Israel and the Right to Travel Abroad, 1948–1961

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Today, no one questions that criminals, minors, or those seeking to shirk their civic duties may be restricted or even barred from leaving their respective countries. However, during the 1950s, several democratic countries, including Israel, restricted foreign travel by their citizens on other grounds. This article examines the right of departure policies of Israel in comparison with three models—Soviet, British, and American—which served Israeli policy makers as criteria in this regard. The policy promulgated by a country sheds light on its character, its society, and its perception of citizenship. The article not only describes the right to travel abroad as exercised in Israel, but also opens a window onto the conceptual world of those who set such policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-176
Number of pages30
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • 20th century
  • Articles
  • Citizenship
  • Cold wars
  • Communism
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Emigration and immigration law
  • Government bureaucracy
  • Government policy
  • History
  • Jewish studies
  • Immigration law
  • International travel
  • Interpretation and construction
  • Israel
  • Israelis
  • Passports
  • Travel


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