The Declaration to the Seven

The Declaration to the Seven was a document written by the British diplomat Sir Henry McMahon and released on June 16, 1918 in response to a memorandum issued anonymously by seven Syrian notables in Cairo who were members of the newly formed Party of Syrian Unity, established in the wake of the Balfour Declaration and the November 23, 1917 publication by the Bolsheviks of the secret May 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France. The memorandum requested a “guarantee of the ultimate independence of Arabia”. The Declaration stated the British policy that the future government of the regions of the Ottoman Empire occupied by Allies of World War I should be based on the consent of the governed.

The Declaration to the Seven is notable as the first British pronouncement to the Arabs advancing the principle of national self-determination. Although the British sought to secure their position by adopting the Wilsonian doctrine of Woodrow Wilson, neither Britain nor France was prepared to implement their promises to the Arabs nor to abdicate the position won by victory over the Ottoman Empire.

The document was not widely publicized, the Declaration may explain the action of General Edmund Allenby, who ordered a halt to the advance after the rout of Turkish forces outside Damascus and allowed the city to be captured by Arab forces in September 1918 after the Battle of Megiddo and acting on instructions from London, thus bolstering the Arab claim to the independence of Syria whilst simultaneously undermining the French claims to the territory under the terms of the Sykes–Picot Agreement.

The Seven

  • Rafiq al-Azm;
  • Sheikh Kamal al-Qassab;
  • Mukhtar al-Sulh;
  • Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar;
  • Khaled al-Hakim;
  • Fauzi al-Bakri;
  • Hasan Himadeh.
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US Congress Declaration

Non-declaration

1. If the speaker of the House of Representatives calls upon a joint session of the United States Congress (the House of Representatives and Senate) and its members to make their declarations of allegiance and a member has not done so, that member shall not enjoy the rights of membership as long as he has not made the declaration.

1A.

Non-declaration due to dual-citizenship (Amendment)

If a United States Congress (the House of Representatives and Senate) member holds an additional, non-United States of America citizenship, and the laws of the country whose citizenship he holds permit him to be released from such citizenship, he shall not declare allegiance until after he has done everything required on his part to be released from such citizenship, and he shall not enjoy the rights of a United States Congress (the House of Representatives and Senate) member until he makes his declaration.

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Citizenship and Nationality in Israel/Palestine

Law of Return – The Law of Return of 1950, the Nationality Law of 1952, and the Entry into Israel Law of 1952 establish the right of all Jews and their family members worldwide to immigrate, or return, to Israel and to immediately become Israeli citizens.

A close reading of these laws reveals that the 1950 Law of Return treats every Jew worldwide as having “returned,” including those in Israel/Palestine who were born in Israel and never left.

http://web.law.columbia.edu/open-university-project/curricula/citizenshipnationalityisrael-palestine

Readings on Citizenship and Nationality in Israel/Palestine

Structures of Identity, Difference and Democracy

A Curriculum from the Open University Project at Columbia University

Exploring the Israeli concept of citizenship offers a particularly interesting way to understand the contours of belonging, dispossession, equality and discrimination in the context of Israel/Palestine.  This is especially true as the Israeli Knesset considers a “Nationality” bill that would significantly alter what it means to be an Israeli citizen.

This curriculum provides a set of readings, guided questions, and references for students interested in digging deeper into the political and human rights implications of i) the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, also referred to by Palestinians as the “catastrophe” or “nakba;” ii) Zionism (in its political, national, and racial conceptions); and iii) the competing claims to both dispossession and belonging that are at stake in Israel/Palestine.

The curriculum is divided into three sessions with readings and discussion questions for each session.

Reading Materials:

 

Session 1: Nationality vs. Citizenship in the Israeli/Palestinian Context

The state of Israel was founded in 1948 with a vision that it be “the sovereign state of the Jewish people,”[1] and “the creation of the entire Jewish people.”[2]  Unlike in the U.S.[3] and other contexts, Israeli law maintains a crucial distinction between the categories of nationality (le’om) and citizenship (ezrahut).

Key to the notions of belonging, returning, and remaining in the land that became the state of Israel in 1948 is the question of who is a Jew?  According to Jewish law, a child born to a Jewish mother or an adult who has converted to Judaism is considered a Jew; one does not have to reaffirm their Jewishness or practice any of the laws of the Torah to be Jewish. According to Reform Judaism, a person is a Jew if they were born to either a Jewish mother or a Jewish father.  Israeli law states that only persons born to a Jewish mother or who have converted to Judaism are considered Jewish for the purposes of Jewish/Israeli citizenship, an identity particularly relevant to the the Law of Return, discussed below.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, issued by the British Foreign Secretary at the end of World War I, expressed the British government’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”  Similarly, the Zionist Organization prepared a proposal for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919,[4] in which it suggested that the key actors shaping the post-World War I world order “recognize the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine and the right of Jews to reconstitute in Palestine their National Home.”  The early reference to settlement in Palestine as part of the creation of a “national home” was widely understood as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of creating of a Jewish state.

Thus, from early on Zionists understood Israel to be a “national home for the Jewish people” more than a new state in which Jews would form a majority of Israeli national citizens.[5]  Thus we see the tension inherent in the commitment to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.”[6]

Read: Ernst Frankenstein, “The Meaning of the Term ‘National Home for the Jewish People,’” Jewish Yearbook of International Law 27 (1948).  Focus on pp. 27-33 and 39-41.

The call for the creation of a new state – described variously as the ethnic, cultural, and/or religious home for the Jewish people – coming at the end of a war waged to defeat brutal forms of German ethno-nationalism struck some as a valid form of national self-determination in keeping with President Wilson’s Fourteen Points,[7] while others viewed it as contrary to a rising global commitment to democratic liberalism.  U.S. legal scholar Morris Cohen expressed some skepticism with respect to the wisdom of Jewish ethno-nationalism in The New Republic in 1919:

How could a Jewish Palestine allow complete religious freedom, freedom of inter-marriage and free non-Jewish immigration, without soon losing its very reason for existence?  A national Jewish Palestine must necessarily mean a state founded on a particular race, a tribal religion and a mystic belief in a particular soil, whereas liberal American stands for separation of church and state, the free mixing of races, and that men can change their habitation and language and still advance the process of civilization … Zionists are quite willing to ignore the rights of the vast majority of the non-Jewish population of Palestine … Whether tribalism triumphs or not, it is none the less evil, and thinking men should reject it as such.[8]

The implications of this distinction in the Israeli context between nationality (le’om) and citizenship (ezrahut) are multiple and significant:

  • The General Assembly of the United Nations, in Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, divided the territory of Palestine as follows:
    • A Jewish State covering 56,47% of Mandatory Palestine (excluding Jerusalem) with a population of 498,000 Jews and 325,000 Arabs;
    • An Arab State covering 43.53% of Palestine, with 807,000 Arab inhabitants and 10,000 Jewish inhabitants;
    • An international trusteeship regime in Jerusalem, where the population was 100,000 Jews and 105,000 Arabs.

  • The state of Israel was created to protect the sovereignty of the “nation of Jews.”
  • UN Resolution 181 anticipated the creation of an Arab-Palestinian state that would protect the sovereignty of the “nation of Palestinians.”
  • At the end of the 1948 War, when the state of Israel was founded in a territory larger than that outlined by the UN’s Resolution 181, 150,000 Arab-Palestinians remained in Israel within the Green Line and became citizens of Israel.[9] Today Arab-Palestinians comprise a substantial minority (around 20%) of the citizens of Israel and consider themselves to have Palestinian nationality.
  • After 1948, the majority of Palestinian people, those who did not become citizens of Israel, settled in the other parts of Mandatory Palestine, including the West Bank, which became part of Jordan, and the Gaza Strip, which came under Egypt’s control.  Others fled or were expelled from the territory that became Israel and ended up in refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon.  Thus, the founding of Israel rendered the Palestinians a stateless people who retained a sense of national identity, but were dispersed across a broad range of jurisdictions – mirroring in a tragic way the status of the Jewish people prior to the founding of the state of Israel.[10]
  • One must be, of course, Jewish to be part of the “nation of Jews,” while being Jewish is not a requirement of Israeli citizenship.[11]
  • The “nation of Jews” includes all Jews both living in Israel and in the larger diaspora.  Thus, the people who can make a claim to the identity of “Jewish national” extends well beyond the Jewish people residing in the territorial state of Israel.  In the words of the Israeli Supreme Court: “There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish People. The Jewish People is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewry.”[12]
  • There is no such thing as “Israeli nationality.” In fact, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that recognizing “Israeli nationality” would create a schism between the Jewish people, making them choose between their Jewish identity and their Israeli identity.[13]  “[T]he principle of self-determination should, in its view, apply to peoples and not to ‘shreds of peoples’ …”[14]  The Israeli Supreme Court quoted a lower court’s reasoning: “One cannot belong to two nationalities. If an Israeli nationality is recognized, members of the Jewish nationality in Israel will have to choose between the two: Are they Israelis, in which case they would not be Jewish; or are they Jewish, in which case they would not be Israeli; the same would apply to members of minority groups [in Israel]. Recognition of such nationality may bring about the national and social disintegration of the entire nation … A separatist trend of splitting the Jewish nations must not be accepted.”[15]
  • Under the Israeli Population Registry Law, identity cards are issued to all Israeli citizens.  Until recently, Israeli-Jews were classified as Israeli citizens with “Jewish nationality,” Israeli-Arabs were classified as Israeli citizens with “Arab nationality,” and Israeli-Druze were classified as Israeli citizens with “Druze nationality.” One could not indicate “Israeli” as one’s nationality on one’s identity card.[16]
  • What does it meant that Israel is a “Jewish state”?  In an Israeli Supreme Court case from 2003 Chief Justice Aharon Barak explained that at the center of the Jewish characteristics

stands the right of every Jew to make aliya [to immigrate as a Jew] to the State of Israel, that in Israel Jews will be a majority, Hebrew will be the main official language of the state, and its main holidays and symbols reflect the national emergence of the Jewish people, the heritage of Israel is a central component of the state’s religious and cultural heritage.[17]

