Custodian of Inclusion

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Title: Custodian of Inclusion An Exploration of Parliamentary Democracy and the Ambiguity of Identity Politics in the State of Israel
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Chesley, Cassie
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Israel
Law of Return
Jewish Identity
Immigration Law
Secular-Religious Divide
Identity Politics
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theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Statement of Responsibility: by Cassie Chesley
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Baram, Uzi

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 C52
System ID: NCFE004368:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Custodian of Inclusion An Exploration of Parliamentary Democracy and the Ambiguity of Identity Politics in the State of Israel
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Chesley, Cassie
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Israel
Law of Return
Jewish Identity
Immigration Law
Secular-Religious Divide
Identity Politics
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Statement of Responsibility: by Cassie Chesley
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Baram, Uzi

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 C52
System ID: NCFE004368:00001

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CUSTODIAN OF INCLUSION: AN EXPLORATION OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY AND THE AMBIGUITY OF IDENTITY POLITICS IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL BY CASSIE CHESLEY A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfill ment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Uzi Baram Sarasota, Florida April 2011


CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION: The Jewish Question 1 II. Historical Background: A look at Zionism and Major Waves of Immigration 15 I II. L aws of Return: A Comparison 32 IV. Stratification of the Melting Pot 54 V. Israeli Political System: Coalitions, Cleavages, and Policy 78 VI. CONCLUSION: A Critique of Zionism and the Question of the Right to Return 94 Appendices A. Appendix I 99 B. Appendix II 101 C. Appendix III 108 D. Appendix IV 111 Bibliography 114


CUSTODIAN OF INCLUSION: AN EXPLORATION OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY AND THE AMBIGUITY OF IDENTITY POLITICS IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL Cassie Chesley New College of Florida, 2011 ABSTRACT The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between ide ntity based immigration and citizenship law on social stratification and political divisions within Israeli society. It explores the significance of defining identity by the government, specifically the Ministry of Interior in creating insiders and outside rs in Israel society and politics. The law of focus is the Israeli Law of Return stating that all Jews are permitted to "return" to and become citizens of the State of Israel. This thesis examines the question "who is a Jew?" and the multitude of answers to that question. In discussing the resulting stratified society and highly fractious political arena from the assimilation policies of this immigrant society, this thesis is also a critique of Zionist ideology, particularly the notion of the Jewish peopl e as a single entity. This thesis concludes by exploring the difficulty in defining identity in a parliamentary democracy with a multi party system with groups that have conflicting definitions of Jewishness. Uzi Baram Division of Social Sciences


1 I. The Jewish Question: Citizenship, Identity and Politics Nationalism as defined by Benedict Anderson is a community of perceived "deep horizontal comradeship," confined to a specific geographic area, with sovereignty and self determination. 1 Political Z ionism like other manifestation of nationalism follows Anderson's definition. In order to create and maintain this horizontal comradeship, unifying symbols are utilized. The use of a common language is one, but another is the use of the national anthem. Na tional Anthems when sung create a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself part of a collective, part of a nation. As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion, Then our hop e the two thousand year old hope will not be lost: To be a free people in our land, The land of Zion and Jerusalem. !"#$% &&'& ()* '+ !#")! #()!# ,%$ !"#(./0" #12%') !#%)3 4)#3' 4#* )$1)-1 !(&2 2' ()* 5#%'2 1)$, 1& !)-1! )$3/2& #,%. 5* 1)#!' 5#',)/#) 4)#3 6/2 The above song Hatikvah or the Hope is the national anthem of Israel. Hatikvah expresses the ideals o f Zionism as a Jewish nationalism, a longing culminated in the state of Israel, on the land of Zion. M ost importantly Hatikvah discusses the return, after thousands of years of hope and longing, the Jewish people are able to return to their homeland. Hatik vah was originally written as poem by Naphtali Herz Imber and Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities [New York, NY: Verso, 2006], 6


2 published in 1886 as Tikvatenu and was later set to the music of the Moldavian Rumanian folksong "Carul cu Boi." Hatikvah was sung at the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basle in 1903, at every sub sequent Zionist congress, and at the Declaration of the State of Israel. 2 The view of world Jewry as a nation is imagined in that prior to 1948 it was dispersed for thousands of years and was connected by the longing for Zion and the Jewish religion. As p olitical Zionism developed as a solution to European anti Semitism and the state became a reality, the importance of a policy ensuring the ability for all of the Jewish people in the Diaspora to return to th is biblical ancestral homeland became apparent. During the development of Zionist ideology it appears there was a convergence in the notion of a connected Jewish identity and the notion of oneness of the Jewish people. The difference in the two lies in that the first notion leaves room for differentiat ion between communities of Jews from different places, whereas the second assumes a sameness in all Jewish communities. It is thi s distinction that has contributed to issues of stratification in Israeli society. Because Jew s are expected to assimilate to I sraeli culture upon immigrating, and because that culture is dominantly Ashkenazi Jews of o ther backgrounds are expected to assimilate to A shkenazi culture. Additionally, the same notion applies to the ultra Orthodox belief that their form of Judaism is t he "true Judaism" and thus all Jews must adhere to their set of standards. While much of the debate and discussion regarding Jews and Judaism occur within Israeli society and the Israeli political arena, due to the continuation of a Jewish Diaspora, world Jewry, 2 Gila Ansell Brauner, "Hatikivah: A Hadracha Guide," The Jewish Agency for Israel, exeres/EC3AD8B0 71DA 4FB2 B436 B3C07C3D2EB8 [accessed March 28, 2011].


3 particularly American Jewry engages in the discussion as well. This thesis argues that assimilation policies subsequent to the Law of Return create and reinforce social and political distances in Israeli society. Hatikvah is an example of a nationa list tool, in this case a national anthem, to create unity within a people and this thesis is exemplary of the socio economic and political issues that develop within an immigrant society. It is interesting that the song chosen for the national anthem of I srael also has this western bias. "With eyes turned toward the east," assumes that all Jews that would be immigrating to Israel would be coming from Europe and not from the Middle East, Asia, or Africa. The particular brand of nationalism within Israel Zio nism, or the right to self determination of the Jewish people, shows how identity, specifically ethnic identity can be both unifying and divisive simultaneously. Framework The S tate of Israel and its policies are undeniably a product of political Zionism and by extension a by product of the rise of nationalism around the world the idea that a group of people has the right of self determination. While this framework is a useful means by which to understand this thesis, with the Israeli Law of Return as a c ase study on nationalism and nationalist policies, I believe it also to be a case study of what is unique about the Israeli state regarding nationalism as well as a discussion of Jewish identity. This thesis culminates in exploring the political dynamics, which affect these questions of citizenship and Jewishness. Whichever group controls the body that controls immigration and specifically the Law of Return, the Ministry of Interior, determines who is included and excluded in society, but also the hierarchy of those included in society.


4 This thesis is best understood as an analysis of the intersection of Israeli notions of citizenship, Jewish identity and the politics of Israel's multiparty democratic system. For this thesis project, I began with the text of Law of Return of the State of Israel Upon reading the text, the centrality of Jewish identity immediately stands out as a core component. The fact that the law states that Jewish identity as an immediate qualifier for citizenship brings forth the issue s of nationalism and Zionism, particularly because Jewish identity is contested. As the Law of Retu rn is a product of p olitical Zionism's de sire to create a Jewish state in the ancient biblical homeland of the Jewish forefathers, nationalism is immediately part of the equation. The S tate of Israel is the culmination and realization of the self determination of the Jews as facilitated by political Zionism, the Yishuv and organizations like the Jewish Agency and Mapai. Furthermore the creation of an immig ration law based on ethnic or religious identity creates the need for a body to decide what those qualifications and guidelines for being considered a part of that identity and hence to qualify to Jus Sanguinis or blood based citizenship. This also create s the need for policies for those who w ish to become citizens who are not part of this dominant group, in this case non Jews. The bureaucratic entity performing this function is the Ministry of the Interior. The functions of the Ministry relating to identi ty and immigration will be discussed in chapter five. The initial Zionist principle of the "Ingathering of Exiles" of the Jewish Diaspora into a state, a Jewish safe haven, created the immigrant nature of Israeli society. As a result a means and structur e to absorb these immigrants developed out of logistical necessity. Much of Israel's history included assimilation (called absorption in Israel) into


5 "Israeli" culture, which at the state's inception meant A shkenazi culture. While this is understandable du e to Zionism being the solution to anti Semitism in the E uropean context, as years passed and the demographics of Israel changed, problems arose as Mizrahi Jews were expected to abandon their own customs for the more favorable A shkenazi ones. Furthermore t he Mizrahim were not only expected to assimilate into the Israeli melting pot, but this melting pot in reality was and is to an extent highly stratified with generally Ashkenazim at the top, Mizrahim in the middle, and Arabs at the bottom. Thus the Law o f Return is an issue of societal inclusion and ex clusion, because it gives citizenship based on an identity, in this case Jewish identity a superior status. By inclusion I mean that those who have easiest access to full societal participation, which are g enerally those people that fall into the category of Jewish and of European descent I n the case of Israel there are people who are partially included in society Mizrahim and to a lesser extent Arab Muslims and Christ ians who are more fully excluded By ex clusion I mean those who are not able to fully participate in society, in this case Arab Israelis fall into this category. An additional component of societal inclusion and exclusion relates to the definition of Jewishness relig iously. The question of "who is a Jew" is central to this question in the State of Israel as a product of the coalition component of the political system. Political groups religious and secular vie for the control over government ministries in order to affect the policy in that area. This process occurs in the parliamentary system because the dominant parties make concessions with the smaller parties, such as the ultra Orthodox by giving them control of these ministries in exchange for their support. The gatekeepers of the Ministry of Interior are the people


6 determining who is included and excluded by means of defining Jewish identity under the Law of Return. T he educational system, or systems rather, of Israel exemplify this separation. Three distinct educational systems exist in Isra el: the main public school system, which is secular, the religious schools, and the Arab Israeli school system. Within the main public school system, Ashkenazi culture dominates and within the religious schools ultra Orthodox practices and values dominate teaching students that there is a "true Judaism" the ultra Orthodox practice. And lastly the Arab Israeli system is under the authority of the Israeli government and it is primarily for Arab students and is conducted in Arabic. While within the public s chool systems, both secular and religious, stratification exists between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi groups, these groups are still included within the same body, whereas the Arab Israelis are separated altogether. Over the course of my exploration of the Law o f Return, it became increasingly clear to me that it presents both a question of citizenship and a question of Jewish identity specifically. Both of these questions after exploring their relation to Israel intersect in the realm of politics in the multipar ty political system with political parties for a wide range of positions and issues. Most significant to this thesis are those parties concerned with what it means to be Jewish, whether that be a cultural question or a religious question. Historically, the Law of Return comes out of the context of Hashoah which is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust, and from the British restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine with the White Paper. More generally speaking, the Law of Return comes from the need for a solution to anti Semitism, but also out of Zionist themes in Jewish tradition itself. The Law of Return in the international context is an


