural center which provides the necessary facilities, while a larger town community serves the whole region. Only everyday facilities – kindergarten, food store, synagogue, etc. – are situated within the village itself. Other services, such as schools, shopping centers, sorting and packing sheds, and tractor stations, are located in the rural center, while more widely used facilities are located in the regional town. Since larger populations are catered for, the services are cheaper and more efficient, while civil servants, teachers, technicians, and the like can live in the rural center. Industries, mainly processing plants, are sited in the regional towns, closer to supplies of raw materials, thus reducing transportation costs. Services and industries located in the midst of the rural areas provide jobs for the surplus manpower in the villages, stemming the flow to the towns and preventing the impoverishment and abandonment of the countryside.
The regional structure also facilitates greater integration among settlers from different parts of the world, whose divergent backgrounds make it undesirable to make them live in close proximity. Under the regional system each village can be made up of a single ethnic group, while all the groups use the facilities provided at the rural center, where there is contact with people from the other villages. The result is a gradual process of integration which does not disrupt the life of the individual communities. Steps are being taken to establish rural service centers in areas settled before 1954, when the regional system was introduced.
Regional cooperation has also developed among the kibbutzim, which have begun to set up joint ventures. Here, for ideological and social reasons, the service center is not actually lived in; it contains facilities and plants shared by a number of kibbutzim, but does not constitute a separate village, the staff living in adjacent kibbutzim or coming in from a nearby town. A typical example is the center maintained by the Sha'ar ha-Negev regional council, in which 11 kibbutzim jointly run a refrigeration plant, a poultry slaughterhouse and a cotton gin, besides an amphitheater, sports facilities, a regional school, a regional laundry, and other consumer services.
Another direct consequence of statehood is that land settlement has become an integral part of the national physical and economic master plans. Under the Mandatory regime, when there was no overall planning and development, the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department was practically independent. Now settlement is a part of national development, and close coordination is therefore maintained with all the other planning authorities. This considerably facilitates integration of rural and urban development: settlement activities are no longer confined to the rural areas, and every project has to take into account urban developments in the neighborhood. Thus, a development project for the Galilee area, started in 1966, covers the entire region, including, in addition to villages and rural centers, towns like Nazareth, *Karmi'el, and Safed. Joint teams representing the Settlement Department and all the other competent authorities collaborate in the preparation of such projects. In line with this trend, the Jewish Agency and the Ministries of Housing, Labor, and Agriculture set up a Rural and Urban Settlement Study Center to investigate the problems involved and outline suitable methods for new development and the modification of existing settlement patterns. The new regions developed in this way were central Galilee, the Besor Region and the western Negev, and the Arabah.
New Settlement Since the Six-Day War and Its Challenges
through the 1970s
ince its beginnings Zionism has pursued a twofold objective: restoring Jewish national independence through an ingathering of the exiles in the Homeland, and normalizing the people's social structure through a return to productive occupations, in particular to farming. Experience in the pre-State period had taught that wastelands bought and reclaimed with Jewish effort and settled by Jews reinforce the political claim to the relevant districts of the Land of Israel. Although Zionist philosophy regarded the "conquest of the land" as a purely peaceful endeavor, settlements soon proved to be indispensable for defense against armed attacks. The outcome of the 1948 War of Independence vindicated this policy of land acquisition and settlement which had increasingly been conducted under strategic considerations.
Following the Six-Day War, veteran pioneer farmers were the first to take the initiative for new settlement beyond the "Green Line" (the pre-June 1967 armistice borders). Youth and older members of Ḥuleh Valley kibbutzim volunteered to ascend to the Golan and establish outposts there to prevent the Syrians from returning to their dominating positions which through two decades had been a nightmare for the valley's inhabitants. In July 1967 they set up kibbutz Golan which became later, at a new site, Merom Golan, the region's largest Jewish rural location. Children of *Kefar Eẓyon settlers orphaned in 1948 insisted on renewing the Eẓyon Bloc on the Hebron Hills; in September 1967, the reconstruction of Kefar Eẓyon was begun.
Israeli citizens of various political affiliations united in the summer of 1967 to establish the *Ha-Tenu'ah le-Ma'an Ereẓ Israel ha-Shelemah (Land of Israel Movement), with Y. *Tabenkin as one of the proponents. Among the settlement organizations, *Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad was the first to project settlement programs beyond the Green Line. The other associations joined in readily, with only *Ha-Kibbutz ha-Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir expressing serious reservations.
The political aspect of settlement beyond the Green Line soon became an issue of considerable discussion. Shades of opinion appeared within the Israel Labor Party, although most members accepted Yigal *Allon's plan which became fully known in 1968. Seeking to combine the indispensable improvement of Israel's military defense with a minimum increase in its Arab population, Allon demanded new settlement in the Golan, the Lower Jordan Valley together with the northwestern Dead Sea shore and parts of the eastern slopes of Samaria and Judea, as well as the northeast corner of Sinai (subsequently called the "Rafiaḥ Salient" and, finally, the "Yammit Region"), and a strip paralleling the gulf shore to connect Eilat with the peninsula's southern tip. He also stipulated minor adjustments to the 1949 lines, so as to include within the territory of Israel the Eẓyon Bloc, the Ayyalon Valley, stretches on the Sharon border, etc., thereby emphasizing that he did not intend foregoing the historical link with the Jewish people's heartland but that political realities dictated the limitation of new settlement to the most vital areas.
The Labor-led government accepted the Allon Plan as a guideline, hinting at it in its directives of December 15, 1969, "to speed up the establishment of security outposts and permanent settlement, rural and urban, on the soil of the homeland." A ministerial committee headed by Y. *Galili decided, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency Settlement Department, on the locations to be settled.
At international forums, Jewish settlement in the administered territories encountered growing criticism. Even friendly Western powers showed little understanding of its vital importance for Israel's security. The American administration was at best prepared to acquiesce in Naḥal settlements which could count as military installations, but not in their being later converted into civilian Jewish villages.
The government at first gave precedence to settlements in the Golan which already at the close of 1967 had four outposts, while elsewhere there existed two isolated footholds in Sinai (Naḥal Yam and Naḥal Sinai), and rebuilt Kefar Eẓyon in Judea. During 1968, the number of Golan settlements rose to ten, and in the Lower Jordan Valley a beginning was made with three outposts. On the eve of the Yom Kippur War (October 1973), the Golan had 17 settlements and the Jordan Valley 12, the Gaza Strip four and Sinai nine (in addition to the two earlier outposts, four settlements in the Rafiaḥ Salient and three along the shore of the Gulf of Eilat); Judea had three villages in the Eẓyon Bloc, in addition to the urban nucleus of Kiryat Arba near Hebron, a field school on Mt. Giloh south of Jerusalem, and several new suburbs of the capital; Mevo Ḥoron in the Ayyalon Valley was founded in what had been neutral territory until 1967.
The Yom Kippur War and the soul-searching which came in its wake produced partly contradictory reactions. On the one hand, the inability of the Golan settlements to stem the Syrian assault, the necessity to evacuate several of them during the fighting and to reconstruct them only after the Israel army had thrown back the aggressors, gave rise to doubts whether in fully mechanized warfare rural settlements could still be regarded as an integral part of Israel's defense system. On the other hand, there arose new circles, both in Israel and in the Diaspora, willing personally to take part in pioneer settlement. Foremost among them were religious youth desirous of ensuring settlement throughout Judea and Samaria. "*Gush Emunim" was founded in February 1974 as their framework.
While the interim agreements with Egypt and Syria were being negotiated, Gush Emunim and others saw as their immediate task the prevention of a withdrawal from any area which had been under Israel's control since 1967. A case in point was Keshet, its name being an acronym of the Hebrew words "Kuneitra shall be ours," in the urban area of this Golan town. After the ratification of the agreement with Syria, Keshet, a moshav shittufi, was transferred southward to Khushniya, to serve as a connecting link between the southern and northern settlement blocs of the Golan. Not far from there, Yonatan, another moshav shittufi, was similarly founded without seeking the previous sanction of the authorities.