Questions for Session 1 on the distinction between “citizenship” and “nationality” in the Israeli context

  1. What does it mean that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state”?  Is this merely a descriptive claim, meaning that the majority of its citizens are Jewish? Or does it imply something deeper insofar as Israel was founded as “the sovereign state of the Jewish people”?  Perhaps this deeper meaning implicates only the laws of return and citizenship, granting Jews special rights to citizenship that are denied to all others, including the indigenous Palestinian population. Or does the “Jewish nature” of the state include other forms of preferential treatment for Jews (such as land ownership[18], voting, and other social and political rights)?  In what way is the state of Israel a political tool that “belongs” to Jews both within Israel and in the larger global diaspora?[19]  “Israel is defined, internationally … and internally … as the Jewish people’s nation state.”[20]  Is there a point at which the uniquely Jewish character of the state of Israel undermines its identity as a democratic state?
  2. What are the implications of the state assigning every citizen an “ethno-religious” label or identity, whether or not they identify with it?  Would a similar system in the U.S. trouble you – whereby the government issued ID cards on which you were required to check a box indicating an ethno-religious nationality (African-American, Mexican-American, Jewish-American, Arab-American, Euro-American).  The census does something similar in the U.S. but official identification cards, such as a driver’s license or passport, do not.  Is Israel different, or sufficiently different from the U.S. context, to render such a designation legitimate?
  3. In what ways might principles of democracy be undermined by a legal system that includes/recognizes its minority civilly but not nationally?  That is, does the idea of democracy require a state to be committed to a unified or singular notion of nationality, or that it be at least neutral as to diverse nationalities within the state, and therefore must play no part in ratifying or reifying national differences?  If not, why not?
  4. In what ways might it matter that the minority Palestinians in Israel are not immigrants (as were most members of the majority at the founding) but are rather an indigenous population?[21]  Are there parallels to the treatment of Native Americans by European settlers in the U.S.?
  5. Does the “Jewish nature” of Israel raise problems apart from the fissures that have been created between Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens?   Even within the Jewish community in Israel there are significant differences between religious and secular Jews, between orthodox and reformed Jews, and between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews.[22]  Might some Jewish Israeli citizens find it in their interests to better enfranchise non-Jewish citizens?
  6. Article 15 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights sets forth that:

– Everyone has the right to a nationality.
– No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Is there an argument that the Israeli Population Registry Law might violate this provision of the UN Declaration of Human Rights?

Read the excerpts from the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision in Uzzi Ornan et al. v. State of Israel.[23]

Do the opinions in the case inform or change your answers to the above questions?

National Belonging In the Palestinian Context:

In 1964 the Arab League initiated the creation of an organisation representing the Palestinian people and defending their interests, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which then created the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO.  In the aftermath of the 1967 war with Israel, the PNC adopted the Palestinian National Charter (1968), a document that clearly articulated a Palestinian notion of sovereignty and national identity.  Relevant parts of the Charter include:

  • Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
  • Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.
  • Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country in accordance with their wishes and entirely of their own accord and will.
  • Article 4: The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people, through the disasters which befell them, do not make them lose their Palestinian identity and their membership in the Palestinian community, nor do they negate them.
  • Article 5: The Palestinians are the Arab citizens who were living permanently in Palestine until 1947, whether they were expelled or remained there. Whoever is born to a Palestinian father after that date, within Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.
  • Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.
  • Araticle 11: The Palestinians will have three mottoes: National unity mobilization and liberation.

 


Session 2: Further Implications of Israel being a Jewish State

The Israeli Declaration of Independence grounds the idea of the new Israeli state in, among other things, a principle of equality:

The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.[24]

Israel does not have a constitution.  Instead its foundational body of law is contained in its Basic Law.  The Basic Law assures dignity and liberty for its citizens but not, however, equality or equal treatment to all Israeli citizens.  In important ways, the declaration of Israel as the “national homeland of the Jews” creates legal preferences enjoyed by Jews over non-Jews both inside and outside Israel.  Indeed, in significant respects Jewish non-citizens of Israel (i.e. Jews in the diaspora) can claim rights within Israel that are not available to non-Jewish citizens of Israel (i.e. Palestinians Israeli citizens).  This is one of the ways in which Jewish nationality takes precedent over Israeli citizenship.

Examples of preferences given to Jewish nationals over non-Jewish citizens include:

  • Law of Return – The Law of Return of 1950, the Nationality Law of 1952, and the Entry into Israel Law of 1952 establish the right of all Jews and their family members worldwide to immigrate, or return, to Israeli and to immediately become Israeli citizens. Non-Jews are not afforded similar immigration or citizenship rights even if they had previously lived in Palestine. In fact, Israeli law and policy is designed to ensure the non-return of Palestinian refugees living in the diaspora. [25]  A close reading of these laws reveals that the 1950 Law of Return treats every Jew worldwide as having “returned,” including those in Israel/Palestine who were born in Israel and never left.  By contrast, the law treats Palestinians in the diaspora who were exiled in 1948 or later as “never present.” As some scholars summarize it: “if you’re a Jew who has never left you still have “returned” under the law and if you leave you have never left.  Palestinians, by contrast, are locked in a legal identity as “absentee” – even if they are actually “present” in Israel.”
  • Transferability of Israeli Citizenship – Israeli citizenship is not automatically transferrable if one is not a “Jewish national.” That is, Israeli citizenship is automatically passed to the spouse of a Jewish Israeli, but not for non-Jewish Israelis.  They may petition to have their spouse gain citizenship but these petitions are rarely granted.  The 2003 Nationality and Entry into Israel Law was passed by the Knesset and it prohibits the granting of any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) who are married to Israeli citizens (amended in 2007 to include citizens of “enemy states” Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).[26]  Palestinian citizens of Israel who marry a Palestinian resident of the Gaza Strip or the West Bank are faced with two options: Either leave Israel and go to the place of one’s spouse, or leave one’s spouse in order to stay in Israel.[27]  The Law affects thousands of families comprised of tens of thousands of individuals. The Israeli press described the law as part of a larger campaign on the part of the Israeli government to “make it more difficult for non-Jews to receive Israeli citizenship or permanent resident status in Israel”, a move “aimed against granting legal status to Palestinians and other foreigners who have married Israeli citizens,” and “based on the demographic consideration of ensuring a solid Jewish majority.”[28]  The Chairman of the Israeli National Security Council explained the need for the law: “the growth in the size of the Arab minority would lead to increased demands on its part for national rights and more pressure to turn Israel into ‘a bi-national state’ or ‘a state of all its citizens.’”[29]  The Israeli Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012.[30]

Read the Israeli Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Aadel Kaadan v. Israel Lands Administration.

As you read this opinion from the Israeli Supreme Court, consider the ways in which certain claims to belonging, to ownership of land, to citizenship, and to equality are privileged while others are ignored or silenced.

Specific Questions:

  1. How does the Court treat “citizenship” differently from “nationality”?  What work does that distinction do?
  2. From where in the Israeli Basic Law does the Court find a fundamental right to equality?  (The Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (s. 1), see the decision at ¶ 31.)
  3. What work do notions of Zionism and security do for the arguments made by the state or the Court in this case?
  4. What do you think of the Court’s appeal to U.S. history and legal decisions concerning racial segregation?  In what ways are they relevant to the Israeli/Palestinian circumstance?  What do you think about an appeal to the idea that racial/ethnic/religious/national origin segregation create an “affective injury” (hurt feelings)?  Is preservation of Palestinian “culture and lifestyle” what is at stake in this case?
  5. Are there other arguments that derive from the context of Israel/Palestine that might also address the injustice of denying Arab-Israeli citizens access to land in Israel?
  6. The Court frames the issue as one of a “suspect” classification based upon national origin.  What do you think of the framing of “Arab Israeli citizens” as a “national origin” or “religion” -based class?
  7. The Court distances itself from U.S. Supreme Court law by noting that: “I am prepared to assume — without ruling on the matter — that there are situations in which treatment that is separate but equal is lawful.”  What do you think of the example the Court provides to illustrate this idea?  What do you think of this principle of “positive discrimination”?
  8. What work does the idea of collective historical injury do to justify the Court’s ruling?  Does this invocation of historical injury serve to erase or ignore other historical injuries?  How might you rewrite the opinion so as to acknowledge the historical injuries to both Jews in Europe and Palestinians in Palestine (the Nakba)?
  9. The Court is clear that the principle of “Israel as a Jewish state” does not conflict with its parallel commitment to equality (“to the extent that this claim comes to say that the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish State conflict with the principle of equality, the answer is that such a conflict does not exist.”).  Do you agree?  Is this position in conflict with the idea that Israel is a democratic state?  If so, how so?   If not, how not?
  10. The Court frames the “Law of Return” as “a special key to enter,” but then notes that “once a person has lawfully entered the home, he enjoys equal rights with all other household members.”  Is this a persuasive argument in the service of the claim that there is “no contradiction between the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and between the absolute equality of all of its citizens”?
  11. The Court treats the issue as one in which the State is allocating “state land” or “its land” or “national land” via entities such as the Jewish Agency for Israel.  How might you press on this framing of the idea of “allocation” and of whose land it is to allocate?  How might a reframing shift the discrimination claim at the center of the lawsuit?

Take a look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 decisions in Brown v. Board of Education (the school desegregation cases).  Notice that in the first Brown opinion the Supreme Court did not order a remedy, they waited to do so until a year later in the second Brown opinion.

  1. How “do facts on the ground” in the Kaadan opinion influence the remedy the Court was willing to order?  (Noting as well that “facts on the ground” influenced the remedy the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education was willing to order.)  Note the term “appropriate speed” in the Kaadan opinion and compare it to the U.S. Supreme Court’s use of the term “all deliberate speed” in Brown II.

