Instant absorption of immigrants and persistent exclusion of arab citizens in Israel

Yossi Shavit*, Noah Lewin-Epstein, Irit Adler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contrast to most of the other countries presented in this volume, in Israel there is no 'host' group; all but a small fraction of the population are either immigrants, children of immigrants or members of an excluded indigenous minority. Moreover Israel is stratified not only along ethnonational lines dividing Jews from the indigenous Palestinian population but also between Ashkenazi (predominantly originating from Europe) and Sephardim (predominantly from North Africa and the Middle East). Regarding unemployment, our findings reveal that all male immigrant groups, aswell as Palestinians, have higher probabilities than third-generation Jews of being unemployed. These results possibly reflect the advantage enjoyed by the founding generation and their offspring in terms of both residence in proximity to large labour markets and greater access to the more secure public sector jobs. This difficulty is reflected in the high odds of first-generation immigrants from the former USSR of being unemployed, while there is no generational difference in the likelihood of being unemployed for all other ethnic groups. The multivariate analyses revealed that, even after controlling for education and demographic attributes, Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origins had lower odds of attaining higher class positions than second-generation Israelis and Jewish immigrants of European descent. The odds of Palestinian men attaining such class positions were even lower. Similar patterns were found for the class position of women. The above patterns of differential ethnic advantage are further amplified by the greater sensitivity of the odds of obtaining higher class occupations to education, among Palestinians and to a lesser extent among Mizrahi Jews, compared with Jews of European origin. Put differently, Palestinians (and to some extent Mizrahim) must have higher education on average than their 'co-workers' of Jewish European origin to attain the same class positions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-358
Number of pages38
JournalProceedings of the British Academy
StatePublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Instant absorption of immigrants and persistent exclusion of arab citizens in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this