Gush Emunim, in contradiction to the Allon Plan, soon concentrated its efforts on establishing nuclei of settlement in the heart of Judea and Samaria. Its discussions with the Labor-led government and with dovish circles coincided with mounting pressure from abroad that settlement beyond the Green Line cease altogether. The Rabin government delegated army units to prevent demonstrative Gush marches and settlement attempts in Judea and Samaria and revised government directives were endorsed by the Knesset on June 3, 1974: "Settlement and establishment of outposts shall continue in accord with the resolutions that will be taken by the Israel Government." On July 31, 1974, Rabin declared in the Knesset: "It cannot be permitted that any group of people take the law in their own hands… every single act of settlement may be carried out only after the Government has approved it, after weighing its security and political aspects… the Government will continue to work for settlement, but also protect the settlement ideal from being exploited for anti-democratic purposes." Spokesmen of Gush Emunim claimed that dovish utterances of Israelis engendered the mounting pressure from abroad and complained that the government dragged its feet in developing centers like Kiryat Arba, Yammit, Ma'aleh (Mishor) Adummim, etc. In the discussions, positions coincided increasingly less with party lines and divided not only the Labor bloc but also the National Religious Party and even the Likkud. However, wishing to avoid an extreme confrontation, in January 1976 the government decided as a compromise, to transfer the would-be settlers of Elon Moreh, west of Shomron (Sebastiye), to the Kaddum army camp.
U.S. pressure in the matter was strongly applied before the May 1977 Knesset elections when Rabin visited Washington. President Carter termed the settlements "illegal" and, later in the year, called the adding of new ones "a defiance." More Gush Emunim settlement attempts were thwarted in the spring of 1977. Prime Minister *Begin, immediately after coming into office, visited the settlers at the Kaddum camp together with Ariel *Sharon, minister of agriculture and chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Settlement, and promised "there will be many (more settlements like) Elon Moreh," i.e., unreserved support of the Gush Emunim program. Following his own visit to Washington in September 1977, however, Begin and his government saw need to restrain the Gush. From the beginning of October temporary solutions were found for six of its groups by permitting them to settle inside army camps (Beth Ḥoron, Givon, Bet El, Neveh Ẓuf, Shomron, Dotan; the idea of drafting the settlers for reserve duty in the army was soon abandoned).
Sharon in his long-range program fully backed settling Judea and Samaria, particularly its western slopes which are less densely populated by Arabs than their central parts, together with the building of two or three highways crossing Judea and Samaria from west to east, also these to be secured by new Jewish towns and villages at strategic points. He based his program on a forecast of two million Jews who would live in the region. In October 1977 his proposal to recognize Gush Emunim as a regular settlement movement entitled to moderate government aid was jointly accepted by the government and the Zionist Organization.
In July 1977 Gush Emunim had published its own 25-year master plan, based on the assumption that even without an increase in births and immigration the Jews of Israel would number 5.5 million at the end of the century and half a million more if there was annual immigration of 20,000; the total Arab population would by then number 2.5 million. The plan was modeled so as to increase the Jewish population of Galilee and the Golan from 450,000 to 800,000, that of Judea and Samaria (including Jerusalem) from 300,000 to 1,050,000, and that of the southernmost Coastal Plain, the Negev and Sinai from 350,000 to 850,000, but with an addition of only 500,000 to the 2 million in the Central Coastal Plain. It saw as goals: the inclusion in Israel both of the hill crests and the Jordan Valley, the bolstering of Jerusalem's dominant position as Israel's capital, the reduction of demographic and ecological dangers by a better regional population distribution, and the improvement of the social structure by a transfer of workers from the service to the productive sector. The Gush plan proposed the establishment within 25 years of two cities of 60,000 inhabitants each, the one Kiryat Arba and another near Nablus, as well as four towns of 20,000 inhabitants, 20 "garden towns" with a population of 10,000 and 125 "community settlements" averaging 1,000–2,000 inhabitants, the latter to be grouped in "clusters" of four to eight around regional centers which would provide higher-grade services. In the long run, some clusters would amalgamate into towns or cities. The "community settlement" (yishuv kehillati) was to be organized as a cooperative society imposing on its members duties on the community's behalf, but leaving them free in the choice of their occupation, in the structure of their homes, etc. The plan contained maps and tables detailing location and economic foundations for every suggested settlement.
In the summer of 1978, Defense Minister Ezer *Weizman put forward his ideas with regard to settlement in Judea and Samaria. He opposed small farming communities scattered over wide areas and instead suggested six urban centers to be built on rocky ground with no large Arab population in the vicinity, enumerating Efrat, Givon, and Ma'aleh Adummim as supplementary satellites of Jerusalem, and Neveh Ẓuf, Ari'el (Ḥaris), and Karnei Shomron in western Samaria.
In August 1978 Professor Raanan *Weitz, for many years a member of the Israel Labor Party and head of the Jewish Agency's Agricultural Settlement Department, published his own Outline Plan for Rural and Urban Settlement for the period 1979–1983. Radically opposed to the approach of Gush Emunim, Weitz warned against Israel overreaching itself beyond the available manpower and against mingling Jewish and Arab populations within communities or restricted areas, which experience had always shown to have exacerbated antagonism. Judging it impossible to "judaize" Judea and Samaria, he demanded priority for developing the Yammit Region as a barrier between the Gaza Strip and Sinai, and the Lower Jordan Valley confronting Jordan. His five-year plan allocated 14 supplementary rural settlements to the former region and 17 to the latter, while the Golan, of second priority, was to get 11. Within the Green Line, he placed Galilee first with 20 planned rural settlements and later with 16 others stretched along the borders, while for the western Negev he envisaged 10 settlements, eight for the Aravah Valley, and six for the Negev Hills. Of these 102 localities to be peopled by 9,900 units (families), 60 were to be based mainly on farming, seven on industry and 35 combining both. For urban development, Weitz pointed to the need to bring towns to a "threshold size" beyond which they would expand spontaneously. Until 1983, a total of 11,900 families were to be absorbed in Kaẓrin on the Golan, Ma'aleh Efrayim in the Jordan Valley, Allon Shevut in the Eẓyon Bloc, Yammit, and Sapir in the Aravah Valley. Five existing towns of Galilee were to grow by 13,000 families, and Jerusalem with its suburbs by 23,500. With 13 other development towns within the Green Line reckoned to absorb 20,000 families, the plan foresaw a total of 68,400 families to be absorbed in the urban development sector. Weitz's ideas on strengthening communal cohesion preceded those of the Gush's program.
President Sadat's visit to Jerusalem (November 19–20, 1977) and the announcement of the Israel government's preparedness eventually to restore all of Sinai to Egypt, moved the Yammit Region into the center of attention. Shortly before, in September 1977, Prime Minister Begin, together with Housing Minister Gideon Patt, had visited Yammit and announced the go-ahead for the region's master plan, urging the increase of the town's population within two years from about 1,500 to 30,000. On November 2, Begin had requested membership and a house for himself at Ne'ot Sinai, the region's westernmost settlement. In December 1977, the approval of the government and the Knesset to restoring to Egypt the sovereignty over Yammit drew strong protests not only from Gush Emunim but also from the Labor Party and all settlement associations. Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon, visiting Yammit on January 2, 1978, disappointed the settlers in spite of their promise that local settlements would be strengthened and afforded full security by the Israel Defense Forces. Bitterness was aroused by Dayan's statement that "when peace is not achieved because of the settler's opposition, the people will not support them." Simultaneously, jnf work crews acting on government authority started groundbreaking work for eight, and then more, sites for settlement nuclei west and south of the region's existing villages, but were withdrawn after a fortnight. On President Sadat's demand that all Jewish settlements in Sinai be dismantled, Premier Minister Begin replied that Israel might rescind its peace proposal if Cairo did not permit the settlements to remain.
