Immigration and Nation Building

Immigration and Nation Building

Australia and Israel Compared

Monash Studies in Global Movements series

Edited by Andrew Markus and Moshe Semyonov

This insightful study explores the growth of the two largest post-industrial immigrant nations since the Second World War – Australia and Israel. Almost one in four Australians were born outside the country, more than one in three Israelis.

Chapter 2: Immigration Laws

Na’ama Carmi and Susan Kneebone

Subjects: development studies, migration, politics and public policy, international politics, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


Na’ama Carmi and Susan Kneebone For those who’ve come across the seas We’ve boundless plains to share (McCormick 1878: 2nd verse) The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles. (Declaration of Independence 1948) One central way to look at the focus and effect of immigration laws and policy is in terms of inclusion and exclusion; that is, as determining whom we admit as ‘one of us’ and whom we reject and so cannot join us as a member. If we look at the Israeli immigration laws and practices from this perspective, the answer to the above question is clear: as the above statement recognizes, Jews and family members of Jews are welcome to join the Israeli collective, a policy embodied first and foremost in the Law of Return. Non-Jews are, generally speaking, ‘persona non grata’ in terms of joining the collective as full members, precluded by de facto practices even without an explicit immigration policy. As we will explain, Israel has shaped its laws, which are based on ethnicity, to fit contemporary patterns of international migration. In the case of Australia, although it may appear to be a ‘classical’ welcoming country of immigration, a colonial heritage as part of the British Empire and its geographical position in the Asia-Pacific region have shaped its laws and underlying policy. The welcoming words of Australia’s national anthem exaggerate the inclusiveness of Australia’s immigration policy and laws. From the pre-Federation period up to World War...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information