Jewish Scene
Law of Return to be revised
Nurit Felter
Published: 23.02.09, 11:04
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1. what about others
Dan ,   Tel Aviv   (02.23.09)
what about the family reunification for thousands of palestinians who's spouses are israelis? Until when are they going to suffer? Is there anybody who is willing to discuss this issue as well!!!
2. Who is a Jew?
Moishe   (02.23.09)
in other words, this has everything to do with Judaism of the Rabbis and less to do with birth and identity. OK, just another stupid narrow Israeli law that has little connect with reality.
3. I agree! the law MUST be revised.
Jew ,   israel   (02.23.09)
65% of Russians that came here are not Jewish.....why? Why did they come here?
4. Did he mean arabs too?
Trumpeldor   (02.23.09)
Because they have nothing to do in Israel.
5. Conversion and citizenship
Alan Abbey ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (02.23.09) RabbI Donniel Hartman offers a valuable perspective on this issue. It never goes away and MUST be addressed.
6. No need of a racist ortodox law
Gavriel ,   Budapest, Hungary   (02.23.09)
I agree that immigration law must be revised and amended in order to regulate illegal immigration. BUT: The Law of Return should be intact and applied for Jewish idividuals, included members of all Jewish streams and their converts, i.e. for people converted to Judaism acording to the existing rules (Ortodox, Reform, and Conservative halacha). Many of these people feel completely Jewish, are involved in Jewish life, in Zionist activity etc. No need of another Ortodox racist law that would exclude people who are not Ortodox converts but live as Jews and feel loyalty to the State of Israel. Changing the Law of Return according to the proposal described in the article, would give a very bad sign for people who sincerely wish to become Jewish and live a Jewish-Israeli life. Israel's interest is to increase the number of Jewish converts and let them become loyal Israeli citizens. The abolition of the Law of Return will put an end to North-American and European "mass aliya" and favours natural growth of the Arab population.
7. If this law happens; no one will come
if you'll have to fight w/ the interior ministry, the rabbinate and such..... why bother??
8. Why wasn't this law revised thirty or
jason white ,   afula,israel   (02.23.09)
forty years ago? No more family reunification,except for the families of those that served in the I.D.F. There are those who converted and shitreet will not let them make allyal,like the Keren people of Myamar. The falasha mura have no right to set foot in our country.They converted to christianity years ago,let them stay in ethiopia as christians.
9. The Russians came for economic reasons
Abbie ,   Israel   (02.23.09)
I had a Russian boyfriend and lived on kibbutz with loads of Russian immigrants. They are not Jewish but no place else wanted them and Israel offered them homes, money, and everything. I made Aliyah from USA and was given nothing. I am Jewish and a zionist, but the state told me to go back to USA if I didn't like living on the streets in Israel. I hope the law will be changed, since it is a terrible law and brings those people to Israel that are not Jewish and not zionists.
10. Was impossible for me!
diane ,   israel   (02.23.09)
I did Aliyah four months ago and had to jump through horrific hoops to prove (several times over and over) that I was Jewish, honestly having gone through the process I have no idea how the non-jews make it through. Anyone who thinks making alliyah here is easy should go to misrad hapnim and sit with someone trying to do it - it will be quite an eye-opener!!
11. What about Jews who have nothing to do with Israel?
Dorothy Friend ,   Tel Aviv   (02.23.09)
New York, for example, is loaded with Jews who came, stayed a while, received citizenship and left. Some have property in Israel and benefit from "immigrant" rights and some fly in on charter flights in groups to vote, and then leave.
12. Law of return
Mohammad ,   Jordan   (02.23.09)
The so-called "law of return" is the most racist law in the 21st century
13. #3 - A Russian coworker of mine---
Dorothy Friend ,   Tel Aviv   (02.23.09)
-- isn't Jewish according to Halacha (wrong parent is the Jew) but has given more to this country to many Jews have. Her son's lack of Jewish purity didn't keep him out of the army, either.
14. so why did he....
Julie ,   Tel Aviv, Israel   (02.23.09)
so why is he letting africans infiltrate the country at a rate of 30 every single day (18,000 in the last 20 months) - with no deterent and only incentives and encouragement for them to come. Why did they not kick out 200,000 illegal foreign workers and their children when Kadima said that they would be doing so. Too late now, we are no longer a Jewish State and the worst thing is that no one cares.
Petra ,   USA   (02.23.09)
16. # 10 Congrats! Diane
Petra ,   USA   (02.23.09)
you made it. Israel is finally checking on being actually Jewish? Good for you. Mazel Tov!