 

Session 3: The Proposed “Nationality” Legislation Changing Israel’s Basic Law “to define the character of Israel as the national State of the Jewish People”

New legislation has been introduced by the right-wing MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) party that would amend Israel’s Basic Law in ways that would:

  • define the character of Israel as the national State of the Jewish People;
  • establish Hebrew as the only official language of the state of Israel (under current law Hebrew and Arabic are official languages of the state and English enjoys non-official status as well.  Most state signage in Israel is in Hebrew, Arabic and English);[31]
  • allow the state to “permit a community, including the members of a single religion or the members of a single nationality, to establish separate community settlements;”
  • require the State to act… “for Jewish settlement within its boundaries, and shall allot resources for these purposes.”
  • declares that “the Land of Israel,” or as it is called in Hebrew “Eretz Yesrael” (a nebulously defined area which for some includes the area of Palestine (pre-1948), and for others includes parts of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt as well) “is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and the locus of the constitution of the State of Israel.”[32]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni proposed more tempered versions of the bill.

Read: Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, by the Interagency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues; and An Idiot’s Guide to the Nation-State Controversy

This proposed legislation formalizes the definition of Israel as the home of the Jewish people by building this notion into the Basic Law.  Until now this idea has featured as part of Israel’s founding social and political history but not a part of its formal, legal structure.  The bill’s proponents argue that the change is needed as a response to the growing possibility that non-Jews may outnumber Jewish citizens of Israel.  Critics of the law warn that the law would elevate a commitment to Jewish nationalism over democratic principles, thus marginalizing non-Jewish citizens of Israel.

Note that the proposed legislation anchors the changes in the Israeli Declaration of Independence, yet the Declaration contains the word “Jewish” 20 times without mentioning “democracy” once.

Questions:

  1. The proposals declare that the “right of National Self Determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People.” What implications might this have for non-Jewish minorities in Israel?  Can non-Jews in Israel argue that this provision in the proposed law illegitimately denies their right to self-determination?[33]  What would that argument look like? Can the “right of return” for diasporic Jews to Israel be understood as a key aspect of Jewish self-determination?  If so, why aren’t Palestinians in the diaspora entitled to a similar right of return?  Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) sets forth that:In those States in which ethnic, religious or lingual minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.[34]Does the proposal’s language “right of National Self Determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People” run afoul of Article 27 of the ICCPR?
  2. Two of the proposals set out that Israel is “a democratic regime” that would “be based on the principles of freedom, justice and peace in light of the vision of the Prophets of Israel, and committed to the individual rights of all its citizens as specified by any law.”  Consider the following questions about this proposed language:
    1.     How might a “democratic regime” be different from a “democratic state”?
    2.     What does it mean to anchor principles of “freedom, justice and peace” in “the vision of the Prophets of Israel”?  The “Prophets of Israel” knew nothing of the constraints on and values of modern democracies, so in what way does this conception of a “democratic regime” make sense?  Is this principle so vague as to be meaningless?
    3.     The proposal commits the state to “the individual rights of all its citizens.”  Would collective language, cultural and religious rights – particularly of minorities – be sufficiently protected by a commitment to individual rights?[35]
    4.     The “individual rights of all [Israeli] citizens” are to be “specified by any law.”  Does limiting personal rights to those “specified by any law,” risk rendering the clause effectively useless when the “law” itself is discriminatory?
  3. The proposed law assures that “each resident of Israel, without regard to his religion or nationality, shall be entitled to strive for the preservation of his culture, heritage, language and identity.”  Sounds good.  Can you foresee any concerns with this phrasing?  Does it risk privatizing what has been heretofore a public/state responsibility to recognize the multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-linguistic makeup of Israeli culture and population?  Or worse, if the proposal renders the preservation and protection of Jewish culture, heritage, language and identity as an official state project,[36] what does it mean to leave the preservation all other non-Jewish culture, heritage, language and identity as something residents are entitled to “strive for”?  Israeli courts have required the state to set up bilingual signage in mixed cities, to provide adequate funding for Muslim religious institutions and education.  Does this language risk eliminating that public responsibility
  4. Two of the proposals set out that Israel is “a democratic regime” that would “be based on the principles of freedom, justice and peace in light of the vision of the Prophets of Israel, and committed to the individual rights of all its citizens as specified by any law.”  Consider the following questions about this proposed language:
    1. How might a “democratic regime” be different from a “democratic state”?
    2. What does it mean to anchor principles of “freedom, justice and peace” in “the vision of the Prophets of Israel”?  The “Prophets of Israel” knew nothing of the constraints on and values of modern democracies, so in what way does this conception of a “democratic regime” make sense?  Is this principle so vague as to be meaningless?
    3. The proposal commits the state to “the individual rights of all its citizens.”  Would collective language, cultural and religious rights – particularly of minorities – be sufficiently protected by a commitment to individual rights?[35]
    4. The “individual rights of all [Israeli] citizens” are to be “specified by any law.”  Does limiting personal rights to those “specified by any law,” risk rendering the clause effectively useless when the “law” itself is discriminatory.
  5. The law’s core aim in declaring Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People would result in the state officially associating itself with only some members of its citizenry, including with respect to heritage, symbols, holidays, and the role that Hebrew law plays in interpreting legislation. What might be the implications of having the state officially associate itself with only some members of its citizenry?
  6. The proposals reference the Declaration of Independence yet none of them require that Israel’s Basic Law expressly recognizes equality as a right and fundamental value of the state in the same way that it is recognized in the Declaration of Independence.  Is there anything to make of this omission?
  7. Do the proposed changes contained in the “Nationality Law” risk amplifying the distinction between nationality and citizenship in Israel in ways that may further marginalize non-Jewish citizens and/or Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza?
  8. Finally, do you agree with the bills’ critics that they elevate Israel’s identity as a “Jewish state” over its identity as a “democratic state”?  Do these bills merely surface an underlying impossibility that lurks in the tension between democratic values and the entho-nationalism of political Zionism?  Do these measures merely ratify explicitly what has been an implicit fact, that Israel is and has been a “Jewish state”?
  9. Some commentators view the new law as merely reiterating and consolidating Zionist values and rules that are already well-entrenched in existing Israeli law: “Ultimately, the result of this bill would be the unification of many principles that are already law in Israel under one Basic Law. The repetition and emphasis sound shocking for those unfamiliar with Israeli law, but the bill only clarifies what is already in place and its tone reflects the current situation. Instead of looking at individual trees one by one, the observer now sees the whole forest and its very dark shadow …”[37]  If this is right, might there be an argument that it is in the interests of parties devoted to the notion that Israel is a “Jewish state” to leave well enough alone?  That is, that the “Nationality Law” risks drawing critical international attention to a state of affairs that is best maintained piecemeal rather than in one omnibus amendment to the Basic Law?

 


[1] So claimed David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first president.  See Ariel Feldestein, Ben-Gurion, Zionism and American Jewry: 1948 – 1963 (Routledge: New York, 2007) p. 126.

[3] Take, for instance, the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  The Pledge reflects the notion in the U.S. context that citizenship in the U.S. and membership in the Nation are coextensive, as is membership in the “Republic.”

[4] A meeting among the victors/allies immediately following the end of World War I at which they set the terms of a new world order that included the break up of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of European controlled mandate system in the former Arab provinces, including Palestine.

[5] Ernst Frankenstein’s article explains how other political actors, such as the British politicians responsible for drafting the Balfour Declaration, may have held the view that the transition of a “Jewish home” to a “Jewish state” would reflect the fact of majority population of Jews and little more.  See Frankenstein, “The Meaning of the Term ‘National Home for the Jewish People,’” at p. 36.

[6] These twin identities conjoined to one another first appeared in the Israeli law in 1992:

1. The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. (Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992))

2. The purpose of this Basic Law if to protect freedom of occupation, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. (Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation (1994))

[7] “We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secure once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression.”  President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, 8 January, 1918.

[8] Morris R. Cohen, “Zionism: Tribalism or Liberalism?,” The New Republic, vol. 18 p. 182 (March 8, 1919).

[9] The Green Line is a term used to describe the borders established by the Armistice Agreements of 1949.

[10] For more on the fate of the Palestinians during this period see Baruch Kimmerling & Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making Of A People 127-56 (1993).

[11] See Oscar Kraines, The Impossible Dilemma: Who Is a Jew in the State of Israel? (Bloch Publishing Company, 1976).

[12] Tamarin v. State of Israel, C.A. 630/70 (1972); “Atheist Is Refused Listing As Israeli Instead of Jew,” New York Times, January 21, 1972; see discussion in John Quigley, The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective (Duke University Press: Durham, 2005) p. 129.

[13] Tamarin v. State of Israel, C.A. 630/70 (1972) and see summary in the New York Times.

[14] Uzzi Ornan et al. v. State of Israel, 8573/08, 2 October 2013. The judgment is available here; excerpts in English are available here.

[15] Id. at ¶ 19.

[16] Tamarin v. State of Israel, C.A. 630/70 (1972)(Tamarin, an Jewish citizen of Israel requested that his nationality on his Israeli registration identification card be changed from ‘Jewish’ to ‘Israeli’. The Israeli Ministry of Interior denied his request. He appealed to the Israeli courts and ultimately took his case to the Supreme Court of Israel, which supported the decision of the Ministry of the Interior.).  Israeli ID cards no longer explicitly list nationality as a field so the remedy the petitioners sought wasn’t about the identity card exactly.  Of course there are still clues that give nationality away – aside from a person’s name, Jews have birthdates listed in the Jewish calendar, and for non-Jews only the paternal grandfather’s name is given.

[17] Central Elections Committee for the Sixteenth Knesset v Tibi, EC 11280/02 (2003).

[18] Unlike most industrialized countries, which have widespread private land ownership and a free real estate market, in Israel the state controls 93 % of the land (80% is owned by the state and 13% by the Jewish National Fund).  According to Israel’s Basic Law: Israel Lands (1960), lands controlled by the state, the Development Authority and the Jewish National Fund are known as “Israel Lands.”  The JNF was founded in 1901 by the World Zionist Congress as “the custodian of the land for the Jewish people.” After the founding of Israel in 1948 and land previously owned by Palestinians was seized by the state and “[t]he JNF purchased the land from the state starting in 1949 and early 1950. Then prime minister David Ben-Gurion initiated the sale of land to the JNF to prevent any possibility of international pressure forcing Israel to restore it to the Palestinian refugees.”  Amiram Barkat “Buying the State of Israel,” Haaretz, February 10, 2005.  The land is leased in 49-98 year installments from the Israel Land Authority.  See the Israel Land Authorities’ website, and the JNF’s website. For a history of the JNF, see Walter Lehn, “The Jewish National Fund,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 3, no. 4 (1974).

