Long-term significance of immigration
This qualitative study explored the long-term significance of aliya (Jewish immigration) to Israel for 32 immigrants/refugees who settled along the Israeli-Gaza border. The participants shared their life stories and discussed life in this war-torn region. We found that the interviewees presented three major meanings of aliya: (1) Zionist ideology, sustained throughout life; (2) the need for finding a safe haven, and seeing their region as such a place in spite of the rocket attacks; and (3) immigration as a forced choice, connected to feelings of discontent with how their lives evolved. We conclude that by better understanding the long-term psycho-social meaning of immigration for Israelis, we can also better understand why and how they continue to live in an area marked by ongoing political conflict, and use this knowledge to inform individual and community resilience and socio-political policy.
Published online: 30 June 2016
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