In the same month, Weitz published his Southern Project of 100 new settlements of 100 families each, to engage mainly in glasshouse farming, and 15,000 persons to live in nonfarming communities, which were to be established between Beer-sheba and Yammit, one third of them beyond the Green Line, even if it came under Egyptian sovereignty.
During 1978 and until the first Camp David Conference, the town of Yammit and the region's villages continued to consolidate their economy and increase their population. Construction of two villages begun earlier was pursued, but no new sites were allocated. After Camp David, the Knesset voted on September 25, 1978, to evacuate the region in the event of the signing of a peace treaty, with all speakers pointing to this as the decision's most painful aspect. On December 11, 1978, Weitz revealed to the Knesset Finance Committee his department's plan for "Pitḥat Shalom" ("Peace Salient") in the western Negev to resettle the Yammit Region inhabitants in 24 new villages of 60 units each, at a cost of $250 million, envisaging for the purpose also the Keturah area of the Aravah Valley, the Negev Hills and the vicinity of Niẓẓanah, the latter to be a city which would receive the Yammit inhabitants. These city dwellers, however, like the region's farmers, immediately declared they would by no means resettle anywhere else, and demonstrated their opposition in various ways. The protests culminated in the establishment of a "settlement" by Gush partisans 20 km east of el-Arish on March 20, 1979, the day of the Knesset debate on the signature of the Peace Agreement with Egypt.
Settlement in Judea and Samaria was not directly affected by the negotiations with Egypt. However, some people preparing to join settlements in the Lower Jordan Valley canceled their applications in view of the Yammit developments, although few actual members left villages during 1978. Gush Emunim, on the other hand, claimed that growing numbers wished to join its own existing sites and founded new ones. In July 1978, Sharon reported that, apart from 21 Jordan Valley settlements (by the end of 1976), Kiryat Arba and the Eẓyon Bloc villages, a skeleton network existed in Judea and Samaria comprising 16 settlements and three Naḥal footholds, of which four had been established under the previous government and the remainder since the Likkud had come into power. He announced the intention of doubling the number of families in these places to 1000 within a year.
At the Camp David Conference, the Israeli delegation consented to a temporary lull in the creation of new settlements in the region until the final agreement with Egypt scheduled for mid-December. A Gush group trying to set up camp on a hill near Nablus was expelled by the army (September 17–21, 1978), with Defense Minister Ezer Weizman being present at the tussle. While the Israel government reserved the right of "thickening" existing places, America interpreted the promise of Israel to refrain from further settlement as being unlimited in time. When the date passed without the expected agreement, Premier Begin declared settlement to be renewable. However, until President Carter's visit to Egypt and Israel (March 1979), no further settlements were established in the region.
In a newspaper article in January 1979, Y. Allon refuted the claim that rural settlements were no factor in zonal defense in modern warfare, and criticized the Likkud government for having given up Sinai without attempting to achieve border changes, thereby creating a precedent which could encourage other Arabs to demand, and eventually obtain, Israel's retreat everywhere to the untenable Green Line. He maintained that settlement in selected regions must be given new impetus and villages provided with all the necessary means to throw back even full-scale enemy assaults. In February Y. Galili declared that the Labor Party demanded continued Israeli sovereignty over the Lower Jordan Valley, the Eẓyon Bloc, the southern section of the Gaza Strip, and the Golan, and the adding of settlements in these regions.
In March 1979, when President Carter visited Egypt and Israel, the administered region of Judea and Samaria totaled 49 Jewish-inhabited locations. Of these, 23 were in the Lower Jordan Valley, near the Dead Sea, and on the adjoining hill slopes along the patrol road running from Rimmonim to Ma'aleh Efrayim, which separates them from the region densely inhabited by Arabs. Apart from Ma'aleh Efrayim, designed to serve as a semi-urban center, most settlements, moshavim and moshavim shittufiyyim (except for the southern sector where kibbutzim were prominent), were based principally on exportoriented farming of out-of-season vegetables and flowers.
The Eẓyon Bloc at that date contained the semi-urban center Allon Shevut, three kibbutzim, and one moshav shittufi. The construction of nearby Efrat as an urban community was officially approved in early 1979.
Over the rest of Judea and Samaria, 21 footholds were spread, most of them connected with Gush Emunim. Some of them grew quickly, others numbered only a few inhabitants who continued to maintain their jobs and apartments in the cities. Either Jewish-owned or "dead land" claimed by no one which had always, under Turkish, British, and Jordanian rule, counted as state property, was taken. Therefore, practically all hill settlements covered areas of rocky ground largely unfit for agriculture and were generally compelled to direct their future economy toward non-farming ventures.
Settlements in the Golan totaled 26, including the urban nucleus of Kaẓrin whose first residents moved in in 1977. While the first Golan settlements were kibbutzim and moshavim in the southern and northern sectors where some stretches were reclaimed for farming, the newer ones, largely in the central sector, were often built on permanently uncultivable ground and therefore concentrated on industry and other occupations. Since the early 1970s, the jnf has installed on the Golan plateau storage lakes to retain winter rainwater for summer use.
The Yammit Region (dismantled, evacuated, and ultimately leveled in 1982) and the Gaza Strip had 20 Jewish locations, of which nine were in the Strip. In early 1979 the town of Yammit had over 2,000 inhabitants, most having their place of work in pre-1967 Israel. There were two kibbutzim and 12 moshavim and moshavim shittufiyyim engaged in highly intensive and remunerative cultivation of export crops, some of them employing Bedouin of the vicinity as hired laborers. Water was received from shallow groundwater horizons and larger quantities came from the National Carrier. The settlements in the Gaza Strip, located on sand dunes, were kibbutzim and moshavim concentrating on glasshouse and open-air cultivation of out-of-season crops.
On the shore of the Gulf of Eilat existed three settlements, their economy principally based on tourism.
The task of establishing outposts after 1967 slowed similar activities within the Green Line, but in the early 1970s the urgent need was recognized to renew efforts, principally in mountainous Galilee and in the Aravah Valley.
In Galilee, including the Acre Coastal Plain, the Ḥuleh Valley and the Lake Kinneret shore, the proportion of Jews in the population shrank continually to little over 50% in 1978, and to hardly more than 20% in Galilee's hilly interior as a result of the enormous natural increase of non-Jews and, to some extent, by the migration of Jews to other parts of the country. Led by the New Communist Party, Arabs staged, particularly in 1976, riotous "land days" to protest against alleged expropriation of land from Arabs, although these amounted in Galilee to about 6,000 dunams only, much less than Jewish and state property taken for purposes like housing and other development, and although the development plans were designed to benefit Arab citizens no less than Jews. Non-Jews built thousands of houses scattered over state property or applied it to other use, with the intention both to create for themselves a claim to such land and to obstruct further Jewish settlement and development. In a few instances the Arabs of the Galilee demanded that their region should be severed from the State of Israel.
A Galilee development program had been proclaimed in the mid-1960s by Prime Minister L. *Eshkol, but after the founding of three moshavim, two of them near the Lebanese border, it was no longer energetically pursued. The plan was revived at the beginning of the 1970s with the consolidation and "re-planning" of hill moshavim (both in Galilee and the Jerusalem Corridor), and their infrastructure was broadened, especially by enlarging the poultry branch. Residential and farm buildings zones were separated and room was gained for absorbing more settler families in each village, particularly from the locally born second generation. Work started on the reclamation of land for industrial zones, e.g., Goren near the Lebanese border, Tefen in Central Upper Galilee between Ma'alot and Karmi'el, Segev in northwestern Lower Galilee, and Tur'an on the ridge of the same name further to the southeast. From 1976 onward the novel concept of industry-based villages (kafatim), consisting of kibbutzim, moshavim, and "community settlements," began to take shape with the founding of outposts, some of them initially maintained by Naḥal. At the end of 1978 they numbered eight. At the founding ceremony of a ninth, in February 1979, Minister Sharon described this location as the first of 29 temporary footholds in Galilee immediately to be created, in order to guard and prepare land for later permanent settlements to take shape within four to five years. Concurrent with new rural settlement were programs for expanding housing, industrial, and other enterprises of urban and semi-urban centers (Safed, Ma'alot, Karmi'el, Shelomi, Kiryat Shemonah, Ḥaẓor). Road building was started in 1978 to make older and more recent locations more easily accessible and to increase the attraction of their residential and industrial zones. Afforestation and preparation of pasture grounds were speeded up, both for their intrinsic economic and ecological value and the prevention of unlawful encroachment on public lands. These measures, at least as much as they promised to multiply Jewish settlers, benefited Galilee's non-Jews. This was in line with Israel's policy which regards the steep rise in the non-Jews' living standard as an integral part of its development objectives. While there were numerous candidates for farming and other enterprises in independent rural locations there were only few for hired employment in factories, tourist enterprises, etc., and vacancies were readily taken up by the region's non-Jews.