[19] “The mission of gathering in the exiles, which is the central task of the State of Israel and the Zionist Movement in our days, requires constant efforts by the Jewish people in the Diaspora; the State of Israel, therefore, expects the cooperation of all Jews, as individuals and groups, in building up the State and assisting the immigration to it of the masses of the people, and regards the unity of all sections of Jewry as necessary for this purpose.” World Zionist Organization – Jewish Agency (Status) Law Sec. 5 (1952).

[20] Opinion of Judge H. Meltzer, Uzzi Ornan et al. v. State of Israel, 8573/08, 2 October 2013, p. 7.

[21] For a discussion of the difference between “homeland” and “immigrant” ethnic minorities see Oren Yftachel, “The Ethnic Democracy Model and Its Applicability to the Case of Israel,” 15 Ethnic & Racial Studies, 125 (1992).  The Israeli Supreme Court has recognized this distinction and granted Palestinians special protections over other ethnic minorities in Israel.  See opinion of Chief Justice Barak in Adalah v. The Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, 56(5) P.D. at 393, para. 25.

[22] For more on this tension see Sammy Smooha, “Class, Ethnic, and National Cleavages and Democracy in Israel,” in Israeli Democracy Under Stress (Ehud Sprinzak & Larry Diamond eds., 1993) pp. 316-25.

[23] The judgment is available here; excerpts in English are available here.

[24] The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (1948)(emphasis added).  The Declaration states fundamental and important principles that framed the founding of the state of Israel, yet none of the terms of the Declaration create enforceable rights.

[25] See Ilan Sabin, “Minority Rights In Deeply Divided Societies: A Framework For Analysis And The Case Of The Arab-Palestinian Minority In Israel,” 36 New York University Journal of Int’l Law & Politics, 885 (2004) at 962, n. 300.

[26] Links to the text of the law in English including amendments in 2005 and 2007 are available here.

[27] See Sabin, “Minority Rights In Deeply Divided Societies,” at 962.

[29] Id.

[30] The opinion and analysis are available here.

[31] See Adalah v. The Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, 56(5) P.D. at 393, paras. 24-25 (Barak, C.J.), case in which Adalah, a civil rights organization that defends the rights of the Arab minority in Israel, sought an order requiring the state to post street signs in Hebrew and Arabic.  The majority of the justices found comprehensive protection for the language of the national minority in Israel as derived also from the basic values of Israel and the basic right to human dignity.

[32] “This statement is generally in line with the Zionist consensus which distinguishes between the ‘Land of Israel’ and the territory of the state of Israel: while Jews according to the Zionist vision are entitled to self-determination in the whole area of ‘the Land of Israel’, liberal Zionist are willing to make territorial compromises (more or less along the 1967 line) for the sake of political stability and in order to maintain a Jewish majority.”  Mazen Masri, “Israel’s ‘Jewish State’ Bill: Does it Really Change Anything?,” Jadaliyya, January 8, 2015.

[33] Note that current Israeli law states that:

No list of candidates will participate in elections to the Knesset and no individual will be a candidate for elections to the Knesset, if among the goals or acts of the list or among the acts of the person is included, as might be the case, explicitly or implicitly, any one of the following:

(1) Denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state;

(2) Incitement to racism;

(3) Support for an armed struggle, of a hostile state or a terror organization, against the State of Israel.

Section 7A of Basic Law.

And the Israeli Knesset’s internal rules stipulate that:

The chairperson of the Knesset and the deputies will not approve a bill that is, in their opinion, racist in nature or denies the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

Section 134(c) of the Knesset Regulations 1962, Y.P. 590.

See Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, 26-30 (1995).

[34] See also Frances Raday, “Self-Determination and Minority Rights,” 26 Fordham International Law Journal 453 (2003).

[35] See Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, 26, 110-11 (1995).

[36] “The State shall act to preserve the cultural and historic heritage and tradition of the Jewish people, and to cultivate and foster them in Israel and the Diaspora.”

[37] Mazen Masri, “Israel’s ‘Jewish State’ Bill: Does it Really Change Anything?,” Jadaliyya, January 8, 2015.

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Acquisition of Israeli Nationality

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/aboutisrael/state/pages/acquisition%20of%20israeli%20nationality.aspx

Israel’s Nationality Law relates to persons born in Israel or resident therein, as well as to those wishing to settle in the country, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex or political belief. Citizenship may be acquired by:

  • Birth
  • The Law of Return
  • Residence
  • Naturalization

Acquisition of nationality by birth is granted to:

  1. Persons who were born in Israel to a mother or a father who are Israeli citizens.
  2. Persons born outside Israel, if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship, acquired either by birth in Israel, according to the Law of Return, by residence, or by naturalization.
  3. Persons born after the death of one of their parents, if the late parent was an Israeli citizen by virtue of the conditions enumerated in 1. and 2. above at the time of death.
  4. Persons born in Israel, who have never had any nationality and subject to limitations specified in the law, if they:
    • apply for it in the period between their 18th and 25th birthday and
    • have been residents of Israel for five consecutive years, immediately preceding the day of the filing of their application.

Acquisition of Nationality according to the Law of Return

On the establishment of the State, its founders proclaimed “…the renewal of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, which would open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew…” In pursuance of this tenet, the State of Israel has absorbed survivors of the Holocaust, refugees from the countries in which they had resided, as well as many thousands of Jews who came to settle in Israel of their own volition.

The Law of Return (1950) grants every Jew, wherever he may be, the right to come to Israel as an oleh (a Jew immigrating to Israel) and become an Israeli citizen.

For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother, or has converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion.

Israeli citizenship becomes effective on the day of arrival in the country or of receipt of an oleh’s certificate, whichever is later. A person may declare, within three months, that he/she does not wish to become a citizen.

An oleh‘s certificate may be denied to persons who:

  1. engage in activity directed against the Jewish people;
  2. may endanger public health or the security of the state;
  3. have a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare

Since 1970, the right to immigrate under this law has been extended to include the child and the grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of the grandchild of a Jew. The purpose of this amendment is to ensure the unity of families, where intermarriage had occurred; it does not apply to persons who had been Jews and had voluntarily changed their religion.

Acquisition of Nationality by Residence

Special provision is made in the Nationality Law for former citizens of British Mandatory Palestine. Those who remained in Israel from the establishment of the State in 1948 until the enactment of the Nationality Law of 1952, became Israeli citizens by residence or by return.

According to an amendment (1980), further possibilities to acquire citizenship by residence, were included in the law.

Acquisition of Nationality by Naturalization

Adults may acquire Israeli citizenship by naturalization at the discretion of the Minister of the Interior and subject to a number of requirements, such as:

  1. they must have resided in Israel for three years out of the five years preceding the day of submission of the application.
  2. they are entitled to reside in Israel permanently and have settled or intend to settle in Israel;
  3. they have renounced their prior nationality, or have proved that they will cease to be foreign nationals upon becoming Israeli citizens.

The Minister of the Interior may exempt an applicant from some of these requirements.

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Afroyim v. Rusk

Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), is a major United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that citizens of the United States may not be deprived of their citizenship involuntarily. The U.S. government had attempted to revoke the citizenship of Beys Afroyim, a man born in Poland, because he had cast a vote in an Israeli election after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. The Supreme Court decided that Afroyim’s right to retain his citizenship was guaranteed by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In so doing, the Court overruled one of its own precedents, Perez v. Brownell (1958), in which it had upheld loss of citizenship under similar circumstances less than a decade earlier.

The Afroyim decision opened the way for a wider acceptance of dual (or multiple) citizenship in United States law. The Bancroft Treaties—a series of agreements between the United States and other nations which had sought to limit dual citizenship following naturalization—were eventually abandoned after the Carter administration concluded that Afroyim and other Supreme Court decisions had rendered them unenforceable.

The impact of Afroyim v. Rusk was narrowed by a later case, Rogers v. Bellei (1971), in which the Court determined that the Fourteenth Amendment safeguarded citizenship only when a person was born or naturalized in the United States, and that Congress retained authority to regulate the citizenship status of a person who was born outside the United States to an American parent. However, the specific law at issue in Rogers v. Bellei—a requirement for a minimum period of U.S. residence that Bellei had failed to satisfy—was repealed by Congress in 1978. As a consequence of revised policies adopted in 1990 by the United States Department of State, it is now (in the words of one expert) “virtually impossible to lose American citizenship without formally and expressly renouncing it.”

Citizenship in the United States has historically been acquired in one of three ways: by birth in the United States (jus soli, “right of the soil”); by birth outside the United States to an American parent (jus sanguinis, “right of the blood”); or by immigration to the United States followed by naturalization.

In 1857, the Supreme Court held in Dred Scott v. Sandford that African slaves, former slaves, and their descendants were not eligible to be citizens. After the Civil War (1861–65) and the resulting abolition of slavery in the United States, steps were taken to grant citizenship to the freed slaves. Congress first enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which included a clause declaring “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power” to be citizens. Even as the Civil Rights Act was being debated in Congress, its opponents argued that the citizenship provision was unconstitutional. In light of this concern, as well as to protect the new grant of citizenship for former slaves from being repealed by a later Congress, the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution included a Citizenship Clause, which would entrench in the Constitution (and thereby set beyond the future reach of Congress or the courts) a guarantee of citizenship stating that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States”. The Fourteenth Amendment—including the Citizenship Clause—was ratified by state legislatures and became a part of the Constitution in 1868.