7 example of ethnic or identity based citizenship. More specifically it refers to Jewish identity, and what it means to be a part of the nation of Israel, within Israel itself or as part of the Diaspora. The Law of Return is different in that respect, because of the Diaspora, all Jews are considered to be a part of a single nation, even though they might live in another co untry. Thus is the basis for the moral implication in the Hebrew term for immigration to Israel. Aliyah, is not the word for immigration generally, but it means to rise up. Implying that when a Jew from the Diaspora joins his/her fellow Jews, they are risi ng up. In comparing the Israeli law to similar laws in Germany, Ireland, and Croatia it became clear that each had something in common: the question of what it meant to be a part of that nation. What does it mean for someone to be ethnically German? Or Iri sh? Or Croatian? Or Israeli? or Jewish? Due to the heritage based nature of these laws identity is in a sense inherent, one is born that way. However, each country also has naturalization laws, or laws based on place of birth. As I explored the social rep ercussions of the assimilation process in Israel, it became clear that Israel, like other immigrant societies such as the United States, encounters a socio economic stratification often based on ethnic or racial identity. In Israel the stratification is m ost often correlated with ethnicity, with Ashkenazi or European as the dominant culture and Mizrahi or eastern culture as the minority culture. While this stratification is a result of the colonial enterprise to some extent in that it facilitated the Briti sh colonial enterprise in the Middle East, it can also be interpreted as an example of which "Judaism" is more authentic. In the same way that the ultra Orthodox have a monopoly over what religiously is the "true Judaism," Ashkenazi


8 dominance shows which c ulture has historically been more favorably Jewish or in this case Israeli. The lack of acknowledgement of variety in culture and in religious practice throughout Zionist ideology is ironic, in that the reality is the opposite. In researching the interact ion between the Law of Return and the political system, I again returned to this question of Jewishness of what Jewish identity means. Politically, whomever controls the Ministry of Interior by extension controls the standards for a potential immigrant. Th us again, while all countries with identity based immigration laws would have this bureaucratic mechanism for determining the specific qualifications, the case of Israel is unique. It is unique because Israel is a state formed from a Diaspora people and th us the population and viewpoints are so diverse. Thus for the same reason that Israeli society is stratified, so too is the political system. Due to this plethora of difference, no political party has ever achieved a simple majority and thus must bargain w ith other parties to create a coalition government. In this way, the Israeli government is an example of the trials and tribulations posed by a multi party parliamentary system; however, it is also exemplary of the pluralities within the Jewish and Israeli communities both ethnic and religious. A central bargaining tool in the creation of coalitions for the Israeli parliamentary system is the promise of control of certain cabinet positions to the parties that sign on to the coalition government. Control ov er the Ministry of the Interior is sought after by many political parties because of its bureaucratic role in immigration policy specifically who is included under the Law of Return or more overtly who is defined as Jewish at any given time by the governme nt. Thus both secular parties, who seek a more liberal definition, as well as the ultra Orthodox, seek control of this ministry. Currently the ultra


9 Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas has control of this ministry. Shas views Jewishness through a restricted len s of a person born to a Jewish mother or a convert to Judaism. Heretofore, the themes of societal inclusion and exclusion are once again relevant. Currently the question of Jewish identity fans a debate over conversion standards within Israel enraging Jews throughout Israel and the Diaspora who would be excluded should the ultra Orthodox Chief Rabbinate of Israel gain the final decision making ability over Jewishness and conversion legitimacy. And thus ultimately the study of the Israeli Law of Return repea tedly returns to the issue of "who is a Jew?" Identity, Inclusion, and Stratification This t hesis argues that through the "Ingathering of Exiles" ethnic based immigration policy and notions of citizenship have created not a safe place for Jews from perse cution per se but have created a place where some are considered more Jewish and thus more Israeli than others. Clear divisions are created within society of those who are able to participate fully and those that are not. Even though one is able to "return according to the Law of Return because of the control by the ultra Orthodox of the important government ministries, those who are not Jewish according to halacha are no t Jewish e nough. Exemplary of this are the Ethiopian Jews due to their difference in p ractice and tradition were not initially permitted to immigrate under the Law of Return because they were not considered Jewish by many. Additionally, many of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union were not Jewish according to Jewish law but were fam ily members of Jews. Thus they were able to become Israeli citizens through the Law of Return, which states the spouse, child, or grandchild of a Jew is eligible to make aliyah ; however, they are not able to fully particulate in Israeli society. Due to the ultra Orthodox


10 establishment 's control of matters of religion within the state, the policies they enact prevent those who are not born to a Jewish mother or converted according to the liking of the ultra O rthodox establishment from being married, divorced or buried in a Jewish cemetery within Israel. I seek to show through this thesis that the idea of a true Judaism whether it be a superiority of culture or religious practices is problematic because it ignores the reality of plurality among the Jewish people. In order for Israel to have a true melting pot one that allows for all notions of Jewishness to mix together the notions of exclusivity must change. The stratification process has occurred vis ˆ vis western cultu ral dominance as well as ultra O rtho dox dominance in the political realm. I explore these critiques of Zionism through my own analysis of primary sources particularly immigration law and its divisive effects and engage the secondary literature of Laurence Silberstein's The Postzionism Debate s in the fourth chapter. The second chapter aims to give historical background historical, religious, and political Zionism. It begins with an explanation of the sources and persistence of Zionism in Jewish experience through the Babylonian and Roman exi les, scripture in Psalms and lamentations, and tradition, such as the annual reciting of "next year in Jerusalem" at Passover. Furthermore, the chapter seeks to extrapolate the process by which political Zionism emerged as a solution to increasing anti Sem it ism in the European context. The importance of the historical background of the interaction between the British Mandate and the Yishuv lies in their relati on to the issue of immigration, especially the restrictions through the White Paper.


11 The change i n dynamic between the British Mandate and the Jewish establish ment in Palestine from favorable to restrictive in the realm of Jewish immigration to Palestine was a component of the impetus for the assertion of law of return for all Jews. Additionally, H ash oah served as a n important catalyst. The chapter concludes by outlining the initial assertion of the right of return in the Israeli D eclaration of Independence and the ensuing major immigrations and the process of exile gathering. The third chapter shows how the Law of Return facilitates the "Ingathering of E xiles ." It explains the questions raised who is a Jew and wh o decides "who is a Jew." The exploration of ethnic based and other immig ration laws and policies exhibit how citizenship based on blood and inherited identity can contribute to societal exclusion. The difference in experience between ethnic citizenship and other kinds of citizenship, namely from naturalization is explored t hrough comparison to the immigration policies of Croatia, Ireland, and Germany The focus on ethnicity as a basis for inclusion in a society creates and reinforces social distances. An additional theme is that of the role of government in the reinforcement of those social distances. This is due to the nature of not only d emocracy but also Israeli democracy in particular through the coalition government, which reinforces identity issues and stratification within Israeli society. Jewishness is at the government discretion, namely whichever party controls the Ministry of the Interior. Chapter four further explores the notion of Jewishness in relation to the Law of Return by first looking at how Jewishness is defined differently by various groups of Jews. For example in America there is a plurality of "Jews" and they define J ewishness differently from the dominant ultra orthodox streams in the state of Israel. I explore the interaction between the American and Israeli streams for the purpose of explaining how


12 these varying definitions effect policy discussion particularly the topic of the final chapter the issue of conversion and its bearing on citizenship and societal participation. The focus is on the products of assimilation of immigrants to Israeli society and the development of stratification of groups of Jews within Is raeli society based off which Jewish culture is more desirable ethnically and what version of Judaism is the true "Judaism." Through the dominance of Ashkenazi Jewish culture, assimilation policies fortify its dominance in educational differentiation and primarily A shkenazi cultural curriculum content through programs such as the ulpan The experience of the Ethiopian Jews exemplifies this difference in treatment between Israelis of A shkenazi descent and those of Mizrahi descent in the education system. T hose of Ashkenazi descent were often exposed to more academic opportunity, whereas those of Mizrahi descent were funneled into lower educational tracks such as voca tional tracks. Exiles are thus g athered into a highly stratified social structure with clear rungs of superiority and to assimilate fully one must adhere to cultural norms of the dominant European culture. The roots of this phenomenon is explained by the Zionist ideology itself as a product of the European experience as well as the component of the ideology of the oneness of the Jewish people, or the idea that there is a singularity of Jewishness. Through the institutionalization of Zionist ideology the notion of this oneness of t he Jewish people was institutionalized as well. This chapter loo ks at the historical inequalities in the East west divide based off education and positions of power. While the focus is on the divide between the Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews, the position of Israeli Arabs within Israeli society is also discussed namely, th eir more complete exclusion from societal participation. Arabs not only speak a different language but also go through a


13 completely separate educational system and most do not serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. Ultimately the chapter concludes by sugges ting that in order to move away from stratified society and exclusion there must be more inclusive policies in the absorption process and in the educational sphere. The purpose of the fifth chapter is to se e how the issue of inclusion and exclusion based on Jewish identity manifests in the coalition political system. It is the differentiation in opinion of who should be included under the term Jew, which creates debate within the realm of the M inistry of I nterior. The thesis explores how concessions made in the coalition formation process allows for the ultra Orthodox to maintain their monopoly over the most influential ministries for religion and immigration which only reinforces the cleavages based on religiosity. This debate o ver "who is a Jew" currentl y is present in the debate surrounding the conversion bills in the Knesset The divisions within Israeli society ethnic and religious come back to this question. Regarding conversion, these bills are seeking to make conversion easier within the state of Is rael, however the secular parties with this goal must give concessions to the Orthodox parties such as giving them ultimate decision making power of conversions to the Chief Rabbinate. Conclusion Like all matters in Israel, the Law of Return and the iss ues it raises, are not only a matter of religion, or of society, but is a simple matter of politics. Of each faction competing for control of power and the ability to influence policy according to their beliefs. To understand the politics, one must first s tart with the politics and history of


14 Palestine and specifically the Zionist movement to create the Jewish National Home in Palestine. The next chapter explains the background and development of traditional and political Zionisms and their relevance to t he development of the Law of Return upon the founding of the State of Israel. The chapter also outlines the reasons and context out of which political Zionism developed as a solution to anti Semitism. The history of the British Mandate period is also dis cussed and laid out in its relation to immigration policy and the founding of the Israel. The chapter concludes by explaining how the Law of Return led to the "Ingathering" of the Diaspora in their vast variety to the Jewish State.