In the Aravah Valley, all settlements must be likened to "artificial oases," won by thorough land reclamation and the exploitation of profound, partly fossil, water reserves. Adding new links to the chain of Jewish villages was essential for Israel's security, because the Jordanian border splits this 180 km.-long desert rift lengthwise. The program gathered momentum after 1968, with eight farming settlements added to the five founded previously. Sapir, a semiurban center, was also under construction. This center promises to increase decisively the region's population and to promote its intensive agriculture actively, e.g., with an airfield for the direct dispatch by freightplanes of the region's produce to European markets, or a turkey slaughtering and packing plant to permit the renewal of this profitable branch which the settlements had been obliged to discontinue temporarily because of the long transport run to central Israel.
Of the settlements founded between 1967 and 1981 in other parts of pre-1967 Israel, some are very close to the Green Line and link up with development endeavors beyond it.
the 1980s and after
Between 1983 and 1992, the size of settlement and its regional distribution depended largely on the influence of the main political parties and their approach to Israel's current situation. The Likud and Gush Emunim (whose settlement association is named Amana) persevered in putting the emphasis on Judea-Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. The Ma'arakh Labor Bloc, on the other hand, insisted on restricting new settlement beyond the pre-1967 areas to the Allon Plan (see above) areas that had been envisaged for development after the Six-Day War. It explained that the peace process had to be kept going without the impediment of settlement in areas closely inhabited by Arabs. When the National Unity government was established in 1985, the Likkud partners had to be content with a compromise that permitted the establishment of only a few new settlements in the Administered Areas.
Foreign powers showed increased interest in the settlements. The U.S. kept repeating its wish that Israel refrain from further settlement in the territories and, especially, from directing new immigrants to them. The U.S.S.R. made full renewal of diplomatic relations conditional upon Israel's readiness for compromise concerning the territories although the relations were eventually restored without any concessions. The Arabs made cessation of settlement part of their conditions in peace negotiations.
Israel's right wing endeavored to make up for the decrease in new foundings by "thickening" the territories' Jewish population through speedy enlargement of existing places, aspiring to obtain appropriate budgets for land purchase, road construction, and other investments. Their success was considerable. In Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip the number of Jews rose from 22,800 in mid-1983 to 203,700 at the end of 2002. However, Teḥiyyah and other right-wing parties opposing the National Unity government complained that far from enough was being done for expansion.
Within the pre-1967 boundaries, Galilee and the Negev were the locales for few new settlements. In the Golan Heights no change was made.
Between 1983 and 2002, 105 places were founded: 47 in Judea-Samaria; 13 in the Gaza Strip; 3 in the Golan; 42 within pre-1967 Israel. In fact, however, the total of additions in the period was smaller, because the survey indicates as founding date the year when it recognized a settlement's existence, which is frequently later than when the foundations were laid.
A trend discernible in the 1980s and 1990s was the preference given to the novel forms of "community village" or "private village." Permitting settlers much greater freedom in their occupational and private sphere than do the veteran kibbutz or moshav, the community village not only attracted nuclei of new settlers but also groups which had originally intended to choose one of the traditional forms. Even a number of existing settlements decided, or were considering, to turn themselves into community villages. The designers of the new forms had predicted that they would each contain 200 or more families. While most community villages remained below this size, a few had grown beyond it and become, or were on the way to becoming, urban localities.
Of the sites available for new settlement both within pre-1967 Israel and in the Administered Areas, very few have at their disposal a minimum of cultivable soil. Therefore only a very small number of the new settlements included farming in their economic projection. This was encouraged by the fact that the size of cultivable acreage is no longer seen as decisive for Israel's farming capacity and profitability. Instead, most new places endeavor to promote industry, tourism, and other productive services or are content that most of their members commute to their work places in the country's major agglomerations. Among the settlement sites, those which are easily accessible for commuters have an advantage. Construction of good and easy roads has thus become an integral part of regional development.
planning: urban and rural development
the national plan
On its establishment the State of Israel set itself two political goals: (a) to bring the maximum number of Jews from the lands of their dispersion back to the country of their biblical origin, and (b) to integrate the newcomers into the framework of the new state. A further basic aim was to develop, populate, and provide employment in the entire territory of the state in order to achieve, in the course of time, a fairly equal standard of living in all parts of the country. It was the task of national, physical planning to give these basic objectives their technical and detailed expression and to point out ways for their realization.
When independent Israel came into being (1948), the greater part of the population was concentrated in the coastal strip and the cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. In view of the large influx of new immigrants and the need to settle the sparsely populated areas, the government adopted a policy for the balanced distribution of the population over the entire country. On the basis of this policy, a national plan was prepared for urban development by the building of new towns and rural development by the expansion of agriculture and the establishment of new villages.
After the first decade and a half of intensive planning and implementation, this situation was altered and progress made towards achieving the desired results. To the three existing major cities, a fourth was added – Beersheba, the capital of the Negev. The three major cities still exceed all others both in size and attraction and are constantly enlarging their conurbations. Free enterprises flourish in these cities and they offer a favorable labor market. Recently, there has been a rapid rise in the price of land and a tendency to use good agricultural land for urban settlement and services is making itself felt. The Coastal Plain is the most favored area of settlement and is even preferred to the capital, Jerusalem. Additional urban conurbations are forming in the Coastal Plain (e.g., Ashkelon, Ashdod, Netanyah, Ḥaderah). Agriculture in the Coastal Plain, which is well irrigated and close to the cities, is in a favored position as compared with other regions.
The waves of immigration since the foundation of the state were perhaps proportionally the largest known in history. For a decade and a half an annual average of 13.5% of the initial Jewish population entered the country. To this must be added the natural increase at the rate of 17 per thousand and an increase in the Arab population at the rate of 42 per thousand. This provided sufficient human material for the expansion of the existing settlements and the establishment of new settlements. About 400 rural settlements have been set up since the establishment of the state and many new cities founded. Galilee, the mountain district of Jerusalem and the Southern Region (the Negev) were populated with urban and rural settlements.
This expansion over the entire territory of the state coupled with the partial implementation of an extensive development program has been accompanied by the usual social phenomena. The economic situation of the major cities and the longer-settled areas is better than that of the newly developed regions. The new immigrants for the most part came to Israel devoid of economic means. They had to be housed and economically integrated at the public expense and the required services had to be provided. They had to bear the strains of a period of initial development which the veteran populations had encountered and overcome several decades before.
A national plan for the entire territory of the country was worked out in detail. It was intended to serve as a guide, and it was estimated that it would remain valid for 15 to 20 years. Major parts of the plan involved decisions and investments which would affect generations to come.
Of primary importance was the part showing the distribution of the population against the background of the new cities which were to be planned and developed. Since the establishment of the state, the Planning Department has on six occasions drawn up general plans showing the desired distribution of the population and from time to time has brought these plans up to date.
The 1957–8 plan, which was worked out on a scientific basis, was submitted to an inter-departmental committee for approval.
The final version of the plan, prepared in 1964, envisaged an estimated population of 4 million.