The Constitution does not specifically deal with loss of citizenship. An amendment proposed by Congress in 1810—the Titles of Nobility Amendment—would, if ratified, have provided that any citizen who accepted any “present, pension, office or emolument” from a foreign country, without the consent of Congress, would “cease to be a citizen of the United States”; however, this amendment was never ratified by a sufficient number of state legislatures and, as a result, never became a part of the Constitution.

Ever since the affirmation by Congress, in the Expatriation Act of 1868, that individuals had an inherent right to expatriation (giving up of citizenship), it has historically been accepted that certain actions could result in loss of citizenship. This possibility was noted by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, an 1898 case involving a man born in the United States to Chinese parents who were legally domiciled in the country. After ruling in this case that Wong was born a U.S. citizen despite his Chinese ancestry, the Court went on to state that his birthright citizenship “[had] not been lost or taken away by anything happening since his birth.”

The Nationality Act of 1940 provided for loss of citizenship based on foreign military or government service, when coupled with citizenship in that foreign country. This statute also mandated loss of citizenship for desertion from the U.S. armed forces, remaining outside the United States in order to evade military service during wartime, or voting in a foreign election. The provision calling for loss of citizenship for foreign military service was held by the Supreme Court not to be enforceable without proof that said service had been voluntary, in a 1958 case (Nishikawa v. Dulles), and revocation of citizenship as a punishment for desertion was struck down that same year in another case (Trop v. Dulles).

However, in yet another 1958 case (Perez v. Brownell), the Supreme Court affirmed the provision revoking the citizenship of any American who had voted in an election in a foreign country, as a legitimate exercise (under the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause) of Congress’ authority to regulate foreign affairs and avoid potentially embarrassing diplomatic situations. Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, the author of the opinion of the Court (supported by a 5–4 majority), wrote that:

… the activities of the citizens of one nation when in another country can easily cause serious embarrassments to the government of their own country as well as to their fellow citizens. We cannot deny to Congress the reasonable belief that these difficulties might well become acute, to the point of jeopardizing the successful conduct of international relations, when a citizen of one country chooses to participate in the political or governmental affairs of another country. The citizen may by his action unwittingly promote or encourage a course of conduct contrary to the interests of his own government; moreover, the people or government of the foreign country may regard his action to be the action of his government, or at least as a reflection if not an expression of its policy…. It follows that such activity is regulable by Congress under its power to deal with foreign affairs.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren argued that “Citizenship is man’s basic right, for it is nothing less than the right to have rights” and that “a government of the people cannot take away their citizenship simply because one branch of that government can be said to have a conceivably rational basis for wanting to do so.” While Warren was willing to allow for loss of citizenship as a result of foreign naturalization or other actions “by which [an American] manifests allegiance to a foreign state [which] may be so inconsistent with the retention of [U.S.] citizenship as to result in loss of that status”, he wrote that “In specifying that any act of voting in a foreign political election results in loss of citizenship, Congress has employed a classification so broad that it encompasses conduct that fails to show a voluntary abandonment of American citizenship.”

Two Supreme Court decisions after Perez called into question the principle that loss of citizenship could occur even without the affected individual’s intent. In Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez (1963), the Court struck down a law revoking citizenship for remaining outside the United States in order to avoid conscription into the armed forces. Associate Justice William J. Brennan (who had been in the majority in Perez) wrote a separate opinion concurring with the majority in Mendoza-Martinez and expressing reservations about Perez. In Schneider v. Rusk (1964), where the Court invalidated a provision revoking the citizenship of naturalized citizens who returned to live permanently in their countries of origin, Brennan recused himself and did not participate in the decision of the case.

Beys Afroyim (born Ephraim Bernstein, 1893?–1984) was an artist and active communist. Various sources state that he was born in either 1893 or 1898, and either in Poland generally, specifically in the Polish town of Ryki, or in Riga, Latvia (then part of the Russian Empire). In 1912, Afroyim immigrated to the United States, and on June 14, 1926, he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the National Academy of Design in New York City, and he was commissioned to paint portraits of George Bernard Shaw, Theodore Dreiser, and Arnold Schoenberg. In 1949, Afroyim left the United States and settled in Israel, together with his wife and former student Soshana (an Austrian artist).

In 1960, following the breakdown of his marriage, Afroyim decided to return to the United States, but the State Department refused to renew his U.S. passport, ruling that because Afroyim had voted in the 1951 Israeli legislative election, he had lost his citizenship under the provisions of the Nationality Act of 1940. A letter certifying Afroyim’s loss of citizenship was issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on January 13, 1961.

Afroyim challenged the revocation of his citizenship. Initially, he claimed that he had not in fact voted in Israel’s 1951 election, but had entered the polling place solely in order to draw sketches of voters casting their ballots. Afroyim’s initial challenge was rejected in administrative proceedings in 1965. He then sued in federal district court, with his lawyer agreeing to a stipulation that Afroyim had in fact voted in Israel, but arguing that the statute under which this action had resulted in his losing his citizenship was unconstitutional. A federal judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected Afroyim’s claim on February 25, 1966, concluding that “in the opinion of Congress voting in a foreign political election could import ‘allegiance to another country’ in some measure ‘inconsistent with American citizenship'” and that the question of this law’s validity had been settled by the Supreme Court’s 1958 Perez decision.

Afroyim appealed the district court’s ruling against him to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the lower court’s reasoning and decision on May 24, 1966. Two of the three judges who heard Afroyim’s appeal found the district court’s analysis and affirmation of Perez to be “exhaustive and most penetrating”. The third judge expressed serious reservations regarding the viability of Perez and suggested that Afroyim might have obtained a different result if he had framed his case differently, but decided to concur (albeit reluctantly) in the majority’s ruling.

After losing his appeal to the Second Circuit, Afroyim asked the Supreme Court to overrule the precedent it had established in Perez, strike down the foreign voting provision of the Nationality Act as unconstitutional, and decide that he was still a United States citizen. Afroyim’s counsel argued that since “neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor any other provision of the Constitution expressly grants Congress the power to take away [U.S.] citizenship once it has been acquired … the only way [Afroyim] could lose his citizenship was by his own voluntary renunciation of it.” The Supreme Court agreed to consider Afroyim’s case on October 24, 1966 and held oral arguments on February 20, 1967.

The official respondent (defendant) in Afroyim’s case on behalf of the U.S. government was Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961–1969). The legal brief laying out Afroyim’s arguments was written by Nanette Dembitz, general counsel of the New York Civil Liberties Union; the government’s brief was written by United States Solicitor General (and future Supreme Court Associate Justice) Thurgood Marshall. The oral arguments in the case were presented by attorneys Edward Ennis—chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—for Afroyim, and Charles Gordon—general counsel for the INS—for the government. Afroyim was in New York City at this time, having been granted a visitor’s visa in 1965 while his case went through the courts.

Before heading the ACLU, Ennis had served as general counsel for the INS. In his oral argument supporting Afroyim, Ennis asserted that Congress lacked the power to prescribe forfeiture of citizenship, and he sharply criticized the foreign-relations argument under which the Perez court had upheld loss of citizenship for voting in a foreign election—pointing out, for example, that when a referendum was held in 1935 on the status of the Saar (a region of Germany occupied after World War I by the United Kingdom and France), Americans had participated in the voting without raising any concerns within the State Department at the time.

Gordon did not make a good showing in the Afroyim oral arguments despite his skill and experience in the field of immigration law, according to a 2005 article on the Afroyim case by law professor Peter J. Spiro. Gordon mentioned Israeli elections in 1955 and 1959 in which Afroyim had voted—facts which had not previously been presented to the Supreme Court in the attorneys’ briefs or the written record of the case—and much of the remaining questioning from the justices involved criticism of Gordon for confusing matters through the last-minute introduction of this new material.

Afroyim’s earlier stipulation that he had voted in the 1951 Israeli election—together with an accompanying concession by the government that this was the sole ground upon which it had acted to revoke Afroyim’s citizenship—allowed the potential issue of diluted allegiance through dual citizenship to be sidestepped. Indeed, in 1951 there was no Israeli nationality law; eligibility to vote in the election that year had been based on residence rather than any concept of citizenship. Although Afroyim had later acquired Israeli citizenship and voted in at least two other elections in his new country, his lawyers were able to avoid discussing this matter and instead focus entirely on whether foreign voting was a sufficient cause for loss of one’s U.S. citizenship.

The Supreme Court ruled in Afroyim’s favor in a 5–4 decision issued on May 29, 1967. The opinion of the Court—written by Associate Justice Hugo Black, and joined by Chief Justice Warren and Associate Justices William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas—as well as Associate Justice Brennan, who had been part of the majority in Perez—was grounded in the reasoning Warren had used nine years earlier in his Perez dissent. The court’s majority now held that “Congress has no power under the Constitution to divest a person of his United States citizenship absent his voluntary renunciation thereof.” Specifically repudiating Perez, the majority of the justices rejected the claim that Congress had any power to revoke citizenship and said that “no such power can be sustained as an implied attribute of sovereignty”. Instead, quoting from the Citizenship Clause, Black wrote:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States … are citizens of the United States….” There is no indication in these words of a fleeting citizenship, good at the moment it is acquired but subject to destruction by the Government at any time. Rather the Amendment can most reasonably be read as defining a citizenship which a citizen keeps unless he voluntarily relinquishes it. Once acquired, this Fourteenth Amendment citizenship was not to be shifted, canceled, or diluted at the will of the Federal Government, the States, or any other governmental unit.

The Court found support for its position in the history of the unratified Titles of Nobility Amendment. The fact that this 1810 proposal had been framed as a constitutional amendment, rather than an ordinary act of Congress, was seen by the majority as showing that, even before the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress did not believe that it had the power to revoke anyone’s citizenship. The Court further noted that a proposed 1818 act of Congress would have provided a way for citizens to voluntarily relinquish their citizenship, but opponents had argued that Congress had no authority to provide for expatriation.

Afroyim’s counsel had addressed only the foreign voting question and had carefully avoided any direct challenge to the idea that foreign naturalization might legitimately lead to loss of citizenship (a concept which Warren had been willing to accept in his Perez dissent). Nevertheless, the Court’s Afroyim ruling went beyond even Warren’s earlier position—holding instead that “The very nature of our government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship.”

