When Scholarship Disturbs Narrative: Ian Lustick on Israel's Migration Balance

By Sergio DellaPergola

Association for Israel Studies, Winter 2011

In response to Ian Lustick’s article on Israel’s migration balance in the previous issue of Israel Studies Review, the author questions Lustick's (lack of) theoretical frame, data handling, and conclusions, all set up against a robust narrative. He shows that, until 2010, Israel displayed a positive, if weakened, migration balance and that immigration trends continued to reflect conditions among Diaspora Jewish populations more than Israel’s absorption context. Emigration rates from Israel, while admittedly difficult to measure, were objectively moderate and proportionally lower, for example, than those of Switzerland, a more developed country of similar size, or those of ethnic Germans returning to and then again leaving Germany. The main determinants of emigration from Israel—namely, ‘brain drain’—consistently related to socio-economic changes and not to security. He also rejects Lustick’s assumptions about the ideological bias of Israel’s research community when dealing with international migration. Scholarship about Israel should not ignore global contextualization and international comparisons.

Topic: Aliyah, Immigration, Economy, Zionism

Name of Publication: Israel Studies

Volume/Issue: Vol.26/No.2

Page Number(s): 1-27

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Coverage: Germany , Israel , Switzerland

Identifier: doi:10.3167; isr.2011.260202

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
DellaPergola, Sergio. When Scholarship Disturbs Narrative: Ian Lustick on Israel's Migration Balance. Israel Studies. Association for Israel Studies. Winter 2011: 1-27. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13562


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