The main functions of the plan were the following:
a) to provide a balanced framework for the plans of individual settlements;
b) to serve as a guide to the practical measures to be taken towards implementing the distribution of the population, e.g., the geographical distribution of housing units and the siting of industrial enterprises;
c) to guide government offices and other bodies in determining the size and location of institutions and other establishments.
In drawing up the plans, the general aim was to further the process of population distribution – a policy vital to the country's defense and settlement needs and one that is necessary to relieve the mounting pressure on land in the overcrowded coastal strip. On the other hand, the plans did not ignore the existence of factors operating against dispersion and in favor of concentration, some of which are based on legitimate demands – e.g., a concern for the best conditions for those industries which will have to compete in world markets.
A continued distribution of the population and a check on the expansion of the big cities were the main objectives which found expression in the plans. At the same time the proposals were drawn up on a practical scale. They did not seek to impose on the state a burden of special investment which it could not bear. Only the measures to be taken in remote and underdeveloped areas justified exceptional effort and large-scale investment on the part of the State (e.g., in Northern and Central Galilee, the Besor Region, Arad, and the Central Negev).
On the other hand, such steps are not required when the aim is merely to increase the existing population of settlements which are fairly well established or which already have a large population (e.g., Beershebaa, Ashkelon, and Afulah).
Finally, it is important to stress that the urbanization of the Coastal Strip (unless this process is limited to the sand dune areas) is likely to produce results as negative as those caused by the continued expansion of the population in the Haifa and Tel Aviv areas.
The plan for the distribution of an estimated population of 4 million was not tied to any particular year. The date on which Israel's population would reach 4 million depended to a large degree on the rate of immigration, a factor which it was impossible to predict. Nevertheless the plan presumed that the population would reach this figure in 1982. In working out the plan, all those factors which affect the growth of population and which to a certain extent offset one another (e.g., the demographic aspect, the possible size of the agricultural and village population, the estimated occupational structure of the population, the limits to the distribution of industry and the possibilities of absorption in outlying regions of the country) were taken into account.
The plans for distribution of the population indicated the way in which development was to take place in the rural and urban sectors and in the new towns.
In addition to the significant expansion of the few cities existing at the time of the establishment of the State, a large number of new towns have been founded. They may be divided into the following types:
1. Former agricultural settlements which have grown into towns (first Petaḥ Tikvah and Rishon le-Zion, then Nahariyyah, Kefar Sava, and Zikhron Ya'akov).
2. Former Arab towns that were repopulated and considerably expanded (Ramleh, Lod, Bet Shean, Beersheba, and Acre – the area outside the city walls).
3. Completely new cities (Kiryat Shemonah, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Dimonah, Bet Shemesh, and Eilat).
4. Larger Arab villages, which are slowly assuming the character of small towns (Shefaram, Rama, Marar, Taiba, and Tira).
5. Small towns in the Negev (Miẓpeh Ramon, Arad, and others).
6. Rural service centers for groups of 5–10 villages, which fulfill the urban needs of the rural sector.
The establishment of satellite towns or single neighborhoods within the major and medium-size conurbations of the Coastal Plain cannot be regarded as the foundation of new towns or as a contribution to the distribution of population. It merely constitutes a shift of emphasis within the existing conurbation.
The areas which were most difficult to settle were those along the frontier, less for security reasons than as a result of the low agricultural quality of soil and their distant position. They were at first settled by kibbutzim at considerable distances from each other. Previously low-populated areas in the mountain regions (e.g., the Jerusalem Corridor and parts of Galilee) were provided with a network of agricultural settlements, backed by small townships (e.g., Bet Shemesh, Ma'alot, Kiryat Shemonah).
Several regions whose soil has been neglected but was naturally of good quality were re-populated under major development projects.
Lachish with its township of Kiryat Gat is the oldest and best known among these. It is followed by the projects for Karmiel, Arad, and Besor. In Galilee and along the southern Coastal Plain (around Ashkelon), equivalent results have been achieved by ordinary government development methods.
The development of the arid Negev region constitutes a special problem. What the area lacks in water and agricultural land is to some extent balanced by its natural resources. Towns of various sizes – Beershebaa as a major city, Eilat as a port city, Dimonah as an industrial center, and four additional smaller townships – were meant to provide for the population of this arid zone once the communications system was fully established.
The broad central strip of the Coastal Plain, from the Carmel down to the Gaza border, offers excellent agricultural soil. The prospering coastal towns as well as the towns which have developed from former rural settlements tend to encroach upon this agricultural land and urbanize it. Since the quantity of good agricultural land in Israel is limited and since in the future it will have to provide food for a far larger population, this trend had to be restricted. Measures were therefore taken to ensure that urban expansion did not proceed at the expense of the country's best nutritional soil.
plan for jerusalem
The plan for Jerusalem, which covered the entire city, is of special interest. In keeping with the topography of the capital, which has profoundly influenced its character, the hilltops and mountain slopes were specified for building purposes, constituting compact neighborhood units, while the valleys were left open as public areas. Special attention was paid to holy places and archaeological sites, and typical quarters of special interest were preserved. The open spaces form a suitable setting for public buildings, mostly on the hilltops, such as the Knesset, the government offices, the University, Herzl's tomb, Yad Vashem (the memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust), and the Hadassah Hospital. A special team of experts, set up by the Ministry of the Interior and the Municipality, prepared plans for areas of special historical and religious importance, including the Old City, the Mount of Olives, and their environs. Special attention was paid to the Old City and very strict regulations laid down to preserve its character.
Land reclamation, soil improvement schemes, swamp drainage, afforestation, terracing, and cultivation of lands neglected for centuries have all been carried out on a large scale. Flood control, catchment, and diversion of surface water, and extensive tapping of underground water have added thousands of acres of good agricultural land to the total cultivable area. The introduction of scientific methods of research and the mechanization of farming have considerably improved and increased agricultural output.
By 1948, when the State of Israel was established, the rural population numbered some 85,000 in about 320 Jewish agricultural settlements. Though agricultural development was certainly guided by the circumstances of the time, there was no comprehensive planning. On the whole, the development was sporadic, conditioned by opportunity, and uncoordinated. The turning point came in 1948 and only since then could comprehensive development be envisaged. Today agricultural and industrial, rural and urban, and economic and social development are all coordinated, thus ensuring the best results for the national economy.
The planning of agricultural development is now based on soil surveys, on land classification, and on the exploitation of water resources.
The supply of water in Israel is limited. The allocation of water for various uses in accordance with the planned economic development of the country is essential and is strictly enforced. A countrywide water supply grid was planned and established. The total water resources are insufficient for the maximum exploitation of all available agricultural land and for the industrial development envisaged. Schemes for harnessing the waters of the Jordan River and for catching rain water flowing from the hills to the sea are in progress. Research into the desalination of sea water and the purification of brackish underground water is also well advanced.
Planned cultivation, guided by government authorities and backed by research, together with the introduction of new scientific methods and an increase in mechanization, have all improved agricultural production. Once the national needs for fresh agricultural produce were met, a shift to the cultivation of industrial and export crops was encouraged. During the period of 1955–61 agricultural exports increased by 85%. The increase in the cultivation of industrial crops was coordinated with the development of the processing industry.
During the first years of development and under the pressure of mass immigration, agricultural settlements were located where water and good soil were available. Little consideration was given to regional integration. As immigration slackened off, reexamination was possible and further development was based on a comprehensive development plan for each region. Regional development authorities were set up to direct an area's development until economic, social, and administrative maturity was attained.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, 944 rural settlements have been founded and the rural population has increased from 85,000 to about 476,000. It comprised in 2002 about 8.9% of the total population as compared with 12.7% in 1948. Employed in agriculture in 2002 were some 71,700 persons, as compared with 32,000 in 1948. Agricultural production has been increased and marketing methods improving. The rural community has now attained cultural and material standards comparable to those in the towns.