! "# II. Historical Background: A look at Zionism and Major Waves of Immigration By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat, Sat and wept, As we thought of Zion, (2)There on the poplars we hung up our lyres, (3) for our captors asked us there for songs, our torment ors, for amusement: Sing us one of the songs of Zion." (4)How can we sing a song of the Lord on alien soil? (5) If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, (6) let my tongue stick to my palate if I cease to think of you, if I do not keep Jerusa lem in memory even at my happiest hour. (Psalms 137) The above passage from the Tanakh is exemplary of Zionism, or the longing to return to the land of Zion in Jewish tradition. The words express quite dramatically how meaningful the place Jerusalem is to the ancient Israelites. "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither," expresses the necessity of the homeland to the life of the Jewish person. While this longing for Zion persisted within Jewish tradition, the idea of political Zionism, or Jewish nationalism, did not emerge until the 19 th century with Theodore Herzl's Der Judenstaat The concept of Zionism and the history of its development as a theme in Judaism and as a political movement are crucial to the understanding of the State of Israel and the Law of Return. This chapter will outline major events, agencies, and figures in the history of Zionism. As Zionism culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel, and it as the location for the "Ingathering of Exiles," this chapter w ill additionally explore the immigration subsequent to the establishment of Israel and how it has changed with


! "# various immigration waves. Exploration of the background of Zionism both in the Jewish tradition and in the development of political Zionism as a solution to European anti Semitism is crucial to understand the reasons behind the Law of Return itself. The reason is that the Zionist and later specifically nationalist goals of "Ingathering of Exiles" of bringing all of the Jews to Israel to create a J ewish nation is the culmination of the right to self determination of the Jewish people. The context provided by the explanation of Zionisms, history of the political Zionist movement, and ultimately the descriptions of the various immigration waves themse lves lay the foundation for understanding the divisions and dynamics that emerge in Israeli society as a result of its immigrant character. This will aid the reader in understanding the role the Ministry of Interior plays in dictating who participates in I sraeli society and politics through their bureaucratic control over immigration policy. In other words, whichever political faction at a given time controls the Ministry dictates who is considered Jewish under this law, and which Jewish practices are used in defining Jewish identity for the purposes of the Law of Return. Zionisms: Zionism in its modern context is the notion that Jews are a nationality. Zionists "were determined to rethink Jewish life and duty strictly in political terms." 1 Thus as a nati onalistic movement, Zionism was pr esented with the issue that Jews did not live on their ancestral land. Jews did not only not have Palestine; they did not have any land that could be their homeland. Prior to the rise of political Zionism, and the goal of creating a Jewish State within Palestine, some Jews, such as Orthodox wishing to live in the four holy cities (Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron, and Tiberias) returned to the "homeland." Thus the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Eugene Borowitz, Choices in Modern Jewish Thought, [Springfiel d, NJ: Behrman House, Inc., 1995], 76


! "# notion of return is not unique to the political realm, but that befo re political Zionism return was limited to the religiously observant. The idea of a return to the Jewish homeland Eretz Israel, has existed since the Babylonian E xi le and the later Roman Exile, however, creating a Jewish state came much later with the ri se of political Zionism. The Babylonian Exile was a traumatic event in the consciousness of the ancient people of Israel and continues into modern Jewish consciousness. The biblical books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel portray the destruction of the Temple and Je rusalem as a consequence for sins of the Jewish people. The destruction was a collective trauma for the Jewish people eliciting lamentation, fasting, and a yearning to return. 2 The impact can be found throughout the Tanakh such as the above Psalms 137 as well as in books l ike Lamentations. Lamentations 1 discus ses Jerusalem post exile as a princess and a maiden who has been defiled. The title of the book is quite accurate; Israel is lamenting the loss of Jerusalem. Lamentations 1.12 says, May it never bef all you, All who pass along the road look about and see: Is there any agony like mine, which was dealt out to me when the Lord afflicted me on His day of wrath?" For thousands of years, Jews longed for Eretz Israel, for Zion. The Jews again experienced exi le and Diaspora following the Great Jewish Revolt of 70 CE and Bar Kokhba's revolt in 135 CE. Zion is a literal reference to Mount Zion, a mountain in Jerusalem, but has come to mean Jerusalem itself, specifically in reference to the location of the Temp le of Solomon. The longing for Zion then is utilizing Mount Zion as a synecdoche for the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Porten, Bezalel. "Exile, Babylonian." Encyclopaedia Judaica Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 608 611. Gale Virtual Reference Library Web. 3 Nov. 2010.


! "# United Kingdom of David and Solomon. This longing for Zion spills over into liturgy and other traditions. Every year on Passover and Yom Kippur Jews say "Next year in Jerusalem." "Prayers for the rebuilding of Jerusalem not only recurred in the three services of the day and in the elaborate grace after every meal, but were interwoven in all parts of the liturgy. They were a familiar refrain throughout the year on Sabba ths, on festivals, and on fast days." 3 The longing for Jerusalem continued in Jewish collective consciousness for thousands of years through these traditions and thus it is not surprising that returning to Jerusalem and political Zionism eventually emerged as a solution to anti Semitism. Anti Jewish sentiment was a common occurrence in Europe. An important shift came in the 19 th century with the Jewish emancipation, which refers to the recognition of Jews as full citizens in the countries in which they liv ed. Although this was a period where hostility towards Jews abated somewhat, this process was not complete and true equality was not achieved. 4 Following the emancipation and Jews' integration into mainstream society, a resurgence of anti Semitism occurred This resurgence was preceded by an economic crisis. A common theme throughout European anti Semitism is the notion that Jews are a separate people, a nation within a nation. Thus they were never truly considered citizens of the countries in which they l ived they were always different. For example, "according to anti Semitic folklore, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, founded in Paris in 1860, was the secret Jewish world government; in fact its main task was the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 Israel Cohen, A Short History of Zionism, [London: Frederick Muller LTD, 1951], 13 4 Benzion Dinur. "Emancipation." Encyclopaedia Judaica Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 6 Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 374 386. Gale Virtua l Reference Library Web. 25 Nov. 2010.


! "# establishment of schools in Morocco and t he Balkans." 5 Furthermore, with the increasing economic crisis and the twentieth century rise of Nazism, discrimination against Jews not only grew, but as it grew it also changed. The nature of this discrimination and hatred switched from religious to raci al the sentiment went from anti Jewish to anti Semitic. Anti Jewish meaning discrimination based on one's Jewish identity, whereas anti Semitic means discrimination of Jews as a race of people seen as inherently inferior. In earlier times the enemies of t he Jews had put the blame on their religion and on the ritual law which, they claimed, had caused the corruption of the Jewish people. Racial anti Semitism rejected these arguments as irrelevant, maintaining that it had discovered the real reasons underlyi ng the Jewish danger'. 6 If Jews had a place to call their own a homeland, they would be able to overcome this problem. The focus on a Jewish state as a solution for the anti Semitism experienced by Europe's Jews emerges out of the greater trend of nati onalism throughout Europe. The term nationalism as defined by Benedict Anderson refers to the community of perceived "deep horizontal comradeship." 7 Nationalism is defined also as limited, because it is tied to specific geographic boundaries. A nation is sovereign because it is perceived as legitimate and having the right to self determination. Theodore Herzl perceived Jews as a nation with the right to self determination. Theodore Herzl The Dreyfus Affair, and Der Judenstaat As a result of growing a nti Semitic sentiment in Europe and in the age of nation states political Zionis m emerged as a Jewish nationalism The Zionist discussion took many shapes and consisted of many idea s, but those posited by Theodore Herzl in Der !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism, [New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972], 27 6 Ibid, 29 30 7 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities [New York, NY: Verso, 2006] 7


! "# Judenstaat (translated as The Jewish State or the State of the Jews) are arguably the most famous. When Theodore Herzl was a young man, he worked as journalist covering the Dreyfus Affair in France. The significance of the Dreyfus Affair lies in the consequences for Jewish citize ns from use of anti Semitism in the political sphere. Alfred Dreyfus, an artillery captain of the French General Staff, on October 15, 1894 was arrested and accused of giving the Germans the military secrets of the French. A letter with a list of document s was sent to the French War Office, headed by Colonel Jean Conrad Sandherr a notorious anti Semite. 8 Staff of the War Office became convinced of Dreyfus's guilt thus leading to his conviction of treason on December 22. When the conviction was questioned by Major Georges Picquart, due to lack of evidence, Lieutenant Colonel Henry forged documents to prove Dreyfus's guilt and purged Picquart. Subsequent to the Minister of War Godefroy Cavaignac's examination of forgery accusations expressed in an open lette r by Emile Zola to the President Felix Faure in August 1898, Dreyfus was eventually found innocent. 9 However, as the debate surrounding the Dreyfus Affair became a political one, the anti Dreyfusards invoked anti Semitic rhetoric as explanation for Dreyfu s's guilt. Any accusation of forgery was viewed as "being the work of a Jewish syndicate.'" 10 The Dreyfus Affair shows why Jews need a safe haven due to rising anti Semitic sentiment and use of Jews as scapegoats. The Dreyfus Affair thus prompted Herzl to publish his book in 1896 arguing in favor of political Zionism for a Jewish State. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 Leslie Derfler, ed. The Dreyfus Affai r: Tragedy of Errors? [Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1963], xi 9 Ibid, xii 10 Ibid., xii


! "# Der Judenstaat argues for the creation of a Je wish State because, The Jewish question, he argued, existed where there were Jews in perceptible numbers, and since they nat urally moved to places where they were not persecuted they ended up by importing anti Semitism through their migration." 11 Herzl's solution argues that Jews need their own sovereign space for a nation. 12 Herzl's participation in t he First Zionist Congress i s a landmark in Zionism. The Congress began on August 17, 1897 in Basle, Switzerland and lasted for three days. T he Congress created the Basle Programme which was a platform to form a Jewish home in Palestine. The platform calls for the settlement of Jews in Palestine, the organizing and promotion of "Jewish national consciousness," and approval by existing governments. 13 Subsequent to the First Zionist Congress, Zionist organizations all over the world proliferated. During this initial Zionist Congress, P alestine was under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire. Later during the British Mandate Period the Fifth Zionist Congress created the Jewish National Fund to aid Jews in purchasing land in Palestine for the purpose of settlement. 14 The British Mandate Period Landmark interactions between the British and Zionist leaders such as the Balfour Declaration and the White Paper impacted the Zionist movement during the British Mandate Period The British Mandate in Palestine was the provisional government set u p by the League of Nations after World War I in which the British would set up laws and government in the area of Palestine. T he Balfour Declaration is a short letter sent from !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11 Cohen, 42 12 Cohen, 42 13 Cohen, 47 14 Cohen, 50


! "" British Foreign Secretary Arthur Ja mes Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, 2 nd B aron Rothschild, reproduced in full below: His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. 15 The above decla ration was the first offici al support by a major world power for the Basle goal of creating a Jewish home 16 Interpretation of the Balfour Declaration as legitimizing a wholly Jewish Palestine and tensions between the Yishuv the Jewish community in Palestine, and Arabs in Palestin e led the British to issue the White Paper of 1922, which sought to alter these interpretations and limit Jewish immigration: Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become "as Jewish as England is English." His Majesty's Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. 17 The 1922 White Paper pointed out that the Zionist Executive does not hav e administrative power in the country. In 1939, the British Government re leased a second White Paper expanding upon these themes, seeking to limit Jewish immigration and land trans fer from Arabs to Jews. The 1939 White Paper sought to phase out Jewish imm igration over the next five years starting in April 1939. Each year 10,000 Jewish immigrants would be allowed into Palestine, as well as a total of 25,000 Jewish refugees. Unless Arabs permitted, Jewish !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15 The Balfour Declaration, u/20th_century/balfour.asp the avalon project, yale 16 Cohen, 47 17 British White Paper of June 1922, the avolon project, Yale Law School


! "# immigration would cease entirely after five years. Fu rther more, the 1939 White Paper regulate s and limit s transfers of land from Arabs to Jews by delegating the power to do so to the High Commissioner. 18 These restrictions were particularly problematic because they came when Jews were seeking to escape the N azi genocide in Europe. The Jewish National Home Article 4 of the Mandate for Palestine created by the League of Nations called for the creation of a Jewish Agency to be charged as the body to interact with the British Administration regarding the Jewish Population of Palestine and the Jewish National Home. 19 The Jewish Agency grew after the Balfour Declaration, and was an administrative apparatus with departments for politics, immigration, labor, agricultural colonization, trade, industry, education and p ublic health. These departments worked with the High Commissioner of the British Mandate and Palestine Administration officials. The Jewish Agency was crucial in the development of leadership and administrative abilities of the Yishuv or the Jewish communi ty in Palestine. The existence of an organized administrative apparatus made the leadership able to achieve their goal of a Jewish National Home. The United Nations and a Two State Solution: A Jewish National Home in Palestine was Herzl's vision. The Ba lfour Declaration was a step in the direction towards achieving this goal, as it was an official sanctioning of such a national home; however the White Papers were a subsequent setback. After World War II the British Mandate was unable to manage the situat ion in Palestine and London handed over the task of governing Palestine to the newly formed United Nations. The !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 Ibid. 19 Cohen, 124


