Israeli court denies petition by anti-coercion activist to be recognized as Israeli without connection to Judaism, says citizenship is solely determined by law of return.
It was an important decision, and not a trivial one, when Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a law last week that prevents most non-Israeli Arabs who marry Israelis from living in Israel. The court was split almost in half: Six justices sided with the majority ruling, and five justices — Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch included — opposed the ultimate decision. The numbers reflect the magnitude of the dilemma, they reflect the fact that this could not be an easy decision for any country, and they reflect the delicate balancing act with which Israel has to live. Thus, it is good that five justices did not want to uphold the law, good to have a sizable opposition for such a ruling.
President Barack Obama’s administration said in July that it would give immigration officials more leeway to choose not to deport people who came here illegally but who have lived in the United States for most of their lives, committed no other crime, or have family here —particularly those who are active-duty service members.
More than one in five Irish people would bar Israelis from becoming naturalized Irish citizens, according to new research into ethnic and religious attitudes in Ireland. The book-length study, “Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland,” found that 22.2% of Irish people would exclude Israelis from Irish citizenship, while 11.5% would deny it to all Jews.
With the Jews mistrustful and the Arabs resentful, violence has the potential to set ethnic tensions aflame and shatter the uneasy coexistence that prevails.
Israel is a free society. The rights of the minority, of the oppressed, indeed, of the criminally foolish are protected. Mr. Chomsky would be as free in Israel to pronounce this nonsense as he is in the United States. Were he to move to the Arab world, he would be persecuted as a Jew (as, indeed, he might be in France). And were he, God forbid, persecuted, Israel would offer him a home, under the Right of Return. That is what Israel means to me.
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