The minority—in a dissent written by Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan II and joined by Associate Justices Tom C. Clark, Potter Stewart, and Byron White—argued that Perez had been correctly decided, that nothing in the Constitution deprived Congress of the power to revoke a person’s citizenship for good cause, and that Congress was within its rights to decide that allowing Americans to vote in foreign elections ran contrary to the foreign policy interests of the nation and ought to result in loss of citizenship. Harlan wrote:

First, the Court fails almost entirely to dispute the reasoning in Perez; it is essentially content with the conclusory and quite unsubstantiated assertion that Congress is without “any general power, express or implied,” to expatriate a citizen “without his assent.” Next, the Court embarks upon a lengthy, albeit incomplete, survey of the historical background of the congressional power at stake here, and yet, at the end, concedes that the history is susceptible of “conflicting inferences.” … Finally, the Court declares that its result is bottomed upon the “language and the purpose” of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; in explanation, the Court offers only the terms of the clause itself, the contention that any other result would be “completely incongruous,” and the essentially arcane observation that the “citizenry is the country and the country is its citizenry.” I can find nothing in this extraordinary series of circumventions which permits, still less compels, the imposition of this constitutional constraint upon the authority of Congress.

Responding to the assertion that Congress did not have power to revoke a person’s citizenship without his or her assent, Harlan predicted that “Until the Court indicates with greater precision what it means by ‘assent’, today’s opinion will surely cause still greater confusion in this area of the law.”

The Afroyim decision stated that no one with United States citizenship could be involuntarily deprived of that citizenship. Nevertheless, the Court distinguished a 1971 case, Rogers v. Bellei, holding in this newer case that individuals who had acquired citizenship via jus sanguinis, through birth outside the United States to an American parent or parents, could still risk loss of citizenship in various ways, since their citizenship (unlike Afroyim’s citizenship) was the result of federal statutes rather than the Citizenship Clause. The statutory provision whereby Bellei lost his citizenship—a U.S. residency requirement which he had failed to satisfy in his youth—was repealed by Congress in 1978; the foreign voting provision, already without effect since Afroyim, was repealed at the same time.

Although Afroyim appeared to rule out any involuntary revocation of a person’s citizenship, the government continued for the most part to pursue loss-of-citizenship cases when an American had acted in a way believed to imply an intent to give up citizenship—especially when an American had become a naturalized citizen of another country. In a 1980 case, however—Vance v. Terrazas—the Supreme Court ruled that intent to relinquish citizenship needed to be proved by itself, and not simply inferred from an individual’s having voluntarily performed an action designated by Congress as being incompatible with an intent to keep one’s citizenship.

The concept of dual citizenship, which previously had been strongly opposed by the U.S. government, has become more accepted in the years since Afroyim. In 1980, the administration of President Jimmy Carter concluded that the Bancroft Treaties—a series of bilateral agreements, formulated between 1868 and 1937, which provided for automatic loss of citizenship upon foreign naturalization of a U.S. citizen—were no longer enforceable, due in part to Afroyim, and gave notice terminating these treaties. In 1990, the State Department adopted new guidelines for evaluating potential loss-of-citizenship cases, under which the government now assumes in almost all situations that Americans do not in fact intend to give up their citizenship unless they explicitly indicate to U.S. officials that this is their intention. As explained by Peter J. Spiro, “In the long run, Afroyim’s vision of an absolute right to retain citizenship has been largely, if quietly, vindicated. As a matter of practice, it is now virtually impossible to lose American citizenship without formally and expressly renouncing it.”

While acknowledging that “American citizenship enjoys strong protection against loss under Afroyim and Terrazas“, retired journalist Henry S. Matteo suggested, “It would have been more equitable … had the Supreme Court relied on the Eighth Amendment, which adds a moral tone as well as a firmer constitutional basis, than the Fourteenth.” Matteo also said, “Under Afroyim there is a lack of balance between rights and protections on one hand, and obligations and responsibilities on the other, all four elements of which have been an integral part of the concept of citizenship, as history shows.” Political scientist P. Allan Dionisopoulos wrote that “it is doubtful that any [Supreme Court decision] created a more complex problem for the United States than Afroyim v. Rusk“, a decision which he believed had “since become a source of embarrassment for the United States in its relationships with the Arab world” because of the way it facilitated dual U.S.–Israeli citizenship and participation by Americans in Israel’s armed forces.

After his Supreme Court victory, Afroyim divided his time between West Brighton (Staten Island, New York) and the Israeli city of Safed until his death on May 19, 1984, in West Brighton.

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Bernie Sanders: Ezrahut K’fulah

Author Note: If I were going to vote, I would vote for Bernie Sanders. But, the truth is always first.

Possession of multiple citizenship automatically protects you from being subject to sole diplomatic rule. By obtaining recognition as a country citizen, you obtain the right to seek physical, political and in some cases, financial assistance from that country. Furthermore because citizenship is regarded an equal humanitarian right, no citizenship may supersede another.

There is no other country in the world that allows members of its national government to be a citizen of two different nations at the same time, except the United States. The dual citizen status can only apply to citizens of Israel, and no other country. This change to US law was made possible by the subversion and betrayal of Jewish Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, a Johnson appointee, who later had to resign from the Supreme Court.

Bernard Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs. His father, Elias Sanders, was born on September 14, 1904 in Słopnice, Poland (then, until 1918, in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia), to a Jewish family; in 1921 he immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. His mother, Dorothy Sanders (née Glassberg), was born in New York City on October 2, 1912, to Polish and Russian Jewish immigrant parents.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/bernie-sanders-kibbutz-volunteer-israel/

Israeli newspaper Haaretz dug up a 1990 interview with Sanders. In the article, Sanders claimed he spent several months in 1963 volunteering at Shaar Ha’amakim. The kibbutz was a cornerstone of Israeli society in the decades before and after the nation was founded in 1948. Shaar Ha’amakim is near Haifa, a 90-minute drive from Jerusalem near the northern border with Lebanon. The small community, population around 800, is nestled amongst green hills and is located just minutes from modern retail stores and restaurants. It was founded by Jewish immigrants in 1935

Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel, Rehm began

Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an — I don’t know where that questioning came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.

Transcript: https://michaelruark.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/bernie-on-dual-citizenship/

http://www.aaci.org.il/articlenav.php?id=34

A person who comes to Israel on an Oleh (immigrant) visa or changes to the status of Oleh while in Israel automatically acquires Israeli citizenship unless he files a declaration refusing it within three months of his arrival or change of status. In the latter case, he becomes a permanent resident, non-citizen. Otherwise, he automatically acquires Israeli citizenship at the end of the three months, retroactive to the date of arrival in Israel or change of status. It is also possible to waive the three month waiting period, but that is not recommended.

http://forward.com/news/israel/332946/revealed-at-last-inside-the-kibbutz-where-bernie-sanders-lived-and-learned/

Sanders’ time on the kibbutz, where he lived for a few months with his ex-wife, Deborah Messing (born Deborah Shiling) is referenced in virtually every profile of the candidate.

On February 4, national security journalist Yossi Melman unearthed a 1990 interview with the candidate in the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, where he revealed that it was Shaar HaAmakim.

Founded in 1935 by Romanian and Yugoslavian Jewish immigrants, Shaar HaAmakim was part of Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist youth movement. The kibbutz was affiliated with Mapam, a political party to the left of Labor.

http://www.birthrightisrael.com/visitingisrael/Pages/Eligibility.aspx

  • You are not eligible if you have been to Israel for approximately three months or longer* since the age of 12.
  • If you were born in Israel or are an Israeli citizen you are only eligible if you left Israel before the age of 12.
  • If you were born in Israel or have ever held Israeli citizenship or have held an Israeli passport you are not eligible unless you prove by official documentation that you left Israel before the age of 12.

http://www.visa-law.co.il/immigration-to-israel/

The laws relevant to entering and residing in Israel for different purposes are the Law of Entry to Israel -1952 and the Law of Return -1950. In addition, the Citizenship Law -1952 details possible options for becoming a citizen.

Based on the above laws, immigration to Israel is mainly possible per Aliyah process, a process available to Zakaey Shvut , persons eligible under The Law of Return with Jewish roots. Clause 4A(a) of the Law of Return states as follows:

The rights of a Jew under this law, and the rights of an Ole under the C itizenship Law -1952, and the rights of a Ole under any other law, are given to the child or grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew the spouse of a child and grandchild of a Jew; Except a person who was born Jewish and out of his free will converted his religion.

Therefore, according to the Law of Return the right to live and settle in Israel is given to eligible persons per the law and definition above. Eligible persons per the law of Return may choose between a process for persons considering settlement which provides a B/1 Work Visa for several years, or a process which provides temporary residence while considering Aliyah, and also makes them eligible for social rights such as Health Care. In addition, the eligible person may choose to make Aliyah, whether with the help of the Jewish Agency abroad or individually at the Ministry of Interior offices in Israel. The Aliyah process includes presenting personal documents and proof of Jewish roots. In general, most Jews and Zakaey Shvut are eligible to make Aliyah and to receive Israeli citizenship.

I understand from a list we have gotten that you are on that list. Forgive if that is….

Now that’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the Internet, but that is absolutely not true.

Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship, or is that part of the fable?

I honestly don’t know, but I have read that on the Internet. You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, loved this country. I am, you know, I get offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the Internet. I am an American — obviously an American citizen, and I do not have any dual citizenship.

Polish nationality law is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis. Children born to at least one Polish parent acquire Polish citizenship irrespective of place of birth. The concept of citizenship refers to the state of belonging, and is something other than nationality (ethnicity).

Israel allows its citizens to hold dual (or multiple) citizenship. A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, and is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel according to his own desire, engage in any profession and work with any employer according to Israeli law.

In general, Israel’s nationality follows jus sanguinis as the primary mechanism through which a person may obtain citizenship, rather than jus soli.

  • Jus sanguinis (right of blood) is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state.
  • Jus soli, meaning ‘right of the soil’, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship.