! "# United Nations through Resolution 181, devised a solution to the issue an Arab State as well as a Jewish State, whose borders would be determine d by a UN commission. UN Resolution 181 outlines the end of the British Mandate Period, and how each state the Jewish and the Arab should transition from British Mandate control to two distinct sovereign entities. The main tenants of this resolution are : the two state solution, protection and free access to religious and sacred sites, Jerusalem as an international city, protection of rights, and an economic union between the two states. The resolution in particular stresses specific boundaries for each s tate, and postulates that during the transitional government no Arab can settle in Jewish land and vice versa. 20 The resolution led to increasing inter communal conflict and though August 1, 1948 is the date Resolution 181 was set to go into affect David Be n Gurion, as head of the Jewish Agency, declared the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. As the British sought to prevent a solely Jewish state in Palestine, the UN Resolution sought to divide the territory between the Arabs and Jews. The Jews were not meant to have as much control over the land or immigration in the area. This is still a contention today with the Israeli occupation of the remaining Palestinian territories. In declaring independence, Israel sought to change this and to pro tect the goal of a Jewish state meaning a state primarily of Jewish religion and character. They reclaim control of immigration and the power to determine who is Jewish by declaring the intent to establish the policy "Ingathering of Exiles" in the text of the Declaration of Independence itself. Independence and Creation of the State of Israel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 UN Resolution 181, The Avalon Project, Yale Law School


! "# The Declaration establishes the creation of the State of Israel as the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. The Declaration makes explicit statemen ts regarding continued immigration of the Jewish people to the newly founded State of Israel in direct response to the White Papers of the British Mandate as well as Hashoah In the clear attack on the limitations of the White Papers, David Ben Gurion stat ed: Pioneers, ma'pilim [Hebrew immigrants coming to Eretz Israel in defiance of the restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, build villages, and towns, and created a thriving community, controlling its own economy and culture loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood. The diction of the Declaration is both nationalistic and invokes the t heme of the Jewish people persevering through adversity. The call for future immigration due to the tragedy of Hashoa h and the "Ingathering of Exiles," provides the context for the Law of Return. The State of Israel is portrayed as the safe haven and ances tral home for the Jewish people. The Declaration also makes explicit reference to the UN Resolution 181, stating Israel will cooperate with the United Nations regarding the resolution. In line with the statement, "The State of Israel will be open for Je wish immigration and for the Ingathering of Exiles," the Knesset enacted of the Law of Return in 1950. Over the past 60 years, the Law of Return has facilitated the "Ingathering of Exiles" through many waves of immigration from all over the world. The "In gathering of Exiles" Jews began "making a liyah ," or immigrating to Israel, in the late 1800s with the Zionist movement. The Hebrew term aliyah literally means to rise up, thus giving the term for immigration to Israel a moral connotation. Most of the immi grants were idealists


! "# or those seeking to escape anti Semitism. The history of Israel, and the Jewish National Home in Palestine, are punctuated by great waves of immigration by periods of "Ingathering of Exiles," of Jews from all over the world. This se ction will explore major immigration waves and "rescue operations" of Jews living in oppressive conditions. Exploring the waves of immigration to Israel are crucial to the understanding of the social and political stratification of Israeli society, because it exhibits how varied the population of Israel has become. The major rescue operations include: the Holocaust survivors of Aliyah Bet, Operation Magic Carpet for the Yemeni Jews, Operations Ezra and Nehemiah for the Iraqi Jews, Operations Moses and Solom on for the Ethiopian Jews, and the massive immigration of nearly one million Jews following the fall of the Soviet Union. The United States has the last large population of Diaspora Jews. (See appendix for table of immigration waves) Between 1946 and 1948 in what became known as Aliyah Bet 60 ships transported 60,000 illegal immigrants from Europe to Palestine. The immigration was considered illegal because of the restrictions placed on immigration by the British. These ships overcame the British blockad e. Illegal immigration continued after World War II, in an attempt to rescue Holocaust survivors. Those ships that were stopped by the British blockade were sent to Cyprus for the passengers to be detained. An example is the American ship "Exodus," which was the only ship to not be immediately apprehended and sent to the camps on Cyprus, but was first sent to France, Germany, and then finally Cyprus. "Exodus" shows the trials faced by Holocaust survivors attempting to make a liyah


! "# In May 1949, Operation "M agic Carpet," transported Yemeni Jews to Israel. Prior to Operation "Magic Carpet," the conditions faced by the Yemeni Jews were deplorable because the Imam oppressed them by prohibiting them from wearing new clothes, utilizing mules, and from engaging in money transactions. 21 Yet in 1949, the Imam of Yemen permitted 45,000 of Yemen's 46,000 Jews to leave the country. They were transported to Israel on 380 flights. During 1949, Israel experienced such high levels of immigration that these 250,000 olehim or new immigrants, were placed in military barracks and tent camps. The Israeli government almost collapsed under the economic burden posed by the large number of immigrants in such a short amount of time. 22 Following Operation "Magic Carpet," was the immigr ation of Iraqi Jews to Israel through Operations Ezra and Nehemiah. Prior to Operations Ezra and Nehemiah, Iraqi Jews experienced some degree of discrimination. An example is the Farhud pogrom that occurred in Baghdad in June of 1941 as a result of the pro Nazi coup of Rashid Ali. During this pogrom, 180 Jews were murdered and 1,000 Jews were injured. Afterwards the British returned to Baghdad allowing for the Jews of Iraq to resume their lives; however, once they were given the opportunity to immigrate to Israel, most of the Jewish population chose to leave. 23 The Iraqi government passed a bill in 1951 allowing the remaining Jews of Iraq to emigrate. Within the first month following the passage of this law, 50,000 Iraqi Jews signed up to immigrate to Israel. By the second month 90,000 Iraqi Jews were on this list. A total of 130,000 Iraqi Jews immigrated to Israel, leaving !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 21 Joseph Jacobs and Schulim Ocsher "Yemen," JewishEncyclope, 22 "Operation Magic Carpet,'" Jewish Virtual Library, 23 Mitchell Bard, "The Jews of Iraq," The Jewish Virtual Library, semitism/iraqijews.html


! "# only 6,000 Jews left in Iraq. This operation was successful because the Zionist movement heavily encouraged the Iraqi Jews to "leave Babyl on" and return to Zion literally, a continuation of the original return out of exile. 24 Israel rescued the Ethiopian Jews, or the Beta Israel, in 1984 and 1991. The Beta Israel was an isolated community of Jews until 1859, when a British Christian mission ary group discovered them in their efforts to convert Ethiopians. Subsequent to the change in Ethiopia's political regime and it's failure to deliver on it's promises of freedom of worship and land reform, the Beta Israel along with other Ethiopians suffer ed. This prompted Jewish leaders to become involved with the Beta Israel. 25 Due to differences in practice from the rest of world Jewry, there has been debate over their Jewishness, causing the delay in their inclusion under the Law of Return. "As conditi ons in Ethiopia deteriorated, their religious devotion to Jerusalem began to be transformed into an active desire to emigrate," thus leading to the organization of three major rescue missions. 26 First, Ethiopian Jews from Tigre and Walqayit regions fled to Sudan where they lived in refugee camps. Conditions in Sudan deteriorated and thus the Israeli government decided to bring them to Israel in "Operation Moses." 27 Operation Moses occurred in 1984 and early 1985, in which 7,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel from Sudan. 28 Secondly, Operation Joshua/Sheba brought an additional 648 Beta Israel to Israel in 1985 with the help of the CIA. In 1991, following !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 "Operations Ezra and Nechemia: The Aliyah of Iraqi Jews," Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewi 25 Steven Kaplan and Hagar Salamon, "Ethiopian Jews in Israel: A Part of the People or Apart from the People?" in Jews in Israel, 119 26 Kaplan and Salamon 121 27 Ibid, 121 28 Ibid.


! "# the overthrow of the Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Miriam, Operation Solomon took place, airlifting over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel over the course of 36 hours. 29 The most recent wave of immigration as a result of the Law of Return was that of close to one million people from the former Soviet Union. The Jews of Russia and other countries of the f ormer Soviet Union experienced over a century of oppression and marginalization by the various regimes as far back as Czarist Russia. Starting with the 1940s, Stalin implemented a distinct policy to root out all nationalism, and obliterated all aspects of Yiddish culture. In later years of the Soviet Era, the Soviet Regime construed anti Semitism in an anti Zionist light, making discriminatory policies based on ethnic identity as opposed to religious ones. For forty years, from the end of the 1967 war unt il the advent of glasnost and perestroika, Soviet Jews lived in a state of tension. They had been forced to abandon their traditional culture, including their Soviet Yiddish culture, and acculturate (mostly to Russian culture), without being able to assimi late and become fully Russian. Most welcomed the opportunity to "trade in" Jewish culture for the "higher" Russian culture, yet they were not allowed to lose their Jewish identities and become officially Russian. Their internal passports made that clear. T hus, they were culturally Russian but socially and officially Jewish, and being Jewish was to be a pariah or, at least, a second class citizen. 30 After the fall of the Soviet Union many Jews thus desired to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return. Cons equently, the largest immigrant group in Israel today is the Jews of the former Soviet Union. 31 The large influx of Soviet immigrants in the late 1980s and early 1990s (before the fall of the Soviet Union), resulted from the more liberal policies enacted b y Mikhail Gorbachev, allowing Jews to leave the Soviet Union. Additionally, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29 Ibid. 30 "Anti Semitis m in Russia." Encyclopedia of Race and Racism Ed. John Hartwell Moore. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmil lan Reference USA, 2008. 112 Gale Virtual Reference Library Web. 25 Nov. 2010. 31 Elazar Leshem and Moshe Sicron, "The Soviet Immigrant Community in Israel," J ews in Israel. 81


! "# the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 catalyzed this process. Between the years of 1989 and 2003, 950,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union immigrated to Israel. 32 It is crucial to note that a large number of the people from the former Soviet Union residing in Israel are not Jewish, they are the family members of Jews that eligible for immigration through the Law of Return. 33 While these family members of Jews were permitted to becom e Israeli citizens and they like other people who are not Jewish according to Jewish Law, or halacha are not able to participate fully in Israeli society due to the ultra Orthodox monopoly on matters of Jewish life. Meaning if one is not Jewish according to halacha, they cannot be married or divorced in Israel without converting satisfactorily to ultra Orthodox Judaism. The reasons for such high levels of immigration are only in part because people were now able to, and partially because of the economic an d political instability in the former Soviet Union. Although following the Six Day War in 1967, there was a period of influx of American Jews into Israel, a liyah made by North American Jews, has been a gradual process, unlike that of Yemeni, Ethiopian, o r Iraqi Jews. Is there a possibility that the nature of American immigration to Israel will change? Will it become a necessity? Will the Law of Return be relevant for an additional group of Jews through a massive migration such as those of Iraq, Yemen, and Ethiopia? The United States is the only country that currently has a large population of Jews that have not chosen to make a liyah There is always the potential that anti Semitic sentiment could rise in the United States, much like anti Islamic and anti A rab sentiment rose after September 11, 2001. Would !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 32 "Immigration since 1948," 33 Leshem and Sicron, 82


