Länderprofile

Länderprofile



Israel

With regard to the subject of migration, too, Israel is unusual in one very important way: the state is virtually built on immigration. Mass immigration characterised various periods of the 20th century, especially the years immediately before and after the founding of the state in 1948. The subsequent war that broke out with the neighbouring Arab states (War of Independence) led, on the other hand, to a wave of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. The population of Israel has doubled several times over the past 60 years, in particular as a result of immigration. Today the country has 6.4 million inhabitants. Since 1948 more than three million immigrants have been registered, and in the 1990s Israel was even the country with the highest percentage of immigration worldwide in proportion to the size of its population. Given the considerable number of Jewish immigrants, questions of integration and of the co-existence of new immigrants with the indigenous population play an important role in Israel. In recent times, migration and integration policy has been faced with newly developing challenges. These include labour migration, refugeeism and illegal residence – challenges with which western immigration countries have been typically confronted up to now. (Version from 6/2008)

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