Despite this limitation, descendants of an Israeli national born abroad may be eligible to Israeli citizenship through other methods, such as the Law of Return.

The Law of Return 5710-1950 was enacted by the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, on July 5, 1950, The Law declares the right of Jews to come to Israel: “Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh.” Follow-up legislation on immigration matters was contained in the Nationality Law of 1952. The Law of Return was modified in 1970 to extend the right of return to non-Jews with a Jewish grandparent, and their spouses.

The law since 1970 applies to those born Jews (having a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother), those with Jewish ancestry (having a Jewish father or grandfather) and converts to Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative denominations—not secular—though Reform and Conservative conversions must take place outside the state, similar to civil marriages).

Law of Return
http://www.richw.org/dualcit/faq.html
It is interesting to note that Israel’s “Law of Return” confers Israeli citizenship automatically, without the immigrant having to apply for it, attend any ceremony, or swear any oath of allegiance. The Israeli law may originally have been written this way to encourage American Jews to move to Israel; they could, in theory, argue that they had not explicitly requested Israeli citizenship and were thus still entitled to keep their US citizenship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vance_v._Terrazas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afroyim_v._Rusk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Wong_Kim_Ark

Aliyah (Hebrew: עֲלִיָּה aliyah, “ascent”) is the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel in Hebrew). Also defined as “the act of going up”—that is, towards Jerusalem—”making Aliyah” by moving to the Land of Israel is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism. The opposite action, emigration from the Land of Israel, is referred to in Hebrew as yerida (“descent”). The State of Israel’s Law of Return gives Jews and their descendants automatic rights regarding residency and Israeli citizenship.

“As somebody who is 100 percent pro-Israel, in the long run,” Sanders said, “we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.”

Law of Return (Amendment No. 2) 5730-1970*

Addition of sections 4A
and 4B
1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950**, the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:“Rights of members of family

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.

(c) The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).

Definition

4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”

http://jlb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/16/jlb.lsv027.full

The Population Registry Law 5725–1965 requires residents to enter both their le’oum (nationality or ethnic group) and religion in the registry. A recent Israeli Supreme Court case affirmed an earlier precedent and distinguished le’oum or nationality, from secular citizenship.

Immigration of Jews in Israel is governed by Israel’s Law of Return 5710–1950, which provides: ‘Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh [Jewish immigrant]’.  ‘[I]n conjunction with the Citizenship Law, … it enables every Jew to become a citizen of the state, almost automatically’. For the first twenty years, the law did not define who was a Jew, and thus who had the right to immigrate. In 1970, the Law was amended to include a definition of Jew: ‘For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion’. The 1970 amendment also expanded citizenship rights to family members of eligible Jews:

The rights of a Jew under this Law … as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

The amendment represented a compromise between the religious and secular perspectives. The amendment adopted the religious definition of a Jew—someone with a Jewish mother or someone who has converted to Judaism. However, the amendment extended citizenship rights to those who are referred to as ‘seed of Israel’—‘anyone either born to a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father, or having at least one Jewish grandparent’. Thus, the law grants citizenship rights both to those who are religiously Jewish but would not have Jewish biological links, such as Jews who converted, as well as those who do not have religious or biological connections to Jewishness, such as spouses of Jews.

The 1970 amendment was a response to a controversial Israeli Supreme Court case, Shalit v. Minister of the Interior, which permitted children of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother to register as part of the Jewish le’oum or ethnic group in the Population Registry. ‘[T]he amended law “overruled” the Shalit case by adopting the religious law test of defining who is considered Jewish, but the law saved the spirit of the Shalit decision by’ granting non-Jewish family members the right to immigrate under the Law of Return.

Since the law was amended, and especially in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, Jews from the FSU have arrived to Israel en masse. Many had assimilated and secularized in the FSU and intermarried with non-Jewish Russians. Thus, although many Russian immigrants are Jewish by descent, and are entitled to citizenship, their Jewishness is questioned by the Ministry of Interior, and they are often required to show additional proof. These individuals face even more skepticism by rabbinic authorities, as many are not considered Jews under Orthodox Jewish law.

The number of immigrants who are eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return, but are not religiously Jewish is quite staggering. Demographer Sergio Della Pergola suggested that by a religious definition there are roughly 14 million Jews around the world, but over 23 million people eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return. This potentially leaves a large segment of the population in limbo—eligible for immigration and citizenship but ineligible to legally marry and participate as full members of society. The move to mandate genetic tests of Jewishness as a requirement for immigration threatens to increase this divide because it cannot grant Jewish status recognized by the rabbis.

The Yakerson case revealed that the State of Israel may rely on genetic tests as proof of Jewishness. A genetic definition of Jewishness, however, breaks with traditional halakhic law and reconfigures the terms of authentic belonging in the Jewish State. Although Masha was ultimately denied access to the 10-day Birthright trip to Israel, her older sister, Dina, reportedly immigrated to Israel as an oleh in 1990.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_nationality_law

Israel allows its citizens to hold dual (or multiple) citizenship.

A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, and is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel according to his own desire, engage in any profession and work with any employer according to Israeli law. An exception is that under an additional law added to the Basic Law: the Knesset (Article 16A) according to which Knesset members cannot pledge allegiance unless their foreign citizenship has been revoked, if possible, under the laws of that country.

A child of an Israeli citizen (including children born outside of Israel as first generation out of Israel) is considered an Israeli citizen. Persons born outside Israel are Israeli citizens if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship, acquired either by birth in Israel, according to the Law of Return, by residence, or by naturalization.

Citizenship by descent, on the principle of jus sanguinis, is limited to only one generation born abroad. Despite this limitation, descendants of an Israeli national born abroad may be eligible to Israeli citizenship through other methods, such as the Law of Return.

Adults may acquire Israeli citizenship through naturalization. To be eligible for naturalization, a person must have resided in Israel for three years out of the previous five years. In addition, the applicant must have a right to reside in Israel on a permanent basis. All naturalization requests are, however, at the discretion of the Minister of the Interior. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law of 2003 suspended this practice in the case of citizens of a number of countries, which some have termed “enemy nationals”. In January 2012, the Supreme Court of Israel upheld the validity of the law.

Israel traditionally automatically granted citizenship to spouses of Jewish Israeli citizens by virtue of the Law of Return. However, this practice was suspended in 1999 due to immigration concerns if the Jewish spouse had done Aliyah previous to the marriage or is an Israeli citizen by birth.

From inside Israel the Israeli parent(s) must go to the Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior) with the child and the child’s original birth certificate that lists the Israeli parent(s) as the parents of the child. In addition the Israeli parent(s) need to bring their Teudat Zehut (National ID) or their Israeli Passport and the child’s foreign passport. If the parents are not married or did not register their marriage with Misrad Hapnim, or Misrad HaChutz (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) both of the parents must be in attendance at Misrad HaPnim. After all of the information is verified the child will be issued a Mispar Zehut (Identity Number) and an Israeli Passport. If the child is 16 years old he/she will also receive a Teudat Zehut. It is important to note that in Israel there is no separation of religion and state. If the mother is not Jewish by Orthodox standards then the child can not be registered as Jewish, nor can the child be married to a Jewish person inside of Israel.

How to get second citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return

Upon your arrival in Israel, there is a ninety day waiting period before you can be awarded citizenship. However, citizenship is automatically granted unless you specifically ask the government not to grant you Israeli citizenship.

You are not required to remain in Israel during the ninety day period, and are free to travel on your current passport so long as you obtain an exit permit, which is typically a formality.

Even if you choose not to claim your Israel citizenship, you will retain the “oleh” status you arrived on, which confers permanent resident status.”

https://www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Politics/Other_Law_Law_of_Return.html

The Law of Return, granting every Jew in the world the right to settle in Israel, was passed by the Knesset on July 5, 1950, and published in Sefer HaChukkim (Book of Laws) No. 51, p. 159. Two amendments were later added on to the Law of Return – one passed August 23, 1954, and the other passed March 10, 1970.


Right of Aliyah 1. Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh**.
Oleh’s visa 2. (a) Aliyah shall be by oleh’s visa.(b) An oleh’s visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant

(1) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or
(2) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State.

Oleh’s certificate 3. (a) A Jew who has come to Israel and subsequent to his arrival has expressed his desire to settle in Israel may, while still in Israel, receive an oleh’s certificate.(b) The restrictions specified in section 2(b) shall apply also to the grant of an oleh’s certificate, but a person shall not be regarded as endangering public health on account of an illness contracted after his arrival in Israel.
Residents and persons born in this country 4. Every Jew who has immigrated into this country before the coming into force of this Law, and every Jew who was born in this country, whether before or after the coming into force of this Law, shall be deemed to be a person who has come to this country as an oleh under this Law.
Implementation and regulations 5. The Minister of Immigration is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation and also as to the grant of oleh’s visas and oleh’s certificates to minors up to the age of 18 years.

DAVID BEN-GURION
Prime Minister

MOSHE SHAPIRA
Minister of Immigration

YOSEF SPRINZAK
Acting President of the State
Chairman of the Knesset


Amendment 5714-1954

Amendment of section 2(b) 1. In section 2 (b) of the Law of Return, 5710-1950** –

(1) the full stop at the end of paragraph (2) shall be replaced by a semi-colon, and the word “or” shall be inserted thereafter ;
(2) the following paragraph shall be inserted after paragraph (2):
“(3) is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.”.

Amendment of sections 2
and 5
2. In sections 2 and 5 of the Law, the words “the Minister of Immigration” shall be replaced by the words “the Minister of the Interior”.

 

MOSHE SHARETT
Prime Minister

YOSEF SERLIN
Minister of Health
Acting Minister of the Interior

YITZCHAK BEN-ZVI
President of the State


 

Amendment No. 2 5730-1970*

Addition of sections 4A
and 4B
1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950**, the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:“Rights of members of family

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.

(c) The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).