! "# such a rise in anti Semitism cause a mass migration of Americas integrated Jews to Israel? This question of potential mass a liyah of American Jewry is relevant to our discussion because it is the only sign ificant Jewish population in the Diaspora yet to do so. Additionally, American Jewry is itself such a varied group such a move would greatly alter the social and political make up of Israel. Absorption Centers Upon immigrating to Israel those groups that require assistance assimilating will enter absorption centers sponsored by the government. In an absorption cen ter immigrants are provided housing, ulpan and language training, and later occupational training. The ulpan is the most crucial initial part o f the assimilation process because it is the location the national language and culture is taught. 34 Typically absorption centers are not isolated from other Israelis and is a mixture of all immigrant groups, but a couple have been built with a specific gro up in mind. 35 The absorption centers, their staff, and instructors play a significant role in the acculturation of new immigrants to Israeli social and cultural norms because they are the initial point of contact for new immigrants. Conclusion The history of the Jewish people, both in tradition and in experience of discrimination, led to the persistence and evolution of Zionism from religious to political. This led to the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine and then later the establishment of the State of Israel. The occurrence of Hashoah and other instances of anti Semitism, coupled with limitations of immigration under the British Mandate, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "$ Brian Weinstein, "Ethiopian Jews in Israel: Socialization and Re Education," The Journal of Negro Education 54, No. 2 (Spring 1985): 215 35 Weinstein 216


! "# solidified the need for an immigration policy guaranteeing the right of all Jews immigrate to the Je wish state the State of Israel. This policy would be the Law of Return. The following chapter explores the Law of Return and the notion of identity based citizenship. The identity based citizenship law of Israel is compared to that of Germany, Ireland, a nd Croatia in order to highlight the uniqueness of such a policy. This kind of citizenship is then compared to laws of naturalization and citizenship based on place of birth as well. The significance of this identity based citizenship, is that in defining a certain "identity" whether it be ethnic or religious as having rights to citizenship, the need for a body to facilitate and decide what the qualifications for that identification emerges.


! "" III. Laws of Return: A Comparison The Law of Return was a response to the restrictions of the British Mandate government in Palestine on Jewish immigration as well as the genocide of Hashoah The previous chapter discusses the history and trajectory of Zi onism within the Jewish tradition and its development into political Zionism. This chapter outlines the significance of the basis of Jewish identity of Israel's immigration law's in Jewish self determination and the Zionist goal of "Ingathering the Exiles, into the Jewish state. Immigration legislation brings forth important issues of identity, nationalism, social stratification and barriers, and inclusion and exclusion. The Israeli Law of Return in particular generates questions of identity in that it i s a return of a "Jew," a member of a specific group of people, to the land of Israel. "Who is a Jew?" Who is deciding the answer to this question? The answer to these questions will be crucial to understanding how immigration law affects so cial and politic al interactions within Israel. The definition of what constitutes Jewishness is a determinate factor in the placement of people in the socio economic stratum of Israel. Who decides the definition of "Jew" presents one facet of political polarization in Isr ael. Whatever group wins the latest parliamentary elections has the ability to define Jewishness. Furthermore the differences in the Law of Return and the other immigration policies of Israel reinforce the ideas of nationalism, identity, and societal inclu sion and exclusion. This chapter illustrates the intersection between the Israeli notion of citizenship and Jewish identity as well as how Israel relates to other ethnic based immigration laws of other countries. Israel, however, is not unique Germany, Cr oatia, and Ireland all have immigration laws which imply a "right of return" and citizenship and inclusion in society


! "# through descent and ethnicity. While there might be other countries with "rights of return," I chose Germany, Croatia, and Ireland because each has an interesting ethnic component. 1 Additionally, the Right of Return exists within international law such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 2 Each document states that everyo ne has the right to reenter or return to his or her country. 3 Germany I chose because its "law of return" of German ethnicity, like Israel's, comes out of the context of the societal restrictions from the laws based on the superiority of the "Aryan race" d uring World War II. I chose Croatia because of the aspect of Croatian immigration law that states those who emigrated with no intention of ever returning to Croatia are considered citizens of Croatia. This is an interesting comparison to the Israeli Law of Return where all Jews are included. The Diasporic nature of both is important. I looked at Irish immigration law because like Israel it includes the family members. Not only are the members of the ethnic group included but their spouses and offspring are partially as well. Jus Sanguinis, literally meaning right of b lood in L atin, or citizenship determined by that of the parents, is a theme present in each country's immigration policies. Similar to Israel, we are confron ted with the question of what makes up any particular identity. Who is a "German?" Who is a "Croatian?" Who is an "Irishman?" How are these national and ethnic identities passed down by blood? Germany in particular has a right of return for ethnic Germans. Who is an ethnic German and how is that person different !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 There does not seem to be a survey of immigration laws available to determine ho w many countries have "rights of return." $ United Nations, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI), 1966, Article 12 [4]. http://www2.ohchr.o rg/english/law/ccpr.htm [accessed March 28, 2011]. United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, [New York, 1948] Article 13, [ac cessed March 28, 2011]


! "# from a naturalized G erman? Legislation based on identity and the issues of the exclusion and inclusion they present are indicative of social distances and stratification between groups in society, which by discretionary power given to government agencies is also indicative of political cleavages and distances as well. This chapter will explore the notion of citizenship specifically in the context of ethnicity based immigration laws. Through comparison of Israeli immigration law to tha t of Germany, Croatia, an d Ireland, this chapter aims to show how ethnic citizenship concepts reinforce insider versus outsider dichotomies wi thin society. In Israel, the dichotomy is betwe en Jews and non Jews, and between the groups that disagree on the d efinition of "Jew." Each of these countries possesses a variety of means to citizenship. One can be a German citizen through birth (which in this case means, descent), adoption by German parents, and naturalization. Irish citizenship is acquired though bir th (which in this case means, being born in the territory), marriage to an Irish citizen, naturalization, descent, or through a government honor. Croatian citizenship is gained through descent or origin, birth (also meaning location), and through naturali zation. In Israel the Law of Return and related issues of Jewish Identity and conversion continually play out in the political arena through control over associated government ministries such as the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affair s. The Israeli Law of Return The Israeli Law of Return in its original 1950 form states that all Jews have the right to come to Israel as an immigrant unless they pose some threat to "public health or security" or if they have engaged in any act against t he Jewish people. The law also state s that those Jews in Israel prior to the passing of this law will be defined as an oleh


! "# or immigrant under this law. The most immediate issue posed with the origi nal state of the law is the absence of a clear definition of the term "Jew." Although this is addressed in the second amendment of the Law of Return the issue continues to generate debate as to who is a Jew and who makes the decision. Amendment 2 of the Law of Return addresses the unanswered questions created by the initial law. Who is a Jew? Who decides who i s a Jew? This amendment passed in 1970. Section 4A (a) is particularly significant because it includes who specifically will be included as eligible for immigration under this law: as well as the rights o f 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 r eligion. 4 Most interesting about the inclusion of the family members of a Jew, is that it is reminiscent of the race laws of German y, more specifically the Nuremberg laws. The Nuremberg laws were a series of laws meant to separate and restrict Jews and non Aryans" from the "Aryan" and supposed true German population. Such legislation began in April 1933 when non Aryans were pared from certain professions. The Law Regarding the Restoration of Professional Service of April 7, 1933 defines a non Aryan: Add endum paragraph 3. (1) A person is to be regarded as non Aryan, who is descended from non Aryan, especially Jewish parents or grandparents. This holds true even if only one parent or grandparent is of non Aryan descent. This premise especially if one pare nt or grandparent was of Jewish faith. 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Law of Return 5710 1950, the 5 th of July, 1950. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. http://w 1950 [accessed September 8, 2010]. 5 "First Racial Definition (April 11, 1933)" in The Jew in the Modern World, 2 nd Edition, ed. Paul Mendes Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz [New York: Oxford Un iversity Press, 1985], 642


! "# Here Jewish identity continues to be racialized as it was by the Nazis in this idea of "blood." Section 4B of Amendment 2 however includes the definition of a Jew as prescribed by Jewish law. 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. 6 It is clear upon viewing this law and amendments in the greater world context that the inclusion of the famil y members is a direct result of Hashoah of the mid 20 th Century and further reinforces the idea of Israel as a safe haven from anti Semitism around the world. This is also representative of the reality of the modern world where interfaith marriage occurs a nd is debated in Jewish circles. This theme of Israel as place of protection is present in other important Israeli legal documents and declarations, most obviously in the Declaration of Independence itself. Here is the Zionist ideal of re establishing the Jewish homeland. The state of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally around the Jews of Eretz Israel in the tasks of immigration and up building and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age old dream the redemption of Israel. 7 It is important to understand this context from which the Law of Return comes, because it ultimately is at the root of the current debate in Israel surrounding issues of immigration. This context brings o ne to ask the question: Is the Law of R eturn still necessary or valid in the modern day context. Is this context of safe haven for world Jewry still a necessity? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Ibid. 7 The State of Israel, The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948, of%%20Establishment%20of%20State%20of%20Israel [Accessed April 6, 2010].


! "# Additionally Amendment 2 includes an Amendment of section 5 of the Law. "Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Juridical Committee of the Knesset." 8 Here is an example of a built in mechanism of dealing with problems th at might arise with a law that could be construed as vague. Currently, political factions are debating about who should be considered a Jew, and who should be deciding this. The debates over such issues occur because of the coalition structure and multipar ty nature of the political system. For example, the ultra Orthodox of Israel would like to see conversions t o be only accepted if it is an O rthodox conversion. Currently if one converts inside Israel proper this is the case, but not if one converts to J udaism outside of Israel and then makes a liyah other kinds of conversions are accepted. Here issues of identity arise because if the definition of "Jew" becomes only those who practice Orthodox Judaism, then the majority of world Jewry would be excluded fr om this law. The amendment of Population Registry Law 5725 (1965) additionally addresses the issue of who is a Jew ." It states that a person will, "not be registered as a Jew if public document indicates that he is not a Jew," or if "entry or document has not been converted to the satisfaction of the chief registration officer." 9 Again one's Jewishness is at the discretion of a government office. This presents additional opportunity for divisions in that how one self identifies may be and is often diffe rent than how a government office would identify a person. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Law of Return 5710 1 950, the 5 th of July, 1950. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. 1950 [accessed September 8, 2010]. 9 Ibid.


! "# Israeli Immigration Policies In addition to the Law of Return, there are three ot her means of acquiring Israeli c itizenship. First of all there is the provision regarding nationality by birth. One would assume that this mean s being born in Israel proper, however it states, that one must be born to an Israeli mother or father. N ationality is extended to the offspring of an Israeli citizen who was born in another country. This includes the children o f dead Israeli citizens. 10 The significance of these other venues to achieve citizenship lies in its mirror of the societal hierarchical ladder in Israel. Becoming a citizen through the Law of Return is the preferred, because it is the method for those who are already inherently part of the insider group the Jewish people. Second, is the acquisition by residence, which states: "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." 11 This provision was enacted to deal with citizens of the British Mandate of Palestine. The l ast means of acquiring Israeli c itizenship is through the naturalization process. A main difference between naturalizat ion and other ways of obtaining Israeli citizenship, particularly the Law of Return, is that one must renounce one's former nationality. In the case of Israel naturalization means becoming a full citizen or national, by means other than that of the Law of Return. Through the Law of Return one is able to hold dual citizenship. Similar to the Law of Return, and one's Jewishness being at the discretion of government officials, applications for naturalization are "at the discretion of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Acquisition of Israeli Nationality 20 August, 2001. http://ww playMode=print [accessed September 18, 2010]. 11 Ibid.


