Child Allowances in Israel: The Effectiveness of Biopolitical Processes in Controlling Israel’s Population

By Steven Rousso-Schindler.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 31, 2014 $US5.00

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, crafting a population that best serves the interests of the ‘Jewish State’ has been a high priority for every Israeli government administration. This article explores how child allowances in Israel are part of a biopolitical process that attempts to shape Israel’s population in ways most advantageous to Jewish-Israelis. To understand how this works, the paper analyzes the most salient newspaper articles from 1999-2000 that address the issue of child allowances in the online English language version of the daily Israeli newspaper "Ha’aretz." The stories in the newspaper articles reveal how shaping populations can be a messy process. So even when there is consensus among state actors about population goals – as is the case with the Israeli state wanting to maintain a large Jewish-Israeli population majority over Israel’s Palestinian citizens – it is often difficult to achieve them because shifting political priorities and ideological differences deprioritize biopolitical processes to the point where they become of secondary importance.

Keywords: Political Demography, Biopolitics, Child Allowances

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 11, Issue 4, October 2014, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 31, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 380.015KB)).

Asst. Prof. Steven Rousso-Schindler

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA

Steven Rousso-Schindler is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University Long Beach. Steven’s anthropological research is based in Israel/Palestine where he lived in West Jerusalem for three years and in Ramallah for four months. His general research interest is concerned with understanding national narratives in Israel and Palestine – that is, how Palestinians and Israelis tell different stories about historical and contemporary events, especially as they are presented in the Israeli and Palestinian media. Most recently, Dr. Rousso-Schindler has been writing about how population politics in Israel is constructed by the Israeli media.