In the early 21st century, agricultural development has pretty much come to a standstill, as all available water resources having been exploited. Improvement in methods of cultivation and in marketing continue, but the continued exploitation of the high-quality agricultural land available must await further progress in the supply of water.
Planning procedures and activities are regulated by the Planning and Building Law, 1965, which is administered by the National Planning Board, six district planning commissions, special planning commissions, and local planning and building commissions. The main function of the National Board is to prepare national outline schemes, approve district outline schemes, and advise the government on all planning and building matters. There is a committee for the protection of agricultural land under the auspices of the National Board. The most important functions of the district planning commissions are to approve local outline schemes and detailed plans, and to draw up district outline schemes. The country is divided into town planning areas, each with a local planning and building commission, which prepares local planning schemes and detailed schemes, issues building permits, etc.
The minister of the interior may, upon the recommendation of the minister of housing, declare by order that any area situated within one district shall be a special planning area. Every such area has a special planning and building commission, which acts, with certain restrictions, as a local and district commission. Other provisions of the law deal with expropriation, compensation, defense installations and obstructions to aviation, non-conforming use, offenses, penalties, and miscellaneous matters. The minister of the interior is charged with the implementation of the law and may make regulations after consultation with the National Board.
Israel's new geographical goals after 1967 were the occupation, as rapidly as possible, of areas beyond the Green Line by the establishment of numerous settlements; the creation of new security belts beyond the 1967 borders, continued socio-economic consolidation of previously established settlements within these borders; and further expansion of infrastructure.
The ways in which these aims were to be achieved were basically the same as 20 years before. In this period too, border settlements were founded, although the borders were now in the Golan Heights, the Jordan Rift Valley, and the northeast of the Sinai Peninsula. Development districts were set up on the Golan Heights, in the southern Gaza Strip, in the Jordan Valley, and at selected and more restricted spots.
Most of the development took place not within the sovereign domain of Israel, but far beyond it. This new development did not form a continuum with the settlement complexes established during the two previous decades. Moreover, the change in priorities in basic investments and the diversion of resources to the occupied territories left insufficient funds for the socio-economic consolidation of the settlements established in the past. In the 1970s a new settlement geography began to take shape, with comprehensive political and security interests beyond the original borderline. Development priority has also been accorded to Jerusalem over the years, despite the 33 towns founded when the state was established to attract urban settlers and scatter the population. The desire was to transform Jerusalem into a big capital city, for nationalist and religious reasons, although this was not justified on objective geographical grounds.
Instead of solving substantive and physical problems within the territory of Israel, accelerated development activity was being directed to sites outside it. In the wake of the frustrations of the withdrawal from Sinai in 1981, and the enforced territorial shrinkage, the declared policy of the government gave greater impetus to the west-east direction, turning its attention to the occupied territories for reasons of security, strategic depth, and territorial integrity. The three objectives of this expansion were naturally the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and Judea and Samaria. The Golan Heights had a great deal of unoccupied land and a small local population, while Judea and Samaria had both, considerable unoccupied land and a large population. On the Golan Heights the acquisition of physical control had been relatively easy and was already accomplished; in the Gaza Strip there was no possibility of expansion, because there were about a million people in an area of about 363 square kilometers, one of the highest densities in the world. There thus remained one possible objective for expansion – Judea and Samaria. It must be borne in mind that this latitudinal direction was beset with considerable difficulty, facing a million-strong Arab population in dense concentration throughout Judea and Samaria, facing a continuum of villages and towns, facing difficulties in acquiring land, and facing a hostile population that did not make things at all easy for the civil administration in the areas. The latitudinal expansion was based on a number of phenomena characteristic of the Israeli population. The Jewish population has a definitely urban mentality and is therefore primed for non-agricultural settlement with industry and services; it is interested in places of residence with improved environmental quality and without pollution and it is prepared to flee chaotic urban crowding even for places beyond the "Green Line." The motivation derived from the fact that in Judea and Samaria it was possible to find relatively easy solutions to all the glaring defects in Israel's living conditions and for which no reasonable solutions were planned.
However, the authorities made a different response to the new geographical conditions. In their change of direction they disregarded the principles that underlay the upbuilding of the country in the past. There is no doubt that the settlement map of the 1970s and 1980s was influenced primarily by political, military, and security factors, subject to pressure from the United States, Egypt, and Syria which dictated various measures in Israel. Yet there were also various domestic nationalistic motives and political party interests that contributed to the settlement activities and the change of the map of Israel. In the course of the process, various social and economic pressure groups arose which were very interested in having Israel change direction so that they could derive certain benefits.
Thus the 1970s and 1980s differ from earlier decades in the political motivation for settlement, going beyond economic considerations, in mass settlement, rural and urban, public and private, in areas whose ultimate fate was not yet known, involving penetration within a dense Arab population, and in new types of settlement – all this with almost daily political strife. Israel's new borders led to a regrettable diffusion of the new settlements; it created too few consolidated areas like the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. In the past the Negev had been the chief focus of settlement, later replaced by Galilee. In the 1970s it was Sinai, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, and the Jerusalem environs. In 1977–91 the right-wing Likud government politicized the settlement of Judea and Samaria in order to change the map of the country within a short period of time and strengthen it towards the east. It is doubtful whether this new map is one which will allow the maintenance of a single national sovereignty and a democratic society.
[Jacob Dash /
Elisha Efrat (2nd ed.)]
regional and settlement planning
Regional planning in Israel has always been a highly centralized activity, formulated through a series of statutory national, district, and local guidelines. The National Council for Planning and Construction prepared occasional outline plans at the country-wide level, and these provide the framework for more detailed district and local plans. The National Council is chaired by the chief planner of the Ministry of Interior and is composed of members representing other government ministries (such as Housing and Construction, Education, Economic Planning) and other major interests (the Committee for Land Preservation, environmental groups, and so on).
In 1985, the National Council for Planning completed the Outline Plan (No. 16) for the Geographical Distribution of Seven Million Inhabitants, expected to occur during the 1990s. This plan replaced the existing Outline Plan (No. 6) for Five Million Inhabitants which had been completed in 1975. The expected distribution of population was divided among the six major administrative districts of the country.
The demographic assumptions behind the plan assumed continued natural growth coupled with significant immigration. While at first these assumptions did not appear realistic, the sudden influx of Russian immigrants between 1989 and 1991 transformed the Seven Million Plan into a realistic indicator of demographic growth for the 1990s.
The urban landscape continued to grow, with some 20 percent of Israel's population residing in the four major towns of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Beersheba by the year 2002. Within the Dan Bloc metropolitan region, encompassing Tel Aviv and the surrounding towns from Kefar Sava and Netanyah in the north, to Ashdod in the south and Petaḥ Tikvah to the east, over half of the country's population resided on only 25% of the country's land surface, with 40% of the population within the metropolitan center alone. This was in direct contrast to the peripheral regions, especially the Negev, wherein 11% of the population lived in 60% of the country's land area. Despite government attempts to promote population dispersal, through the granting of tax cuts, cheap mortgages and other benefits, the population showed its preference for the center of the country.
A major change to have taken place within Israel's settlement landscape during the 1980s was the continued transformation of the rural landscape. What had previously been a largely homogeneous settlement pattern, composed of cooperative agricultural communities, such as the kibbutz and the moshav ovedim, now gave way to a more varied pattern. On the one hand, many of the existing agricultural communities underwent functional transformation as many of the residents ceased working in agriculture. This was particularly true of the moshav sector, with inhabitants finding an employment alternative in nearby towns. This was one the results of the severe economic problems which afflicted these communities in the wake of the high inflation of the early part of the decade.
