The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was the event that led to the development of new groups with their traditions and interests and the possibilities for people to migrate from different diasporas to a new land. However, it seemed that such a young, poor country as Israel was not ready for mass migration, especially from the Sephardi/Mizrachi Jewish Diaspora. Therefore, it was expected that some misunderstandings, tensions, and conflicts could take place between people from different nations and with different interests. In this paper, the evaluation of the relations between western Zionists, Ashkenazi, and the immigrants from eastern Arab countries will be done to clarify if the existing variety of cultural visions could influence the development of society in Israel.
We will write a custom Research Paper on Ashkenazi’s and Western Zionists’ Influence on Israel specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Zionism was one of the oldest Jewish movements that participated in the formation of the Land of Israel. Its representatives supported the idea of free immigration during a certain period. Still, as soon as people understood their possibilities to inhabit a new land, that vision came to pass because of the intense activities and the inabilities to get prepared for mass immigration of people from different regions.1 People came to Israel with a hope to get new possibilities, meet high expectations and create the future all of them were dreaming of. Still, the already established traditions by the representatives of Zionism and Ashkenazi deprived immigrants of the opportunities to be free and neglect the traditions these movements had established.
Shapira explained that Israel was a new state that was oriented toward Europe and the West, but it was characterized by several negative images of immigrants (called “human dust”).2 Because of the appearance of new waves of immigration, the Zionists and some representatives of Ashkenazi were not able to protect their ideas and beliefs and turned out to be in danger of extinction. In the movie The Band’s Visit, it was seen that some regions were not as developed as they could be and had “no culture. Not Israeli culture, not Arab, no culture at all.”3
Therefore, the new immigrants from eastern Arab countries found the idea to establish their rules and traditions rather than captivating in order not to lose their pre-immigration cultural roots and get accustomed to the required changes in their thinking, behavior, and social norms.4 At the same time, the Zionists and Ashkenazi did not want to lose their individuality and tried to protect their traditions. That was the main reason for tensions between different groups of people.
Israeli society viewed Mizrachi Jews as a powerful nation with several human resources and the ability to use the land to its full extent. Still, it was necessary to gain control of this group of immigrants and regulate their activities. The Israelis defined themselves as the nation with certain needs and possibilities. Therefore, Mizrachi Jews immigrants were divided into small groups and attached to a kind of semi-traditional style of life. On the one hand, it was a good solution for Israeli society to be protected as a separate nation. On the other hand, Israel contradicted its rules concerning the possibility of free immigration.
In general, the situation in Israel after its establishment in 1948 was contradictory, and many immigrants, as well as the inhabitants of the land, were not ready for the outcomes of migration and its impact on the development of society.
Shapira, Anita. Israel: A History. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2012.
The Band’s Visit. Directed by Eran Kolirin. Los Angeles, CA: Sony Classics, 2007. DVD.
- Anita Shapira, Israel: A History, (Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2012), 222.
- Anita Shapira, Israel: A History, (Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2012), 230.
- The Band’s Visit, directed by Eran Kolirin (2007; Los Angeles, CA: Sony Classics), DVD.
- Anita Shapira, Israel: A History, (Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2012), 240