! "# the Minister of the Inter ior." Other requirements include "they must have resided in Israel for three years out of five years preceding the day of submission of the application; they are entitled to reside in Israel permanently and have settled or intended to settle in Israel." 12 The discretion of the Minister of the Interior in naturalization policy is crucial for understanding the subsequent political debates that emerge on the topic of immigration as different political groups are in power. In the political arena of Israel, the many factions seek control over the Minister of Interior because of its discretionary ability in matters of Jewish identity and immigration. This dynamic will be discussed in greater detail in the fifth chapter of this thesis. Furthermore, the existence of more requirements for acquiring citizenship through naturalization reinforces the idea that those who are not Jewish or Israeli through descent must go through a more extensive process for becoming an insider. Presumably this means that anyone could be eligible for citizenship of Israel. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website states "Israel's Nationality Law relates to anyone wishing to settle in Israel, as well as those already residing or born there, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, or political beliefs." 13 However, there is the governmental discretion at hand and thus there have been subsequent laws that have limited the ability of some to become citizens. For example, there has been the pas sing of temporary laws such as t he Cit izensh ip and Entry into Israel Law 5763 ( 200 3). The second clause of this l aw is troubling !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid.


! "# considering the definition of the term area "any one of the following: Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip." 2) During the period in which this law shall remain in forc e, despite what is said in any legal provision, including article 7 or the Citizenship Law, the Minister of the Interior shall not grant the inhabitant of an area citizenship on the basis of the Citizenship law, and shall not given him a license to reside in Israel on the basis of the Entry into Israel l aw, and the Area Commander shall not grant a said inhabitant, a permit to stay in Israel, on the basis with the security legislation in the area. 14 These "areas," thus are defined as Judea and Samaria Thos e terms, rather than the West Bank and Gaza are exemplary of the Zionist definition of the Land of Israel, the terminology for the Land in biblical and ancient terms. This exemplifies the religious influence in the Ministry of Interior, particularly the r eligious Zionist parties that seek to settle these areas. It is clear that the goal here is to exclude the other the Palestinian. And that this is done in such a way that it does not violate the stipulation of the nationality laws that does not discriminat e on "race, religion, creed, sex, or political beliefs," but rather on location of residence. Origins of Ethnic Immigration Laws Israel is not alone in identity and ethnicity based immigration legislation. Many countries have ethnic ideas of citizenship including Germany, Croatia, and Ireland, which all have right of return laws based on some sort of identity through descent. Again one is confronted with the question of what makes someone a German, Croatian, or an Irishman? But one is furthermore confront ed with the question of why do countries have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 The Knesset. Laws of Special Interest The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (temporary p rovision) 5763 2003. [accessed September 18, 2010].


! "# immigration laws based in blood and ethnicity? Two answers are nationalism and historical context. As Benedict Anderson explains in Imagined Communities, nations are groups of people who live in a particular t erritory that perceive themselves as connected by a common history and experience, ethnicity, and or blood. More specifically Anderson defines the nation as "an imagined political community and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign." 15 Most of the people in a nation will never meet face to face and thus, their unity is imagined. This nation is limited due to the borders and boundaries, which encompass the people of the nation. It is sovereign because it is perceived as legitimate and having th e right to self determination. It is a community because it "is always conceived as a deep horizontal comradeship." 16 Whatever makes someone a German, Jew, Croatian, or Irishman is abstract and hard to explain in concrete terms. Interestingly, citizenship in these countries is defi ned by these abstract concepts of nationality, ethnicity, and descent. The kind of citizenship a country elicits from its immigration law is important for understanding the interactions between its citizens and the government an d amongst the people themselves. Ethnic based citizenship, or Jus Sanguinis is determined by the citizenship of one's parents. This kind of citizenship focuses on social constructions of identity, such as nationality. Democratic citizenship focuses less on the nationalistic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities [New York, NY: Ve rso, 2006],6 16 Anderson, 7


! "# aspects of citizenship, rather the term, "as used here refers to the present and future capacity for influencing politics." 17 For historical context, the Israeli Law of Return clearly came out of the Holocaust and Po st World War II peri od. It came out of a need to protect the Jewish people anywhere in the world. Germany's Right of Return comes out of the same post W orld W ar II context, and seeks to re include all those citizens who had become outsiders during the W orld W ar II period, as well as to include "ethnic Germ ans" living in Communist countries. Croatia, subsequent to the d isintegration of Yugoslavia with the violence of civil war, was willing to include those Croatians who had emigrated during the conflict as citizens. As immigr ation laws of Germany, Ireland, Croatia, and Israel also all reveal issues of inclusion and exclusion based on descent and blood as well as governmental discretion in law ap plication and policy decisions, I will explore them in the remainder of this chapte r Germany and German Heritage German citizenship and naturalization policy states that a person can become a citizen in three ways : birth, ad option, or naturalization. N aturalization can be acquired either under article 116 of Ge rmany's Basic Law or throu gh appealing to the government. Article 116 of Germany's Basic Law states (1) Unless otherwise provides by a law, a German within the meaning of this Basic Law is a person who possesses German Citizenship or who has been admitted to the territory of the Ge rman Reich within the boundaries of December 31, 1937 as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such a person. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $% Dennis F. Thompson, The Democratic Citzen, [New York, NY: Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1970], 2


! "" (2) Former German citizens who between January 10, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizensh ip on political, racial or religious grounds and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to have been deprives of their citizenship if they have established their domicile in Germany after May 8, 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention. 18 The n aturalization not under this "Right of Return," is quite difficult. This sort of naturalization has a list of stipulations that are not required of those naturalized under the Right of Return as def ined in Article 116 of Germany's Basic Law. There is discretion left to the German government for whom is allowed to be naturalized under this law it must be in Germany's public interest. One cannot have a criminal record, must be flue nt in German, must no t have other citizenship, will not receive government welfare, must reside in Germany for eight years, must be committed to Germany, and must "support Germany's democratic constitutional order." 19 These stipulations are a product of law reformation of 2000 harmonizing Germany's laws with such laws of other European Union member states. Germany has a large population of people who are not ethnically German mostly Turkish people. Prior to these reforms it was extremely difficult for these people who had li ved in Germany for up to thirty years to gain citizenship. This was because of the Jus Sanguinis or blood focus of the naturalization policies. Now there is a Jus S oli or citizenship determined by location of birth, component to the citizenship law. Not o nly can one be German if born to a German, but one can be German if they are born in Germany. This reform is broadening the definition of who is included in Germany as German. Becoming German !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz,GG) 23 rd May 1949. Article 116 [Definition of "German"; restoration of Citizenship] German Basic Law, [accessed September 22, 2010]. 19 Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Melbourne. German Citizenship Law. July 1010. [accessed September 22,2010].


! "# however remains quite difficult and this expresses important inf ormation about inclusion and exclusion in German society being German is today still shaped by the idea of being ethnically German. The government has discretion in the naturalization process. The government must deem that letting whatever person in que stion become a citizen would be in the best interest of the public. The stipulations for becoming a German citizen even subsequent to the reforms in 2000 are relatively high, particularly the eight year period of time one must be resident in order to eligi ble. This was a decrease in time period before 2000, when one had to be resident for 15 years. Issues of inclusion and exclusion of groups in German society are still present. Germany's Right of Return under the Basic Law article 116 is reminiscent of th e Israeli Law of Return for several reasons. First of all, both pieces of legislation emerge out of the context of the Holocaust and the post World War II period. In a sense each country is trying to deal with the reality of the aftermath of the Holocaust. Israel was seeking to cr eate a safe haven for the Jews anywhere in the world, by creating a law that means if one is Jewish one can always be a citizen of the Jewish State of Israel. The language of article 116 suggests that Germany sought to correct it s wrongs towards Germans that had been discriminat ed against during the war Jews and others It discusses those who, "were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds, and their descendants" as eligible for gaining their citizen ship once again. Not only does this law include the Jews and all those wronged by the German discriminatory policies under the Nazi regime but it includes the right of those ethnic Germans, "from Eastern Europe and the Soviet successor states to become Ge rman citizens under the


! "# "Right of Return." 20 Not only is it these people themselves who are included under this legislation, but their descendants as well, which leaves room for controversy as many of those that apply have never actually lived in Germany. The Israeli Law of Return also raises such issues. Not only does the Law of Return include Jews, but it includes the descendants of Jews. Clearly, this is in reference to the Nuremberg Laws under which those with any "Jewish blood" were considered Jewish and thus eligible for discrimination. Furthermore there is the issue of relevance. In the current world, are these laws still relevant? Has the world changed enough since World War II for these laws to no longer be relevant? Would the people who qualify fo r citizenship not have already immigrated to these countries already? An additional parallel to be drawn between German and Israeli laws are their respective issues with exclusion of the other. Over the last century, the territorial boundaries of Germany flu ctuated significantly. Prior to the Nazi Era, the citizenship laws of Germany were ethnically based. The Citizenship Law of 1913 in particular solidified the "self determination" of ethnic Germans, and only ethnic Germans. The initiators of the legis lation painted a picture of peril. The "homogenieity" of the German nation was under threat from a flood of people of alien tongues and races.' Thus as few foreigners as possible should be naturalized. Only members of the German people should have a righ t to German citizenship, while foreigners of inferior nationalites' should be excluded. 21 It is subsequently apparent how the racist laws and practices of the Nazi Reich were born out of this worldview. Interestingly, even after the Holocaust, the German B asic L aw, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 Ibid. 21 Dieter Gosewinkel, "Citizenship and Naturalization Politics in Germany in the Nineteenth and twentieth centu ries," Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israe li Perspectives on Immigration, [New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002], 65


! "# Article 116 mai ntains this ideology and rhetoric German ethnics are still the insiders, and everyone else is the other. In Israel, the other is the Palestinian, a nd to a lesser extent the Mizrahi Jew. In Germany, it is Turkish workers. The r efor m of German citizenship law is aimed at closing the gap that has existed to date between social reality and citizenship status. This gap exists because in practical terms, most of these people have become Germans. In legal terms however, they continue to b e foreigners. 22 Germany is thus seeking to address these issues of exclusion and inclusion through these reforms. It is beyond the scope of this thesis to explore whether or not these efforts have been successful to date. C itizenship in the legislations of both Israel and Germany has blood of Jus Sanguinis components to them. In the Israeli Law of Return it is the definition of Jewishness as born to a Jewish mother, as well as the descendants of a Jewish person. Although the law also leaves room for con version, the focus is still on this J ewish ethnicity through genealogical inheritance through bloodline. The German Right of Return possesses a similar view of eth nicity that is passed down through bloodline as well. Alt hough one might understand ethnicity through bloodline and family heritage, when it becomes the basis for inclusion and exclusion in a society there is greater possibility for social stratifica tion and problems. B oth Israel and Germany have other means of becoming a citizen and inclusion of other groups; however, the effects of this Jus S anguinis focus are still felt by many groups involved. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$ Reform of Germany's Citizenship and Nationality law < Citizenship / Reform __ Germanys __ citizenship __DD, pr operty=Daten.pdf> [accessed September 22, 2010].


