Monday, 3 May 2010

Israel's Racist Law of Return - Not Racist Enough!

An interesting article on the pressures to ensure that the Law of Return, the racist building block of Israeli Apartheid, is tightened up and Jews converted by the non-Orthodox and converts who have undergone an Orthodox conversion, would not be enough to guarantee Israeli citizenship. Thus one sees that the racism that Zionism has faithfully exhibited to the non-Jew is turning in on itself. The need to define a ‘master race’ always was puzzling to its creators. Germany never satisfactorily solved the ‘problem’ of the mischlinge, the ‘mixed’ race’ and nor has Israel. What is at first surprising is that this law is being introduced by David Rotem of Lieberman’s ultra-racist Yisrael Beteinu. The reason is that in recent years, hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews, and an estimated 80% of Iraqi Kurds admitted to the country have been non-Jews. A problem indeed! Thus the definition in the Law of Return, in which no distinction was made between Orthodox and Reform or Liberal Jew, is now to accord with that of the definition of the Orthodox. And further, just in case some Orthodox rabbis abroad might decide otherwise, religious conversions abroad will not be necessarily recognised for the purpose of who is a Jew. There is no religious foundation to this idea that there are 2 categories of Jew – converted and those born Jewish – but there is a dire need for a State that deems itself Jewish not to be ‘burdened’ with those whose commitment to being a member of the chosen ones is open to doubt. Tony Greenstein
Racist law to be amended and become even more racist

New bill would make conversion insufficient for Israeli citizenship

By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

Sun., March 07, 2010

Proposed legislation that would broaden the authority of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel on matters of conversion would also alter the Law of Return, distinguishing between that law and the Citizenship Law.

The bill, put forth by MK David Rotem of Yisrael Beiteinu, is the result of negotiations he held with both Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. According to this legislation, conversion - even if done in Israel - will be insufficient basis for requesting Israeli citizenship.

The bill proposes that the Law of Return only be applicable to Jews or their offspring, and not to non-Jews who opted to convert - even if the conversion follows Orthodox procedure in line with state religious courts in Israel. The proposed legislation will be brought before the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, and represents the manifestation of one of Yisrael Beiteinu's electoral promises to its constituency, namely to improve the status of those considered non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law).

However human rights organizations maintain that the bill would hurt the rights of converts by broadening the power of the Chief Rabbinate on this issue.

For years, Orthodox conversions in Israel have been carried out almost exclusively by special religious courts for conversion, headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman. The courts that are controlled by the Chief Rabbinate have avoided carrying out conversions.

The conversion courts have experienced a crisis in recent years, in part due to administrative problems and also as a result of Chief Rabbinate rulings that considered thousands of conversions void.

The bill would authorize rabbis that have been appointed by the Chief Rabbinate to cities to carry out conversions there, which is expected to ease the process. According to the proposal, the city rabbis would be able to carry out conversions through the use of a panel of three qualified rabbis, and would also be able to register marriages for those who have converted.

If the bill passes into law, it will effect the law on the chief rabbinate as well as the Citizenship Law. The latter will be amended to allow citizenship to be given not to those who convert or to those "who were not eligible to become an immigrant prior to their entry to Israel."

Rabbi Shaul Farber of the Itim Institute said "We are shocked by this law. Jewish tradition has always considered converts fully part of the fate of the Jewish people. It is hard to accept a situation in which a person who underwent state-sponsored conversion in Israel will be considered a second class Jew and will not be entitled to immigrate."

The Movement for Progressive Judaism described the bill as a "coup meant to bypass the Supreme Court over the issue of who is a Jew," because it denies converts the right to become Israeli citizens.

© Copyright 2010 Haaretz. All rights reserved

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