Definition

4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”

Amendment of section 5 2. In section 5 of the Law of Return, 5710-1950, the following shall be added at the end: “Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Juridical Committee of the Knesset.”.
Amendment of the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965 3. In the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965****, the following section shall be inserted after section 3:“Power of registration and definition

3A. (a) A person shall not be registered as a Jew by ethnic affiliation or religion if a notification under this Law or another entry in the Registry or a public document indicates that he is not a Jew, so long as the said notification, entry or document has not been controverted to the satisfaction of the Chief Registration Officer or so long as declaratory judgment of a competent court or tribunal has not otherwise determined.

(b) For the purposes of this Law and of any registration or document thereunder, “Jew” has the same meaning as in section 4B of the Law of Return, 5710-1950.

(c) This section shall not derogate from a registration effected before its coming into force.”.

 

GOLDA MEIR
Prime Minister
Acting Minister of the Interior

SHNEUR ZALMAN SHAZAR
President of the State

With the inception of the State of Israel, two thousand years of wandering were officially over. Since then, Jews have been entitled to simply show up and request to be Israeli citizens, assuming they posed no imminent danger to public health, state security, or the Jewish people as a whole. Essentially, all Jews everywhere are Israeli citizens by right.
In 1955, the law was amended slightly to specify that dangerous criminals could also be denied that right.
In 1970, Israel took another historic step by granting automatic citizenship not only to Jews, but also to their non-Jewish children, grandchildren, and spouses, and to the non-Jewish spouses of their children and grandchildren. This addition not only ensured that families would not be broken apart, but also promised a safe haven in Israel for non-Jews subject to persecution because of their Jewish roots.
The Law of Return, 5710-1950
  1.  Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an Oleh.
    1. Aliyah shall be by Oleh’s visa.
    2. An Oleh’s visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant —
      1. is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or
      2. is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State.
    1. A Jew who has come to Israel and subsequent to his arrival has expressed his desire to settle in Israel may, while still in Israel, receive an Oleh’s certificate.
    2. The restrictions specified in section 2 (b) shall apply also to the grant of an Oleh’s certificate; but a person shall not be regarded as endangering public health on account of an illness contracted after his arrival in Israel.
  2. Every Jew who has immigrated into this country before the coming into force of this Law, and every Jew who was born in this country, whether before or after the coming into force of this Law, shall be deemed to be a person who has come to this country as an Oleh under this Law.
  3. The Minister of Immigration is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation and also as to the grant of Oleh’s visas and Oleh’s certificates to minors up to the age of 18 years.

 

The Law of Return, 5714-1955: 1st Amendment
  1. In section 2 (b) of the Law of Return, 5710-1950 :
    1. The full stop at the end of paragraph (2) shall be replaced by a semicolon, and the word “or” shall be inserted thereafter;
    2. The following paragraph shall be inserted after paragraph (2):
      • “(3) is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.”
  2. In sections 2 and 5 of the Law, the words “the Minister of Immigration” shall be replaced by the words “the Minister of the Interior”.

 

The Law of Return, 5730-1970: 2nd Amendment
  1. 1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950, the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:
    “Rights of members of family:
    4A.
    a. The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an Oleh under the Nationality Law, 5710 – 1950, as well as the rights of an Oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.
    b. It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.
    c. The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an Oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).
    Definition:
    4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”
  2. In section 5 of the Law of Return, 5710 – 1950, the following shall be added at the end: “Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Judicial Committee of the Knesset.”
  3. In the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965, the following section shall be inserted after section 3:
    3A.

    1. A person shall not be registered as a Jew by ethnic affiliation or religion if a notification under this Law or another entry in the Registry or a public document indicates that he is not a Jew, so long as the said notification, entry or document has not been converted to the satisfaction of the Chief Registration Officer or so long as declaratory judgment of a competent court or tribunal has not otherwise determined.
    2. For the purposes of this Law and of any registration or document thereunder, “Jew” has the same meaning as in section 4B of the Law of Return, 5710-1950.
    3. This section shall not derogate from a registration effected before its coming into force.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfa-archive/1950-1959/pages/law%20of%20return%205710-1950.aspx

Law of Return 5710-1950

Law of Return 5710-1950

Right of aliyah** 1. Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh**.
Oleh’s visa 2. (a) Aliyah shall be by oleh’s visa.(b) An oleh’s visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant

(1) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or(2) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State.

Oleh’s certificate 3. (a) A Jew who has come to Israel and subsequent to his arrival has expressed his desire to settle in Israel may, while still in Israel, receive an oleh’s certificate.(b) The restrictions specified in section 2(b) shall apply also to the grant of an oleh’s certificate, but a person shall not be regarded as endangering public health on account of an illness contracted after his arrival in Israel.
Residents and persons born in this country 4. Every Jew who has immigrated into this country before the coming into force of this Law, and every Jew who was born in this country, whether before or after the coming into force of this Law, shall be deemed to be a person who has come to this country as an oleh under this Law.
Implementation and regulations 5. The Minister of Immigration is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation and also as to the grant of oleh’s visas and oleh’s certificates to minors up to the age of 18 years.


DAVID BEN-GURION
Prime Minister

MOSHE SHAPIRA
Minister of Immigration

YOSEF SPRINZAK
Acting President of the State
Chairman of the Knesset
* Passed by the Knesset on the 20th Tammuz, 5710 (5th July, 1950) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 51 of the 21st Tammuz, 5710 (5th July. 1950), p. 159; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza’ot Chok No. 48 of the 12th Tammuz, 5710 (27th June, 1950), p. 189.

** Translator’s Note: Aliyah means immigration of Jews, and oleh (plural: olim) means a Jew immigrating, into Israel.

Law of Return (Amendment 5714-1954)*

Amendment of section 2(b) 1. In section 2 (b) of the Law of Return, 5710-1950** –(1) the full stop at the end of paragraph (2) shall be replaced by a semi-colon, and the word “or” shall be inserted thereafter ;

(2) the following paragraph shall be inserted after paragraph (2):

“(3) is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.”.

Amendment of sections 2
and 5
2. In sections 2 and 5 of the Law, the words “the Minister of Immigration” shall be replaced by the words “the Minister of the Interior”.

MOSHE SHARETT
Prime Minister

YOSEF SERLIN
Minister of Health
Acting Minister of the Interior

YITZCHAK BEN-ZVI
President of the State
* Passed by the Knesset on the 24th Av, 5714 (23rd August, 1954) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 163 of the 3rd Elul, 5714 (1st September, 1954) p. 174; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza’ot Chok No. 192 of 5714, p. 88.

** Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 51 of 5710, p. 159, LSI vol. IV, 114.

Law of Return (Amendment No. 2) 5730-1970*

Addition of sections 4A
and 4B
1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950**, the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:“Rights of members of family

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.

(c) The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).

Definition

4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”

Amendment of section 5 2. In section 5 of the Law of Return, 5710-1950, the following shall be added at the end: “Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Juridical Committee of the Knesset.”.
Amendment of the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965 3. In the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965****, the following section shall be inserted after section 3:“Power of registration and definition

3A. (a) A person shall not be registered as a Jew by ethnic affiliation or religion if a notification under this Law or another entry in the Registry or a public document indicates that he is not a Jew, so long as the said notification, entry or document has not been controverted to the satisfaction of the Chief Registration Officer or so long as declaratory judgment of a competent court or tribunal has not otherwise determined.

(b) For the purposes of this Law and of any registration or document thereunder, “Jew” has the same meaning as in section 4B of the Law of Return, 5710-1950.

(c) This section shall not derogate from a registration effected before its coming into force.”.

GOLDA MEIR
Prime Minister
Acting Minister of the Interior

SHNEUR ZALMAN SHAZAR
President of the State
* Passed by the Knesset on 2nd Adar Bet, 5730 (10th March, 1970) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 586 of the 11th Adar Bet, 5730 (19th March, 1970), p. 34; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza’ot Chok No. 866 of 5730, p. 36.

** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5710 p. 159 – LSI vol. IV, p. 114; Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 5714, p. 174 – LSI vol. VIII, p. 144.

*** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5712, p. 146 ; LSI vol. VI, p. 50.

**** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5725, p. 270 ; LSI vol. XIX, p. 288.

Posted in Other Thoughts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bernie Sanders: Dual Citizenship and a Two-State Solution

Wednesday, Jun 10 2015 10 a.m. (ET)

  • 10:30:37

    REHM

    Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.

  • 10:30:43

    SANDERS

    Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an — I don’t know where that questioning came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.

  • 10:30:55

    REHM

    I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list. Forgive me if that is…

  • 10:31:03

    SANDERS

    Now that’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the Internet, but that is absolutely not true.

  • 10:31:08

    REHM

    Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship, or is that part of the fable?

  • 10:31:18

    SANDERS

    I honestly don’t know, but I have read that on the Internet. You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, loved this country. I am, you know, I get offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the Internet. I am an American — obviously an American citizen, and I do not have any dual citizenship.

  • 10:31:36

    REHM

    All right, tell me your feeling about whether there should be a two-state solution. Should Palestine be given statehood?

  • 10:31:52

    SANDERS

    Absolutely. What you have in that part of the world is an unspeakable tragedy, and it seems like it’s never ending, and it seems like every year it gets worse and worse and more killing and more bombings and everything else. And again, Diane, if I had the magical solution to that problem, I would be in the president’s office today giving it. I don’t have it. But clearly the goals are twofold. Number one, the Palestinian people, in my view, deserve a state of their own. They deserve an economy of their own. They deserve economic support from the people of our country.

  • 10:32:27

    SANDERS

    And Israel needs to be able to live in security, without terrorist attacks. And those are the goals, I think, of any sensible foreign policy in that region.

  • 10:32:38

    REHM

    How do you believe President Obama’s relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu has affected our relationship with Israel?

  • 10:32:53

    SANDERS

    Well, I’ve got to tell you, I’m not a great fan of President Netanyahu. I did not attend the speech that he joint — the speech that he gave between the — before the joint session of Congress. I think it was opportunistic. I think he was using it as part of his campaign for re-election. I think he was being used or did use the Republicans to go behind the president’s back. And, you know, I think in that region, sadly on both sides, I don’t think we have the kind of leadership that we need.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment