Medical selection and the debate over mass immigration in the new state of Israel (1948--1951) Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper examines the discourse regarding medical selection of immigrants to Israel during the years 1948-51, which was a period of mass immigration in which approximately 700,000 people immigrated to the State, thereby doubling the Jewish population in only three years. The paper focuses on the debate that preceded the Israeli Government's eventual acceptance of a selection policy. We assert that the debate was shaped to a large extent by a combination of Zionist ideology and eugenic influences -- two intellectual forces that had interacted well before the creation of the Israeli State in the first half of the 20th century. Ce texte porte sur le discours relatif a la selection des immigrants en Israel durant les annees 1948-51, periode durant laquelle environ 700.000 personnes immigrerent dans ce pays, ce qui fit pratiquement doubler la population juive en trois ans. Il traite plus particulierement du debat concernant les politiques de selection pratiquees par le gouvernement israelien. Il ressort que ce debat fut influence, pour une grande part, par la rencontre de deux courants de pensee, soit les ideologies sionistes ou les ideologies eugenistes; deux ensembles de doctrines bien vivantes dans la premiere moitie du XXe siecle.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005