Of greater significance was the founding of over 100 dormitory communities, similar in nature to the exurban commuting villages to be found throughout the Western world. Approximately two-thirds of these new communities were established in the West Bank, many of them by Gush Emunim adherents, this region lying within the natural commuting hinterland of both the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem metropolitan regions. A large number of these exurban communities were also founded in Galilee, mostly in the western Galilee region of Segev. These communities were distinct from the traditional agricultural cooperatives in many respects. In the first place, little – if any – employment takes place within the village itself. Nearly all the working residents commute to the nearby towns for their employment. Moreover, these communities are based on a vision of "Western high-quality of life" living standards characterized by the private construction of large detached houses, giving further evidence of the clear emergence of a growing Israeli middle-class. While the majority of these communities were founded with substantial governmental assistance, private investment was responsible for a minority of cases (approximately 20 communities). The private communities were, on the whole, extremely large from the outset, with some of them (such as Metar in the northern Negev, or Koḥav Ya'ir in the center of the country) reaching 1,000 households (5–6,000 people) by the early 1990s.
The sudden arrival of the mass Russian immigration in 1990 and 1991, resulted in short-term, dramatic changes in both planning and construction. At the national level, the National Council for Planning prepared an Outline Plan for the distribution of population, as expected to take place by 1995 – reaching a total of 6.1 million inhabitants. This plan followed the general trend already noted in the Plan for Seven Million Inhabitants, although it proposed some variations on the detailed patterns of distribution.
The lack of sufficient housing for all of the immigrants led to the granting of emergency powers, designed to shortcut the normal bureaucratic delays encountered in the housing process, to the respective ministries, and in particular to the Ministry of Housing and Construction. Large-scale construction programs were put into effect throughout the country. The varied building programs included the construction of both high and low density neighborhoods, some of which consisted of imported housing units. Some of the smaller development towns underwent substantial population increase – as much as 25–30% – in the space of only one or two years. However, this has resulted in significant municipal and functional problems for the local authorities in their attempt to continue to supply a reasonable level of municipal services.
In addition to the major programs of housing construction, thousands of mobile caravan units were imported in order to provide short-term housing solutions until the solid housing would be completed. The government was conscious of the fact that the large caravan estates which sprang up throughout the country could lead to the development of social and economic conditions similar to those which occurred in the immigrant camps of the 1950s. As a result, the new government of June 1992 declared its intention of evacuating all of these camps within as short a time period as possible and encouraging their residents to move into the permanent housing.
under ottoman rule
Until 1858, there were no official title deeds for land in the country. There was a plentiful supply for all who wished to cultivate the land, and no one needed to establish official ownership of a specific plot. In the hills, in particular, there were large uncultivated areas which were used only for spring and pasture. In 1858 the Ottoman government promulgated the ṭābū law, designed to enforce registration and establish ownership for all land. But the obligation was no more than theoretical: only limited areas were registered, and many holders did not register their lands at all, to facilitate evasion of taxes and other imposts. Many peasants recorded the natural boundaries of their land but deliberately underestimated the area – there was no cadastral survey at the time. In return for a few coppers other peasants waived their rights in favor of effendis (rich landlords) in the towns. Lands were sometimes registered in the name of a whole village (mushā'a land) without stipulating the names of the current holders; the area was divided up afresh every year according to the number of members in each family, with a steady decrease in the area of the individual holding. Much land was left uncultivated because it had not been manured for centuries and the exhausted soil afforded inadequate yields, while the burden of taxation and extortion by the authorities and the tax farmers was heavy.
The enforcement of the maḥlūl law, under which cultivable land untitled for three consecutive years escheated to the state, led to the concentration of considerable areas in the hands of the government, which, being unable to cultivate them, leased them to urban capitalists for trivial rents. As a result, extensive stretches were concentrated in the hands of individual rich landowners, the sultan (Jiftlik land), the state, and the waqf (Muslim public, state, or religious trust), to which land was often dedicated to avoid taxation. At the end of the 19th century, large estates were owned by the state and the sultan at Beersheba and Beth-Shean and in the Ḥuleh and Jordan valleys; by effendis and foreigners in the valley of Jezreel, along the coast, and in various villages, and by village communities, charitable institutions and associations.
Jewish land purchases outside the four "holy cities" of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, and Tiberias began in 1855 with the acquisition of 100 dunams (25 acres) of citrus groves near Jaffa by Sir Moses *Montefiore. This was followed by the purchase of land at Moẓa, near Jerusalem, in 1859, at Mulabbas (Petaḥ Tikvah) in 1878, and ʿUyūn Qārā (Rishon le-Zion), Zammārīn (Zikhron Ya'akov), and Jā'ūna (Rosh Pinnah) in 1882. By the end of 1882, 22,000 dunams (5,500 acres) of land, mostly rural, were in Jewish possession. Jews bought much land after 1882, mainly from owners of large estates, and owned 418,000 dunams (104,500 acres) at the outbreak of World War i.
under the mandate
There was no considerable change in land ownership during the war, but, after the Allied occupation and the establishment of British Mandatory rule in 1920, the old Ottoman land registries were reopened and transactions renewed. A special Land Court was established, at first in the north, to expedite determination of ownership on the basis of surveys, documents, and prescriptive rights. With increased Jewish immigration, more land was purchased, still mainly from owners of large estates. By November 1947, when the un decided on the partition of Palestine, Jews had 1,820,000 dunams (455,000 acres) of land, of which 800,000 dunams (200,000 acres) were owned by the Jewish *National Fund (jnf), 450,000 by the *Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (pica), and the rest by public and private companies and by individuals.
in independent israel
The area of the State of Israel, with in the Armistice demarcation lines of 1949, was 20,700,000 dunams. Of these, 425,000 were covered by water and of the remaining 20,255,000 dunams the state owned 17,675,000 dunams; the jnf 800,000 dunams; pica 450,000; Jewish individuals 510,000 dunams; and Arab individuals 820,000 dunams. State lands included 14,500,000 dunams inherited from the Mandatory government (mostly uncultivable land, e.g., the southern Negev), and 3,175,000 dunams abandoned by Arabs during the *War of Independence.
Under a series of laws enacted in 1950 and 1951, the government lands were vested in the State of Israel and administered by the State Property Office; the abandoned lands were vested in the Custodian of Absentee Property, while their administration was handed over to the Land Development Authority; a third category, lands formerly owned by Germans and seized during World War ii by the Custodian of Enemy Property, were handed over to the Administrator General. In 1955, the State Properties Division was set up to administer all lands owned or held by the state. Although this step did away with most of the duplication, there was still the question of the land owned by the jnf. By agreement with the jnf and the Zionist Organization, a single Israel Lands Authority to administer both state and jnf lands was set up in 1960 under the Israel Lands Law and the Israel Lands Authority Law, both passed in the same year. The former, which is one of Israel's basic constitutional laws, lays down the principle that state, Development Authority, and jnf lands shall not be sold, with exceptions specified in the law itself. The Israel Lands Authority Council consists of seven government and six jnf representatives, with the minister of agriculture as chairman. Between May 1948 and June 1967 the jnf acquired about 1,500,000 dunams from the Development Authority and a further few thousand dunams from Arabs. pica transferred most of its holdings to the farmers in its villages and some 120,000 dunams to the jnf. At the beginning of 1968, the state and the Development Authority owned 16,200,000 dunams and the jnf, 2,570,000 – making up 92% of the country's area. The Muslim waqf and Christian churches held 150,000 dunams and private persons (Jews and Arabs), 1,385,000.
The reclamation of hilly terrain was practiced in the Land of Israel in ancient times. The viticulturist in the hills of Judea prepared his plot by digging and clearing stones before planting his vines (Isa. 5:2). Clearing stones and terracing occupy an important place in the halakhot dealing with land in the Mishnah and Talmud. Dry-stone walls (in mishnaic terminology gappot (Pe'ah 6:2); in Arabic sinsala) prevented the rain from sweeping the soil away into the lowlands and enabled it to be absorbed where it fell. The hill regions remained fertile as long as the terraces remained intact, but when the country was overrun by Bedouin, the walls were neglected and collapsed, so that the soil was exposed to erosion. As the prophet foretold: "The mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places (Heb. madregot – "steps," or "terraces") shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground" (Ezek. 38:20).
