Spheres of Migration: Political, Economic and Universal Imperatives in Israel's Migration Regime

Hila Shamir, Guy Mundlak
2013 Middle East Law and Governance  
This article seeks to describe the piecemeal process of creation of what may, arguably, be a new immigration regime in Israel. In order to do so, we focus on three distinct waves of non-Jewish entry to Israel. The first is the day-labor entry of Palestinian workers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 1967; the second is the entry of migrant workers from various countries, primarily since 1993; and the third is the entry of asylum-seekers, primarily from Africa, since 2007.
more » ... ca, since 2007. Each of these waves was carved out by the state as a distinct sphere of migration, a narrow exception to Israel's general Jewish Settler Regime, which is based on a different functional imperative. The entry of Palestinians is justified primarily by a political imperative -the political relationship between Israel and the Palestinians under occupation. The entry of migrant workers is, first and foremost, seen as the result of economic imperatives -a way to supply cheap labor to cater to the needs of the domestic labor market and fulfill the economic needs of the state. The entry of asylumseekers (and their rights upon entry) rests primarily on a universal humanitarian imperative led by the state's moral and convention-based responsibility toward those who are in dire need, and particularly in need of a safe territorial haven.
doi:10.1163/18763375-00501004 fatcat:lu4p2pcynbflzkzkhd6v4a3es4