Health and Hegemony: Medical Inspection, Immigrants and the Israeli Melting Pot, 1948-1956 Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper focuses on the social history of medical inspection practices during the period of mass immigration to Israel. In this period, the newly established country with a population of only 600,000 faced the formidable task of absorbing over 1,000,000 new immigrants. Already in their countries of origin, Jewish immigrants were concentrated in camps where medical inspections were carried out. Gaps in medical screening and categorization resulted in the establishment of the Shaar Ha'aliyah (Gate of Immigration) processing camp in Israel. Between 1949-1952, 400,000 newcomers out of 700,000 who passed through the facility underwent medical inspection immediately upon arrival to Israel. Throughout the history of the Zionist movement an ambivalent relationship has existed between the Zionist establishment and Jewish immigrants. Zionist ideology considered Jewish immigration to …

publication date

  • January 1, 2003