! "# Croatia and Ethnic Identity The law on Croatian c itizenship has a similar component of origin and heritage to those of Israel's Law of Return and Ge rmany's Right of Return. One can acquire Croatian citizenship through three means: origin, birth on territory, or naturalization. Through origin, one can apply for Croatian citizenship if one or both parents are Croatian citizens or even if one parent is Croatian even if they were born abroad. Article 10, additionally states that citizenship can be acquired through marriage. Article 11 is crucial in the discussion of inclusion and exclusion, ethnicity, and relevance: An emigrant, as well as his or her des cendants can acquire Croatian citizenship by naturalization although they do not meet the prerequisites from Article 8, paragraph 1, points 1 4 of this Law. The foreign citizen who is married to an emigrant who has acquired Croatian citizenship according t o the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article can acquire Croatian citizenship although he or shed does not meet the prerequisites from Article 8, paragraph1, points 1 4 of this Law. According to paragraph 1 of this Article, an emigrant is a person who h as emigrated from Croatia with the intention to live permanently abroad. 23 Why is it that the emigrant is included in this law? Is blood or ethnicity more important in citizenship than intent and desire to b e a citizen elsewhere? The unique component is th e last s entence defining an emigrant as "a person who has emigrated from Croatia with the intention to live permanently abroad." Is this just a means for the Croatian government to acquire more citizens that it doesn't even matter if they intend to ever li ve in Croatia for citizenship to be obtained? This explanation seems most logical and it is indicative of a particular view of ethnicity. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 23 Council of Europe. Article 11, The Law on Croatian Citizenship 1991, with amendments of 1992 and 1993. operation/foreigners_and_citizens/nationality/documents /national_legislation/Croatia The%20Law%20on%20Croatian%20Citizenship.asp [accessed September 22, 2010].


! "# Ethnicity can be defined as a shared identity based on similar characteristics shared by a group such as culture, h istory, language, and religion. One can perceive notions of ethnicity through one of three viewpoints: primoridalist or an assumption of an identity grounded in antiquity circumstantialists who view ethnicity as fluid and changing, or in strumentalists wh o view ethnicity as a tool used by political leaders to ach ieve certain goals. For primoridialists ethnicity now more closely resembles the concept of race, specifically in the context of difference. Ethnic differences are viewed as being increasing unsur passable. here has been a shift from the idea of common descent as defined by hereditary biological essence or a hereditary exclusive gene pool, as under the "old" racism toward the idea of common descent as a trans generational vehicle for the transmissi on of an authentically rooted culture. We have roots here by virtue of descent you others have your different way of life, rooted elsewhere, not here.' 24 Ethnicity based citizenship and immigration laws adhere to this notion of a shared past, with others in their ethnicity group, and a piece of land. In this logic, there are clear definitions of insider versus outsider insiders have the right to the land and the culture, and in the case of immigration law citizenship as well, outsiders do not. In the conte xt of the Israeli Law of Return and the German Right of Return nationality and ethnicity are linked. Additionally heritage and bloodline are qualifications for inclusion in a nationality. Furthermore Croatia created an issue of holding citizenship for a co untry in which one has never lived. In this instance, not only can citizenship be gained for someone with Croatian heritage (or marriage to someone with Croatian heritage) this heritage supersede s residency. This legislation implies that one does not need to plan on living in Croatia, and could have left with the intent of never return ing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 Eric R. Wolf. Perilous Ideas Current Anthropology 35 no. 1 6


! "# Ireland and Irish Citizenship The Republic of Ireland possesses citizenship laws similar to those of Croatia. One is eligible for citizenship by birth in the country o f Ireland, through descent, through marriage to an Irish citizen, through a government honor, or through naturalization. In Ireland, guidelines for who may be granted citizens hip through naturalization are at the compl ete discretion of the Minister. Any one born on the island of Ireland is eligible for Irish citizens hip. Similar to Croatian law, Section 7 of the 1956 Citizen ship and Nationality law states that one who has an Irish parent is "from birth" an Irish citizen. (1) A person is an Irish citizen from birth if at the time of his or her birth either parent was an Irish citizen or would if a live have been an Irish citizen (2) The fact that the parent from whom a person derives citizenship had not at the time of the person's birth done an act referred to in section 6(2) (a) shall not of itself exclude a person from the operation of subsection (1). (3) Subsection (1) shall not confer Irish citizenship on a person born outside the island of Ireland if the parent through whom he or she derives citizenshi p was also born outside the island or Ireland unless (a) that person's birth is registered under section 27, or (b) the parent through whom that person derives citizenship was at the time of that person's birth abroad in the public service: Provided that the Irish citizenship of a person who, after 1 July, 1986, is registered under section 27 shall commence only as on and from the date of such registration. (4) Nothing in this section shall confer Irish citizenship on a person not an Irish citizen immedi ately before its coming into operation, nor deprive of Irish citizenship a person who immediately before its coming into operation was an Irish citizen. 25 The importance of this section lies in the transference of citizenship by blood and heritage in add ition to place of birth, and other circumstances. Also the case of Ireland !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 25 Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956. (No. 23 of 1986), the Irish Naitonali ty and Citizenship Act 1994 (No. 9 of 1994) and the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2001 (No. 15 of 2001). Unofficial restatement November 2002. http://w [Accessed September 29, 2010].


! "# relates to Israel in its inclusion of family members of the ethnic group in addition to the group alone. This is similar to the Law of Return's extension of the right to citizenshi p to the family members of Jews and not only to Jews themselves. Despite the similarity to the ethnicity component in the Croatian law, the Irish law puts a limit on those living abroad who are eligible for citi zenship to the first generation. Irish immig ration law has a distinct component : the President of Ireland can bestow citizenship on a person as a means of honouring them. "12. (1) The President may grant Irish citizenship as a token of honour to a person or to the child or grandchild of a person who in the opinion of the Government, has done signal honour or rendered distinguished service to the nation." 26 Here is another instance where citizenship is extended not only to the direct person but their descendants as well. Is this because honor is someh ow passed down from generation to generation? Does this occur in the same manner that ethnicity is passed down to the next generation? What are the implications of having citizenship passed down through "blood" in addition to birth and naturalization? Sec tions 14 through 16 of the 1956 law discuss how one can become a citizen through the process of naturalization. Applications are up to the complete discretion of the Minister. Section 15 includes a list of stipulations for naturalization: (1) (a): is of full age; (b) is of good character; (c) has had a period of one year's continuous residence in the State immediately before the date of the application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, has had a total residence in the State a mounting to four years; (d) intends in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalization; and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 26 Ibid.


! "# (e) has made, either before a Justice of the District Court in open court or in such a manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows, a dec laration in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state. 27 The difference in process between those who are considered citizens by descent and those who are "non nationals" is further indicative of inclusion and exclusion, of insider versus outside r in societies. The conditions for citizenship are greater when there is less of a connection, be it ethnic or political to a nation. However there are certain circumstances under which the government will waive these stipulations. T his shows how the law gives influence to the government in deciding who is included. This is one way in which these immigration laws have political implications after their passing. Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956 lists th ese exceptions: The Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalization in the following cases, although the conditions for naturalization (or any of them) are not complied with: (a) where the applicant is of Irish descent or Irish associations; (b) where the applicant is a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor of Irish descent or Irish associations; (c) where the applicant is a naturalized Irish citizen acting on behalf of a minor child of the applica nt (d) where the applicant is married to a naturalized Irish citizen; (e) where the applicant is married to a person who is an Irish citizen (otherwise than by naturalization); (f) where the applicant is or has been resident abroad in the public service; 28 It is the government who decides who is Irish, who is German, who is Croatian, an d who is Israeli Due to the discretionary ability of the government, depending on whom is in power at the time these definitions are subject to debate and change. This may occur frequently and quickly due to political control shifts of the democratic regime. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Ibid. 28 Ibid.


! "# Comparisons of similar immigration laws is useful for further exploring how issues of immigration and citizenship are indicative and recreate notions of identity, incl usion and exclusion, and outsider versus insider issues. Right of return laws are particularly indicative of who is an insider and who is an outsider, although Israel is an unique case in the aspect that its Law of Return has been a critical component beca use of the immigrant nature of Israeli society, which has its own specific set of social and political stratification issues. Comparisons Upon comparing various immigration laws, both naturalization policies and those of birth or descent, certain themes become apparent. Recurring is t he idea that national identity can be passed down from generatio n to generation, based on blood. O ne's blood is German, or Croat or Irish, or Israeli, or Jewish. Israel is a slightly different case in that one can be include d based on Jewish identity as opposed to just national identity. Those who are not citizens of a nation from such a descent must go through a process of naturalization with greater stipulations for citizenship. The difference in process for citizenship due to this abstract idea of national identity is present in all four cases. However the very fact that national identity is flexible enough for the possibility for an outsider to become an insider reinforces Benedict Anderson's thesis of nationalism and nati onal identity as imagined as invented, thus as a fabrication it is flexible and non stagnant. As identity is flexible, how is national identity formed in an immigrant society such as Israel, where people are coming from all over the world. Those coming thr ough the Law of Return are all connected through a common Jewish identity, but how the government makes that Jewish identity and turns it into an Israeli identity through


! "# nationalist policies and immigrant "absorption" must be explored to understand Israel 's social and political stratification. Conclusions While Israel is not the sole country with identity criteria for citizenship, the dynamics of the religious social identity will be discussed in the next chapter. The following chapter will apply the main question raised by this chapter Who is a Jew? It outlines the varying definitions of Jewishness according to both American Jewish groups as well as Israeli Jewish groups. The issue of Jewishness is applied to the "Ingathering of Exiles" process and subseq uent assimilation policies that shape the structure of Israeli society according to different Jewish ethnic groups in addition to the differing Jewish views of religiosity.


! "" IV. Stratification of the Melting Pot "Ingathering of Exiles": Ideology of Unity? At the Sarasota Manatee Jewish Federation's recent commemoration of Israel on January 12, 2011 entitled "A Night to Celebrate Isr ael: A T ribute to the Power of One," Natan Sharansky Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel spoke on issues of identity and nationalism. The event included Sharansky's speech, an interview with Sharansky and a concert given by Yemini Israeli pop singer Noa. The discussion of Natan Sharansky's background is important to this thesis for his crucial role in fighting for Soviet Jewry while living in the former Soviet Union. He was involved in the underground Zionist movement in the Soviet Union until he was arrested for the accusation of espionage in 1977. He was convicted and imprisoned until February 28, 1986, when he was released due to an international campaign and moved to Israel the same day. He is an advocate for Soviet Jewry, especially subsequent to their m ass immigration in the 1990s. "Since the beginning of mass immigration from the former Soviet (1989) he has urged that immigration and absorption be accorded top national priority. To this end, he established the political party, Yisrael B'Aliya which he represented in the Knesset from 1996 until January 2003." He has served in many cabinet positions including Minister of Interior. 1 The title of this celebration of the State of Israel is indicative of the Zionist notion of the singularity of the Jewish p eople. The Jew was first and foremost a member of a nation, the Jewish nation. This implies that within the framework of Zionist ideology all Jews are a single nation, and connected by their Jewish nationality. Such an ideology !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Natan Sharansky," [accessed April 2, 2011].