17. I don't understand. I thought this very straightforward:
When I applied for citizenship, I needed to present a letter from a qualified Orthodox Rabbi confirming my Jewishness. I had to fill out a form with both of my parents names (mother's maiden name) and their places of birth and I don't remember if my grandparents' names were required. I worked for an agency, a Beit Din, that did this paperwork. We had problems with one applicant who's mother was from a small town in Africa by some fluke of her Persian parents' business, but that was investigated and resolved positively. This seemed so simple. A Jew is determined by the Jewishness of their mother. It can remain so simple and cut down on a lot of bogus "feely" laws to determine "how Jewish" one is based on...nothing. Pardon me, but Minister Sheetrit doesn't look like the most Jewishly "literate", unless you're determining that by how many pounds of felafel one consumes annually, or by how many Shlomo Artzi songs you can name. Why, according to "Reform" Judaism, all one has to do is wake up in the mood for matzo ball soup and feeeeel Jewish and WHAM: they're Jewish. In the US, it's known as the KISS principle: "Keep It Simple, Stupid" -- A Jew has always been defined by the person's mother being Jewish.
18. Mohammad ............ Jordan
Charles   (02.23.09)
wrong, in your islamic countries christians are murdered on a daily basis
19. End of Zionism
Benedetto ,   Roma   (02.23.09)
I thought Zionism was about providing a safe haven for people who might be persecuted by antisemites. Now it is going to be some cosy ideological club? Thanks, but we need a state for Jews, not a Jewish state.
20. This is very dangerous
Yerushalmi ,   Jerusalem   (02.23.09)
How does one define loyalty to the state? We know from example of law of incitement, that political views of a person determine weather to apply that law or not. For example, there were trials of people who distributed bumper stickers praising Kahane, but courts decided that bumpers tickers calling on murder of haredim are protected by freedom of expression (dros kol dos). How do we know that the cometee deciding on loyalty will not reject citizenship of right wing jews? Would they give citizenship to someone who does not agree with some government policy, like giving away of Golan?
21. #10 me too
Yerushalmi ,   Jerusalem   (02.23.09)
I had to come up with a ketuva from my great grandparents, from 1902. It was a miracle it wasn't destroyed. But I heard that they have double standards, sochnut gets an order from the goverment to bring in x number of olim from ex soviet union, and they fill their quota with anyone they can find. Just recently, few months ago, it was in the news that government decided that they are stopping ethiopian aliya, but there are still hundreds of jews living in Ethiopia. How come that if a person could make aliya till some date, can't make aliya after that, just on goverment decision, without changning the law of return?
22. revise the law to include palestinian refugees too
Abu Jihad ,   Haifa , Palestine   (02.23.09)
In the same context, many palestinian refugees have the right to return under international law and can prove their connection to the land. with a revised law, it should allow them to return which makes more sense than having people who have no connection to the land coming here. Connection to judaism is a connection to an idea, it is all in the mind; if u have a proof that u or ur ancestors were here , then u should present it and be allowed to return. And I mean a proof not just a claim
23. That would be Wrong
Ralph Levy ,   USA   (02.23.09)
Abolishing or changing would be Wrong and destroy the concept of Israel as a Jewish State. Many people can't learn Hebrew that fast it is a difficult langauge. The problem is that Most Jews who try and convert are faced with roadblocks that prevent them from becoming Jewish and are forced to be outsiders. We need more people not less Again Shireet speaks with his mouth rather than his brain
24. this bill would be the death warrant for the jewish state
zionist forever   (02.23.09)
What this man is proposing turns the law of return into a glorified version of most imigration laws that exist in other parts of the world. NO AUTOMATIC CITIZENSHIP KNOWLADGE OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE AND WILLING TO LOYALTY TO THE STATE. Its easy to learn a language if your here for a couple of years as a residet before your granted citizenship. Swearing loyalty is just a word meaning nothing. PROOVING THEIR TIES TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE Does anybody really beleive that by the time they come to citizenship test who cares if they are not jewish how many people will be denied citizenship if they have a good job or have married and now have children in school. Even if they are denied citizenzship Israels politiclly correct system is not going to deport them the country will just be flooded by non jewish imigrants who will eventualy marry Israeli citizens and granted citizenship anyway. AGE LIMIT ON CITIZENSHIP Does this mean Israel is only there for jews bellow a certain age .. if they are old enough to be considered a burden on the state because of their age then they wont be granted citizenship? What else of they are disabled, have deseases like AIDS or cancer do we say no to them because its going to cost alot to treat their health problems indefaintly. This is the way forward to destroy Israel as a jewish state and rather than stop the problem with non jews coming to Israel its going to massivly increase it. As a result of permitng alliyah under certain circumstances, increase of arabs, jews going overseas for jobs and the continued secularisation of jews there will be no more jewish majority. Who need to worry about the palestinian right of return idea we are gong to bring in laws allowing jews. Within two or three generations the jews will be a minority and there will be no just ground to continue to classify Israel as a jewish sate. In 60 years there will be no jewish state we did what the arabs never sucseeded through war or terror. We need a written constitution now its the only way to preserve Israel as a jewish state.
25. #1 Family reunification?
