This is one of several pages linking to information about the immigration and emigration policies and outcomes of specific countries, and implications for discussions of open borders.
Israel (Wikipedia) is a country with a population of about 8.1 million, located in the Middle East. A Jewish/secular state surrounding by Islamic states, Israel has a somewhat unusual geopolitical situation. There is also an ongoing conflict regarding statehood for the adjacent Palestinian territories. The conflict dates back to the creation of Israel in 1948.
Israel is interesting in the migration context for three somewhat different reasons.
- Israel has a policy of global open borders for (ethnic) Jews. This policy is called the law of return (or see Aliyah on Wikipedia). It gives Jews around the world the freedom to visit, live, and settle in Israel. Around 1990, there was large-scale migration of Russian Jews to Israel, and the effects of that migration on Israel inform the debate of the effects of open borders.
- In an attempt to minimize the risks to its territory due to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Israeli government imposes restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Palestinian territories through Israel. The government has come under significant criticism from humanitarian organizations for infringing on the rights of Palestinians. At the same time, the national security threats to Israel that might arise from having open borders are cited as evidence in favor of the claim that there cannot be a universal argument for open borders.
- Economically motivated and refugee immigration from North Africa to Israel has prompted the Israeli government to build a border fence in recent years. For more, see illegal immigration from Africa to Israel.
Discussions of Israel in the context of migration and open borders.
- If Open Borders Are Instituted Gradually, What Should Be The Initial Number of Immigrants Admitted? by Joel Newman, Open Borders: The Case, August 9, 2013. This quotes from Philippe Legrain’s book Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (pp. 133-135) to discuss the large-scale immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel between 1990 and 1997, constituting about 15% of the population at the time.
- Open borders: the solution to conflict in the Middle East by John Lee, Open Borders: The Case, April 25, 2013. This discusses how free migration can facilitate the “condominialism” solution proposed by Anne-Marie Slaughter.
- “Low-Immigration, Pro-Immigrant” versus the Law of Return by Bryan Caplan, Econlog, February 23, 2013.
The blog post Open borders between hostile nations by Vipul Naik, Open Borders: The Case, March 28, 2014, also discusses Israel and Palestine as an example of a hostile nation pair.