Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Soviet Jewish Aliyah, 1989-1992: Impact and Implications for Israel and the Middle East

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Soviet Jewish Aliyah, 1989-1992: Impact and Implications for Israel and the Middle East

Article excerpt

Soviet Jewish Aliyah, 1989-1992: Impact and Implications for Israel and the Middle East, by Clive Jones. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1996. 219 pages. Append. to p. 221. Bibl. to p. 238. Index to p. 244. $39.50.

Reviewed by Charles S. Liebman

Soviet willingness to allow the emigration of Jews at the end of the 1980s and the Israeli-U.S. agreement which closed the doors of the United States to most of these emigrants pushed them into the open arms of Israel. The consequences for Israeli society and foreign policy is the topic of this book.

Israel turned to the United States for direct aid in small amounts and loan guarantees in large amounts ($10 billion) to assist it in absorbing the immigrants. The United States, in turn, conditioned its aid on Israeli agreement to a "territory for peace" formula with the Palestinians and to restricting Israeli settlement on the West Bank. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a stubborn adherent to the notion of a Greater Land of Israel, was unwilling to make these concessions. The relatively inefficient manner in which the new immigrants were absorbed and the unavailability of American assistance, which might have provided alternative sources of funding for purposes of absorption, were among the factors that led a majority of Israelis and an estimated 60 percent of the new immigrants to support left-wing parties in the 1992 general elections. The election brought Yitzhak Rabin to the office of Prime Minister and Shimon Peres to the post of Foreign Minister and opened the door to what is now referred to as the peace process.

This is the story that Clive Jones tells. He provides information on the political and ideological background of Soviet Jewish migration as well as on the practical and ideological problems involved in absorbing the immigrants. He discusses their integration and dislocation, and the Arab responses to their immigration. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.