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Israeli flag, but no Israeli nationality Photo: AP
Israeli flag, but no Israeli nationality Photo: AP
 
 

No 'Israelis' in Israel?

Court to debate State's refusal to acknowledge Israeli nationality

Aviram Zino
Published: 10.31.07, 20:45 / Israel News

The Jerusalem Administrative Court on Wednesday ordered the State to justify its refusal to include the term 'Israeli' on the list of possible nationalities inscribed in Israeli identification cards.

 

"In its response, we as of the State to address, among other things, the manner in which the list of nationalities is set and through which legal means a nationality can be added or removed from that list," wrote Judge Noam Solberg.

 

The court's decision follows a petition filed by 38 Israeli intellectuals and artists, including former minister Shulamit Aloni, former MK Uri Avnery, Professors Yehoshua Porat, Yosef Agassi and Uzzi Ornan and singer Alon Olearchick.

 

In their petition the plaintiffs note that there are currently over 132 different nationalities recognized by the State of Israel for use in registering for an ID card but 'Israeli' is not one of them.

 

The plaintiffs state in their petition that since the days when the list of nationalities was agreed upon, an 'Israeli' identity has been formulated and it must be recognized.

 

The petition further states that since 1992 Israeli passports declare their holder to be of 'Israeli Nationality,' therefore the State does acknowledge such an identity.

 

The judge also questioned the Interior Ministry's claim that the list of nationalities is highly confidential and therefore was only handed to the plaintiffs after the court demanded it based on the freedom of information act.

 

The court also questioned how it could rule on a social matter that has little legal merit. The plaintiff's attorney presented the court in response with a series of previous cases wherein courts took a legal stance on complex public issues such as religious conversion, the security fence, the disengagement and questions pertaining to the status of common law spouses.

 

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