Moshe Shokeid conducted research among North African Jewish immigrants in Israel, among Arab residents who remained in Jaffa after the 1948 war, among Israeli emigrants in New York, and in major gay institutions in Greenwich Village.
Social-scientific discourse has defined the “periphery” as a socioeconomic and cultural entity remote from favored and centralized national concentrations. Moshe Shokeid's presentation discusses the emergence of peripheral enclaves in major Israeli cities. There, metropolitan areas encompass segregated communities of Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia; a growing constituency of legal and illegal foreign labor migrants from Eastern Europe and Asia; and large communities of asylum seekers, mostly from Africa, who reside in neighborhoods of central Tel Aviv, in particular. Governmental, municipal, and welfare agencies, as well as public opinion, have responded contradictorily to this phenomenon (an old reality in western European countries), threatening the perception of an integrated Jewish urban civil society. Moshe Shokeid considers the processes underlying these developments that seem to contradict the history of nation-building, the ideological vision, and the sociological discourse about the manifestation of “center” and “periphery” in Israeli society.