Yosi M. ,   Gilo, Israel   (02.23.09)
so let the families move to whatever country they are from! Why in the blazes do they have to come here? Remember, the hate us and want to destroy us. What suffering? Stop specious lying arguments. Dan, go for a swim and see if you can find a mermaid.
26. Go Sheetrit!
Michael ,   Tel Aviv   (02.23.09)
As a new resident in Israel, I have attended many ulpan classes that were filled with many non-Jewish Israeli's, and let me say that we have reason to be considered about the issue that Sheetrit raises. Many non-Jewish olim have no positive feelings towards the state of Israel or the Jewish people. As an example, during one ulpan class, a classmate, a non-Jewish Olah from Russia, postulated that neo-Nazi's in Israel should not be a cause of concern. She explains, "Neo-Nazi's are in Russia, in Europe, in America, ... so why shouldn't they be here in Israel?" Excuse Me! There was shock in the classroom, or should I say half the classroom, the Jewish half, who understood that Israel should be strong refuge from anti-Semitism that has tormented our people for centuries. As Sheetrit suggests, the Law of Return should be changed before it is too late. Most importantly, effective today, the Jewish Agency should slash its budget in areas where it is recruiting a high percentage of non-Jews. The Jewish Agency is adding to the problem through its misconceived recruiting policies and budget allocations. Such a move does not require a change in the Law of Return and can be implemented immediately. In other words, no bonuses and slaps on the back to the Jewish Agency for recruiting hordes of non-Jewish Olim. Changing the Law of Return might be a complex political process that delays an urgent need. Conversely, altering the budget within the Jewish Agency or other parts of the Aliyah bureaucracy can have an immediate effect helping to address the issue.
27. 10
zionist forever   (02.23.09)
diane I made alliyah from the UK 8 years ago and I remeber they really have no idea of how to decide of what to consider proof of jewishness. From me they wanted all kinds of things letters from rabbis. my parents ketuba and many other things. When I was at ulpan there was an American there ib his 40s. He had come to Israel for economic reasons, he had gone bankrupt back in the US and Israel would pay for him to have a fresh start is the reason he unashamedly admited was his reason for coming. The man had never been to a synagogue in his life, he had never practised judaism, his father was not jewish but his late mother was. He had no evidence at all he was jewish. The Jewish Agency accepted as proof of his jewishness a photograph of him standing next to his grandmothers grave ... she had a jewish name so that photgraph was considered proof. Anybody can go and stand next to the grave of somebody with a jewish name and say thats my granadmother so that means I am jewish. What they need here is a defined law on the minimum kind of evidence that they expect from everybody and in what special circumstances that this minimim evidence should be waived. That American was a real jew but how many non jews who want to come to Israel for economic reasons can take a photograph to move to Israel. The problem is not the law of return itself its how they define who is a jew and whats the minimum evidence they should demand WELCOME TO ISRAEL
28. My recommendation
Alexander ,   Herzliya, Israel   (02.23.09)
Every ethnic Jewish individual that can prove that his/her mother is Jewish and his/her father is Jewish, honors and celebrates Jewish/Israeli/Hebrew/Israelite/Judean traditions, honors Am Israel and Eretz Israel, and takes an oath of allegiance to the State of Israel and its flag and to the city of Jerusalem, and has no criminal record and has not committed any crimes against Israel and/or the Jewish people - will become an Israeli citizen. We are all ethnic Israelis or Israelites, but our countrymen from abroad that are a part of Am Israel and Children of Israel will also be Israelis on paper - in case some liberal nutcases in here claim that "Israeliness" is about a "passport" in contradiction to my knowledge that Israeli = Jew and that Israelis/Jews=ethnicity - the blood the flows in your veins. So, no more import of Africans and ethnic Russians, no more pampering with Israel's Arabs and Muslims and no more pampering with Israel's Asian and African guest workers. Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and no one else. And if the Jewish individual seeking aliya is married to a goy - sorry - you can't make aliya. You have to be tough on people to preserve our Jewishness. Currently, 75% of Israel's population is ethnically Israeli/ethnically Jewish and additional 5% are Jewish by ethnicity but don't officially adhere to Judaism, so we are actually 80% of the population of Israel. Israel's JEWISH population grows EVERY YEAR with 1.5% WITHOUT aliya - so clearly, the aliya people trickling into Israel are basically a drop in the ocean of the natural Jewish population growth.
29. #27 You Moron
Secular ,   israel   (02.23.09)
A Jew is a Jew. It's not your business how jewish anyone is, as long as they were born Jews to a Jewish family - and of course their ancestors. I'm very secular, I don't go to synagogue and i don't keep kosher - I am Jewish and I am entitled to live here just as much as you. Get a life.
30. #12 Try and go live in Australia
World   (02.23.09)
OK, that's not going to happen - I'll give you something easier - TRY AND EVEN GET A VISA!!!! Why? because you are NOT Australian - and that's not racist? Get a life you loser.
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