Political Absorption


The wave of Jewish emigration from the former Soviet Union since the late 1980s has created various groups, ideological trends and new political movements. The setting up of political organizations among the new immigrants in Israel is presented here as a reaction to power-relations, both within the Russian Jewish community, and in the Israeli society around it. This paper presents some empiric findings of my field-work, conducted in Israel in 1994, about the dynamics of the involvement of new immigrants into Israeli’s political life, their political tendencies and the activities of their leaders. Two political movements are presented here: 1.) the independent party of new immigrants, based on the representatives of the Russian-Jewish intelligentsia, who consider Russian and Russian-Jewish culture and history to be commonly shared. On the other side they realize that in order to mobilize wide support among the potential Israeli voters they have to search for a special strategy to combine different identities and ethnic symbols; 2.) the ultra-nationalist movement of new immigrants, based on representatives of the existing ultra-Right parties, trying to unite the Russian Jews against the governmental policy on the territories after the peace agreement with the Palestinians. Some aspects of the relationship between new immigrants and Israeli Arabs, which lead to the tendency of many Russian Jews to identify themselves with the ideas of the ultra-Right parties, are analysed as well.

How to Cite

Siegel, D., (1995) “Political Absorption”, Ethnologia Europaea 25(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.833

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Dina Siegel (Vrije Universiteit)





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