Internal Migration of Ethno‐national Minorities: The Case of Arabs in Israel

AuthorAmir Hefetz,Nir Cohen,Daniel Czamanski
Published date01 December 2015
Date01 December 2015
Internal Migration of Ethno-national
Minorities: The Case of Arabs in Israel
Nir Cohen*, Daniel Czamanski** and Amir Hefetz***
Recent scholarship emphasizes differences among ethnic groupsinternal migration patterns.
Yet, with few exceptions, research has focused on the Anglo-American world, neglecting
experiences from other regions. This paper is part of a larger research project that studies
mobility among the Arab minority in Israel and its driving forces. In this paper we examine
patterns of internal migration by analysing the propensity to migrate as well as migrantsindi-
vidual and social characteristics. First, we survey the theoretical backdrop that is suggested by
recent geographic literature on internal migration among ethnic and racial minorities, including
native groups. Second, we contextualize the group studied, providing necessary background
information on the political, socio-economic and demographic conditions of Arabs in Israel.
We brief‌ly discuss attributes that are or have been potential hindering factors to Arab
mobility in the Jewish state. Finally, we analyse 1995 national census data at the micro scale
and provide a basis for future explanations of the phenomenon. We conclude by outlying some
future directions in the study of internal migration of minorities in Israel.
Recent years have seen a surge in the study of internal migration of minority groups. There is
ample evidence suggesting that the migration behaviour of ethno-national and racial minorities is
signif‌icantly different from that of majorities (Simpson & Finney, 2009; Stillwell, Hussain &
Norman, 2008). Studies show, that members of minority groups have a higher propensity to
migrate than their majority counterparts, although their migration distance is often much smaller
(Finney & Simpson, 2008). Yet while most studies are concerned with recent international in-
migrants, namely f‌irst or second generation (Kritz & Nogle, 1994; Zavodny, 1999), relatively little
has been written about migration patterns among native minority groups. Historically discriminated
against, these long-time ethnically distinct groups often differ from dominant groups in a variety of
socio-demographic indicators (e.g., level of education, income). Such is the case of Arabs in Israel.
Israels largest ethnic minority, Arabs, have over the years displayed distinct patterns of internal
migration. Yet for various reasons, research has focused almost exclusively upon the Jewish
* Ruppin Academic Centre, Israel.
** Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.
*** University of Haifa, Israel.
doi: 10.1111/imig.12014
©2012 The Authors
International Migration ©2012 IOM
International Migration Vol. 53 (6) 2015
ISS N 00 20- 7985 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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