The impact of immigrants’ characteristics on anti-immigrant sentiment among the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in Israel

Moshe Semyonov*, Rebeca Raijman, Anastasia Gorodzeisky, Thomas Hinz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the present research ‘factorial survey experiment’ method is applied to examine and compare the differential impact of immigrants’ characteristics on anti-immigrant sentiment among the majority and minority populations in Israel. Potential immigrants were described by six characteristics (gender, continent of birth, education, religion, level of religiosity and reason for migration) in a fractionalised sample of 252 vignettes (organised in 42 decks of 6 vignettes each). They were presented to two national representative samples of the Jewish (majority) and of the Arab (minority) populations in Israel. Respondents were asked to express attitudes toward admission and allocation of rights to hypothetical immigrants. The analysis reveals that Arabs are more supportive of immigrants than Jews, and that the most influential characteristic on formation of attitudes is immigrants’ religious origin, with Jews preferring Jewish immigrants but objecting non-Jews (especially Muslims) and Arabs favouring non-Jews (especially Muslims) immigrants. Discussion of the findings in light of theory leads to the conclusion that sentiments toward immigrants are shaped, first and foremost, by preferences regarding the ethnic and cultural homogeneity of society; much more than by threat of economic competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4266-4287
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume49
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Immigration
    • Israeli society
    • attitudes toward immigration
    • ethnicity
    • factorial survey experiment

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