Following author Yoram Kaniuk's
highly publicized legal struggle to be registered as "irreligious," which made it all the way to the District Court, 42 people on Thursday petitioned the High Court of Justice to attain the same status.
The petitioners, including journalist Yaron London
and his partner author Michal Zamir, former Deputy Commander of the Israeli Air Force Amos Amir and poet Oded Carmeli, are demanding to be registered as "irreligious" without enduring a legal struggle.
They are demanding to change their status through a straightforward procedure that requires only a direct appeal or an attorney-submitted declaration to the Interior Ministry stating that they practice no religion and do not abide by the commandments of any specific religion.
They request to be listed as irreligious in the population census and be issued a "public certificate" as a substitute for a "conversion certificate" issued to converts by the religious institution to which they converted: the Rabbinate,
church or Shari'a court.
The petition described the long path taken by Kaniuk, who requested that the Interior Ministry change his listing from "Jewish" to "irreligious" but whose request was denied for lack of a "public certificate".
This was until the Tel Aviv District Court
found a loophole in the law last year and approved his request.
In the appeal, also filed against the interior minister, it is noted that hundreds of people including Brigadier General Amos Amir, who requested to follow in Kaniuk's footsteps and signed the affidavit and power of attorney, also requested to change the listing of their religion, but were denied by the Interior Ministry which said they must turn to the courts on this issue.
The petitioners noted that for those requesting this change this is "freedom and self-determination"
and "suits their life's reality" and they should be able to change their status without appealing to the court.
According to them, this is a right "anchored in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and involves freedom of worship.
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