Latino Migrants in the Jewish State
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Latino Migrants in the Jewish State : Undocumented Lives in Israel

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Description

In the 1990s, thousands of non-Jewish Latinos arrived in Israel as undocumented immigrants. Based on his fieldwork in South America and Israel, Barak Kalir follows these workers from their decision to migrate to their experiences finding work, establishing social clubs and evangelical Christian churches, and putting down roots in Israeli society. While the State of Israel rejected the presence of non-Jewish migrants, many citizens accepted them. Latinos grew to favor cultural assimilation to Israeli society. In 2005, after a large-scale deportation campaign that drew criticism from many quarters, Israel made the historic decision to legalize the status of some undocumented migrant families on the basis of their cultural assimilation and identification with the State. By doing so, the author maintains, Israel recognized the importance of practical belonging for understanding citizenship and national identity.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 278 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 6 b&w illus.
  • 0253222214
  • 9780253222213

Review quote

"A sophisticated study of Latino immigration in Israel... [that] makes a contribution not just to the study of contemporary Israel, but to the study of migrant labor, citizenship, and migration in the contemporary world." -Arif Dirlik, Chinese University of Hong Kong "Lucid and persuasive... a fascinating case study of the tensions and strains of a state system seeking to define citizenship." -Hastings Donnan, Queen's University of Belfast "Latino Migrants in the Jewish State: Undocumented Lives in Israel provides a rare glance at the lives of labor migrants who reached Israel from different Latin American countries, mainly from Ecuador,Columbia, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. Based on fieldwork among Latinos in Israel, as well as among returnees, deportees and potential migrants in Ecuador, Kalir recreates in this book the full circle of migration flow from the decision making start point to the process of settling down, establishing social networks and integrating socially and culturally into the receiving society." -Journal of Jewish Identities "A unique study of undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in Israel, this study brings a wealth of previously unknown data about the tribulations of a population viewed as problematic in much of the Western world.... Highly recommended." -Choice A unique study of undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in Israel, this study brings a wealth of previously unknown data about the tribulations of a population viewed as problematic in much of the Western world. The special circumstances of the Israeli situation notwithstanding, the issues raised here are similar to ones challenging large parts of the world. After the first intifada in the late 1980s, Israel allowed for labor migration from other countries to perform economic roles considered undesirable by Israelis and previously filled by Arabs from the territories, who were now viewed as security risks. The Latinos in question were not legal labor migrants, but came on tourist visas, having learned about employment opportunities in Israel. Many brought over family and produced offspring locally, who were then privileged in status, in contrast with their parents. Anthropologist Kalir (Univ. of Amsterdam, Netherlands) explores the history, social conditions, and strategies employed in avoiding deportation and the successful acculturation of the children and broad acceptance by Israeli citizens. In the end, many were deported, but those who remained have created a fledgling community, contributing to the diversity of the nation. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- ChoiceL. D. Loeb, University of Utah, May 2011show more

About Barak Kalir

Barak Kalir is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and coordinator of the research program Illegal but Licit: Transnational Flows and Permissive Polities in Asia.show more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgments1. Introduction: Undocumented BelongingPart 12. Unsettling Setting: A Jewish State Dependent on Non-Jewish Labor3. Destiny and Destination: Latinos Deciding to Leave for IsraelPart 24. Shifting Strategies: From the Accumulation of Money toward the Accumulation of Belonging5. Divisive Dynamics: The Absence of Political Community and the Differentiations of the Recreational Scene6. The Religious Forms of Undocumented Lives: Latino Evangelical ChurchesPart 37. Israeli Resolution, Latino Disillusion: From Massive Deportation to Symbolic Legalization8. Conclusion: A New Assimilation?NotesBibliographyIndexshow more