1. What are the main arguments of Lissak’s article?
In his article “The Demographic-Social Revolution in Israel in the 1950s: The Absorption of the Great Aliyah,” Moshe Lissak elaborates on the struggles faced by the new Jewish immigrants who arrived to the state of Israel from Europe (such as holocaust survivors) and other Muslim countries, such as Yemen, Iraq, and Morocco. Lissak ensures to highlight three critical arguments, or reasons, which prove the absorption process during the 1950s to be a great accomplishment, however consisting of a great amount of pain and sacrifice.
Although not a significant area of focus in his article, Lissak presents the factors that drove the Jews from their country of origin to the “target country,” the state of Israel. Although anti-Semitic views were demolished after the process of emancipation, many Jews still faced various prejudicial actions, serving as a main factor for the abandonment of their country of origin. Other driving forces included the location of the Jews within their country of origin, their economic status, and the significance of Israel and the Zionist movement to them. The non-Israeli Jews who considered immigration viewed the state of Israel as a place of safety, unification, new beginning, hope, and brighter future.
Furthermore, Lissak emphasizes on Israel’s forceful attitude at the time, expecting migrated citizens to accumulate into an anticipated form of behavior and lifestyle. Many of the new immigrants that came from Yemen and Iraq were religious and traditional Jews who did not understand why they were obligated to give up their old culture and traditions. This new assimilation, or adjustment, to an Israeli required changes in occupational roles and professions, social and political beliefs, and extreme devotement to the state of Israel. However, multiple barriers slowed down the integration process of the new immigrants. Such barriers included the economic status of the migrants as well...
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