In the second half of the 19th century some of the ancient terraces were repaired and new ones built. With the start of Jewish settlement in the 1880s, all types of land reclamation were utilized: swamp drainage by planting eucalyptus trees in Petaḥ Tikvah and Ḥaderah, stone clearing, deep plowing and terracing for vineyards and orchards in Zikhron Ya'akov, Rosh Pinnah, and Moẓa. Under the British Mandate the Jewish National Fund sponsored the drainage of 87,000 acres (350,000 dunams) of swamps in the Jezreel, Zebulun, Ḥefer, and Ḥuleh valleys, and the reclamation of 4,000 acres (16,000 dunams) of hilly terrain. In the same period pica reclaimed the Kabarah swamp and others totaling 37,500 acres (150,000 dunams), while 22,500 acres (90,000 dunams) were reclaimed by other agencies.
The greater part of the uncultivated area in Israel consists of the Judean and Negev deserts, which support only desert vegetation and cannot be utilized even after reclamation unless supplied with water. Most of the other categories may be reclaimed by mechanical means. Hard soil – stony or rocky – or steep terrains, unfit for cultivation even if the earth between the boulders or under the stony stratum is fertile or sustains useful wild plants, is common in hill regions, of which there are about 1,080,000 acres (4,242,000 dunams), apart from deserts. About 48% of this area is cultivable, but some 550,000 acres (2,200,000 dunams) can be utilized only after reclamation by stone clearing, deep plowing – including removal of boulders, embedded rock, or outcrops (and terracing) and construction of stone revetments along the declivities to form terraces and prevent soil erosion. If the ground still harbors superfluous trees and shrubs, these have to be extirpated. Swampland, waterlogged for the whole or the greater part of the year, cannot be utilized for agriculture without draining. Scrub soil, choked with undesirable wild brush or grasses, requires deep plowing and root clearance. Saline soil, common in the Negev, the Aravah, and the Plain of Jericho, is ameliorated by leaching out the salts, which entails the use of 2,000–3,000 cu. m. of water per dunam. Gullied soil, where the earth has been swept away and eroded by flash floods due to unskilled plowing of the slopes, is common all over the country, in particular in the southern and northern Negev. It may be reclaimed by filling in the gullies, leveling, and channeling to divert flood-water runoff. Unstable or sandy soil, such as the coastal dunes or the loess of the western Negev, may be utilized for intensive irrigated farming after amelioration with green and organic fertilizers.
Since the establishment of the state (up to the end of 1966), the Jewish National Fund has reclaimed 76,250 acres (305,000 dunams) in the hill regions, 11,500 acres (46,000 dunams) in the valleys, and 8,750 acres (35,000 dunams) in the Negev and the Arabah, totaling 96,500 acres (386,000 dunams), while some 3,750 acres (15,000 dunams) were reclaimed under private ownership. The land is utilized for fruit farming, vineyards, extensive cultivation of vegetables, and irrigated crops. It has been estimated by J. Weitz that an area of another 125,000 acres (500,000 dunams) can be reclaimed for agricultural use.
aliyah:Seminar ha-Kibbutzim, Ha-Aliyah ha-Rishonah, Goremeha ha-Ra'yoniyyim ve-ha-Re'aliyyim (1963); B. Habas, Sefer ha-Aliyyah ha-Sheniyyah (1947); D. Giladi, Ha-Yishuv bi-Tekufat ha-Aliyyah ha-Revi'it, 1924 – 1929 (1968), incl. bibl.; M. Basok, Sefer ha-Ma'pilim (1947); H.M. Sachar, Aliyah… (Eng., 1961); J.B. Schechtman, On Wings of Eagles (1961); S. Barer, The Magic Carpet (1957); idem, From the Ends of the Earth (1964); M. Sikron, Immigration to Israel 1948 – 1953 (1957). absorption: S. Sitton, Israël, immigration et croissance 1948 – 1958… (1963); H. Isaacs, American Jews in Israel (1967); S.N. Eisenstadt et al. (eds.), Integration and Development in Israel (1970), incl. bibl. aliyah in the 1970s: Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, Immigrant Absorption – 1977 (February 1978); Immigrant Absorption – 1978 (May 1979); Immigrant Absorption – 1979 (May 1980); Institute of Jewish Affairs, The Decline of Soviet Jewish Emigration in 1980, Research Report 17 (1980); Central Bureau of Statistics, Immigration Statistics Quarterly 10 (January–December 1979). settlement. A. Bein, The Return to the Soil, A History of Jewish Settlement in Israel (1952) incl. bibl.; A. Ruppin, The Agricultural Colonization of the Zionist Organization in Palestine (1926); J. Ben David (ed.), Agricultural Planning and Village Community (unesco, Arid Zone Research, 23 (1964); R. Weitz and A. Rokach, Agricultural Development: Planning and Implementation (1968); R. Weitz, Darkenu ba-Ḥakla'ut u-va-Hityashevut (1958). religion and settlement planning: L. Applebaum, L.D. Newman, Between Village and Suburb: New Settlement Forms in Israel (in Hebrew; 1989); Y. Golani, S. Elidor, and M. Garon (eds.), Planning and Housing in Israel in the Wake of Rapid Changes (1992). add. bibliography: M. Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Project – A Survey of Israel's Policies (1984); S.B. Cohen, Geopolitics of Israel's Border Question (1980); D. Elazar (ed.), Judea, Samaria and Gaza: Views on the Present and Future (1982); E. Karsch (ed.), From War to Peace, Israel: First Hundred Years (2000); D. Newman, The Geopolitics of Peacemaking in Israel – Palestine (2002); S. Roy, The Gaza Strip Survey (1980); E. Efrat, Geography of Occupation – Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (2002); E. Cohen, The City in the Zionist Ideology (1970); Y. Gradus, Desert Development (1985); D. Grossman, Rural Process-Pattern Relationships: Nomadization, Sedentarization and Settlement Fixation (1992); M. Hill, Planning in Turbulence: Urban and Regional Planning in Israel 1948 – 1977 (1978); A. Rokach, Rural Settlement in Israel (1978); D. Weintraub, M. Lissak, and Y. Azmon, Moshava, Kibbutz and Moshav: Pattern of Jewish Rural Settlement and Development in Palestine (1969); R. Weitz, The Lakhish Region, Background Study in Regional Planning (1978). land ownership: J. Weitz, Struggle for the Land (1950); idem, Bi-Netivai le-Yishuvah shel ha-Areẓ (1960); A. Granott, Land System in Palestine (1952); idem, Agrarian Reform and the Record of Israel (1956); A. Bonné, State and Economics in the Middle East (1948). land reclamation: J. Weitz, Struggle for the Land (1950). planning: J. Dash and E. Efrat, The Israel Physical Master Plan (1964); A. Sharon, Physical Planning in Israel (1952); E. Brutzkus, Physical Planning in Israel (1964); E. Spiegel, New Towns in Israel (1967); J. Shuval, Immigrants on the Threshold (1963); A. Glikson, Regional Planning and Development (1955); M.D. Gouldman, Legal Aspects of Town Planning in Israel (1966); First World Congress of Engineers and Architects in Israel 1967, lecture by J. Dash; R. Weitz, Ha-Kefar ha-Yisre'eli be-Iddan ha-Tekhnologyah (1967); International Federation for Housing and Planning, Proceedings of the 27thWorld Congress for Housing and Planning (1964). add. bibliography: E. Efrat, Physical Planning Prospects in Israel During 50 Years of Statehood (1998); idem, The New Towns of Israel (1948 – 1988), a Reappraisal (1989); U. Benziman, Jerusalem: City Without a Wall (1973); M. Momarm and A. Weingrod, Living Together Separately – Arabs and Jews in Contemporary Jerusalem (1991); A. Sharoni, Planning Jerusalem (1973).
"Land of Israel: Aliyah and Absorption." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/land-israel-aliyah-and-absorption
"Land of Israel: Aliyah and Absorption." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/land-israel-aliyah-and-absorption