! "# ignores the plurality of cul tures and views of what makes up the truly diverse "Jewish nation." While the Zionist ideal, and here I use Zionist loosely to mean the traditional longing for "Zion," for Eretz Israel or the land of Israel as distinct from the political state, the mode rn day State of Israel itself. Attending this event assumes the identification with Israel and Jewis hness as well. In general why are Israel and Jewishness conflated with one another? "The Power of One," speaks to this idea that all of world Jewry is conne cted to one another not only through a common religious but also through this common connection to Israel. The Zionist principle of o neness of the Jewish people and their connection to Israel manifests in the Israeli Law of Return policy. All Jews, connec ted by their Jewishness, are thus welcome to move to the S tate of Israel, Eretz Israel as the place for the "Ingathering of Exiles." H ow does one reconcile the contradiction between the rhetoric and the realities of a stratified Israeli society? As a produ ct of the desire to create a solely Jewish state through immigration to a single Jewish nation and culture, those Jews who do not identify with the State of Israel, and those Jews that do not fall into the mainstream Israeli culture are in varying places w ithin the Israeli socio economic stratum. Solidarity under this framework leaves little room of inclusion of those Jews that do not identify with the State of Israel or Zionism as it means today in the political context of Israel. As Israeli society has pr ogressed the contention between Jewish singularity and the reality of plurality has revealed the need for a greater move towards inclusive polices in the absorption process and in the educational sphere. The process of the "Ingathering of Exiles," the brin ging to gether of world Jewry brings forth the question: "w ho is a Jew?


! "# Defining Jewishness The issue of determining who is Jewish and what specific attributes make a person Jewish has been long contested. According to h alacha a person is considered Jewi sh if one's mother is Jewish; however in the modern era the various streams of Judaism define Jewishness in different ways. Judaism and Jewishness is perceived and practiced differently in the United States and in Israel. The discussion of American Judaism is relevant because the largest population of Jews outside of Israel live in the United States. Additionally, the Jewish community and lobbies in America are influential in affecting American policy towards Israel. In America a plurality of Judaisms exist whereas in Israe l ultra Orthodox streams dominate Israel and America both have a variety of Jewish voices, yet in Israel the ultra Orthodox voice dictates policy. In Israel the greatest divide is between religious and secular groups, however a plurality of Orthodox groups exist including Ashkenazi Separd ic, and the Religious Zionists. The four main American streams explored here include Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist. Of essential mention is the existence and prevalence of unaffiliated and secular Jews in both Israeli and American s ocieties. In defining Jewishness the views of each branch of Judaism on matrilineal versus patrilineal descent, interfaith marriage, and conversion will be examined. Additionally, this chapter explores the relevance of an agreed upon definition of Jewish I dentity to the issue of immigration to Israel under the Law of Return. Sectarian difference in definition of "Jew" is of consequence to this thesis due to the continued identity debate occurring in the political realm of Israel. Whoever controls the Minist ry of


! "# Interior in the State of Israel subsequently controls the definition of "Jew" in immigration policy. In America four issues persist within the Jewish community. First and most relevant is the issue of boundaries, meaning who is included and who is excluded from the community. Secondly American Judaism lacks a central religious authority, allowing for the religious authority existing in Israel to fill this void and influence the American Jews, particularly the ultra Orthodox youth. 2 Additionally, Ame rican Jews face the tensions between being Jewish and living in an increasingly secular American society. Lastly, is the need to balance Jewish unity and individualism. 3 This section focuses on the debate between the American Judaisms regarding the boundar ies of Jewish identity. One approach for determining Jewishness is through genealogy. Jewish genealogy according to the halacha or Jewish Law, occurs through the mother however t hroughout the Torah, patrilineal descent is common, thus serving as a basis for the Reform argument to accept Jewish descent through the father's line The roots o f matrilineal descent come in the exilic peri od. In the United States, p olicy on matrilineal versus patrilineal descent varies from acceptance of only matrilineal descen t to preference of matrilineal descent, to full acceptance of both. The Union for Reform Judaism recognizes both matrilineal and patrilineal descent (since 1983) as long as the child is raised solely in the Jewish faith. Such policy is a product of Reform Judaism's policy of inclusion. Reform Jews are committed to the principle of inclusion not exclusion. Since 1978 the Reform movement has been reaching out to Jews by choice and interfaith families, encouraging them to embrace Judaism. Reform Jews consider !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism: A History [New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004}, 369 3 Sarna, 372


! "# children to be Jewish if they are the child of a Jewish father or mother, so long as the child is raised a Jew. 4 The commitment to raising children as solely Jewish is the primary requirement. Reconstructionist Judaism like Reform Judaism accepts both matrilineal and patrilineal descent for Jewish identity. Again in light of this acceptance, the child must regardless be raised in the Jewish faith. They cannot identify as "half Jewish" or "Jewish Christian." 5 Conservative and Orthodox streams of Juda ism accept only matrilineal descent or conversion as basis for a Jewish identity. Orthodox Judaism is only concerned with matrilineal descent in regards of Jewish identity the Jewishness of the father is irrelevant. Conservative Judaism openly recognizes t he need to welcome interfaith families, while asserting the necessity of the non Jewish spouse's conversion to Judaism. In the event this fails to occur, th e Jewish parent "must make every effort to assure that any children of this marriage are converted ( where required) and raised, educated, and integrated into Jewish life and the life of the Jewish community." 6 The question of matrilineal and patrilineal descent leads to the greater discussion of intermarriage. Reform synagogues in the United States are open to interfaith marriage as clearly expressed by the previously discussed acceptance of children of a Jewish mother or of a Jewish father. However for interfaith marriages there are outreach and education commissions to aid these families in religious development. Existence of such a commission implies that although accepted, these families are viewed as needing more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 Union for Reform Judaism "What is Reform?" [accessed January 9, 2011] 5 Rabbi Richard Hirsh "Boundaries and Identity: Discussing Where We Stand and Who We Are," October 16, 2007 Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Website. 57 [accessed January 9, 2011] 6 Rabbi Moshe Edelman, "Al Ha Derekh: On the Path," The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism website. [acces sed January 9, 2011].


! "# spiritual guidance than those families not of mixed faith. Reform synagogues do not require that the non Jewish spouse convert yet the emp hasis remains that the religious upbringing of any offspring be Judaism. Reconstructionist synagogues in the same light as Reform are inclusive and welcoming to interfaith marriages should they occur; however they are not encouraged. Conservative Judai sm has a distinct preference for marriage between Jews, but accepts intermarriages again with the clear desire that the non Jewish person convert. Some degree of concern reveals itself in the official statements regarding the subject. An emphasis exists on keeping these families involved in Jewish community even if it is only the Jewish parent. Any children of this union should be converted officially if only the father is Jewish. Orthodox Judaism does not accept or recognize intermarriage and would requi re the conversion of the non Jewish person for the marriage to be recognized. 7 In this case, the background of the father is of no consequence, whether they are Jewish or not does not determine the Jewishness of the child. The mother's Jewishness is the p rerequisite for the offspring's Jewishness While other streams of Judaism exist within Israel, they are minority to the ultra Orthodox factions. The ultra Orthodox Jews can be broken into three main groups: the Ashkenazi the Sephardic, and the Religious Zionist. 8 Unlike American Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy in Israel impacts the political process and duly the identification of "true" Jewishness when they control the Ministry of Interior. The Ashkenazi and Mizrahi ultra !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 Sarna, 367 $ Asher Arian, "Israel: The Challenge of a Democratic and Jewish State," in Secularism Women and The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21 st Century ed. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, [Hartford, CT: Institute f or the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, 2009], 85.


! "# Orthodox groups share the opinion that they practice the "true Judaism." In the political context the dominant Ashkenazi party is Agudat Yisrael and the dominant Mizrahi party is Shas. Shas split from Agudat Yisrael because due to discrimination experienced as not being part of the European dominant culture. 9 Religious Zionism combines the belief in Zionism with ultra Orthodoxy meaning that they believe that the settlement of Israel and the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria are necessary for messianic redemption. 10 Furthermore all the relig ious groups, Zionist and Haredi have an emphasis on maintaining the "Jewish" character of the state. Since they view themselves as holding the true definition of what Judaism is seek to control the political venues dictating policy regarding Jewish identit y. The question of conversion is relevant to the greater discussion of Jewish identity primarily through its relation to halacha or Jewish Law. Conversions performed under a different denomination of Judaism are not always accepted by another, namely Or thodox, when there is a question of whether it was performed according to halacha or not. Under the Law of Return, a person is eligible to "return" to Israel if they are Jewish born to a Jewish mother or a person who has gone through a conversion process. Additionally family members of Jews became included after the 1970 amendments. Those included are the child, grandchild, spouse, spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew. The caveat is that those who had been a Jew did not change their religion. 11 If someo ne chooses to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 9 Ezra Kopelowitz, "Religious Politics and Israel's Ethnic Democracy," Israel Studies 6, no. 3 (Fall 2001), 174 10 Kopelowitz, 176 11 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Law of Return 5710 1950, the 5 th of July, 1950. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. 1950 [accessed Sep tember 8, 2010].


! "# convert while in Israel, this process must be performed as prescribed by halacha yet Israel accepts other conversions if performed abroad. Soviet Immigration and the Neeman Commission Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s nearly one milli on Soviet immigrants moved to Israel. As permitted by the Law of Return this group includes the "enla rged" Jewish community of Jews: spouses (Jewish or not), children, and grandchildren. This massive influx of immigrants, many not Jewish under halacha inc reased concern in Israel regarding Jewishness and conversion. 12 The debate over conversion and the requirements of Jewishness, particularly in the context of the Law of Return is part of a greater tension between the ultra Orthodox control over religious ma tters in Israel, and the plurality of Judaisms which exist in the Diaspora. Subsequent to the massive immigration of Jews and their family members from the f ormer Soviet Union, t he Knesset created t he Neeman C ommittee to explore the issues of Jewishness an d conversion. Both the Cabinet and the Knesset accepted the proposal of the Neeman Committee, but the Chief Rabbinate never accepted the proposal. 13 The pluralistic nature of the proposals may explain their rejection by the Orthodox dominated Chief Rabbinat e. The recommendations of the Neeman Committee presented in February 1998 include the creation of an institute for Jewish Studies set up under the auspices of the Jewish Agency and the establishment of rabbinical conversion courts by the Chief Rabbinate. The Institute would include ins truction on a variety of topics from Zionism to halacha written and oral law, Jewish thought and history, and contemporary Judaism. Upon completing the curriculum the participant would receive a certificate to present to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $# Elazar Leshem and Moshe Sicron, "The Soviet Immigrant Community in Israel," Jews in Israel., 81 13 Rebecca Weiner, "Who is a Jew?" Jewish Virtual Library website. [accessed January 9, 2011].


! "# th e rabbinical conversion court. A noteworthy component of this curriculum is its pluralistic nature, in that instruction in regards to a variety of denominations would be represented and taught. 14 By including a pluralistic approach to this effort to streamline and solve the issue of "who is a Jew" and conversion, would help correct the problematic assumption of Zionism that there is only one way, a singular Judaism. Perhaps it would have been a step towards easing the debate on Jewish identity in the political realm. The proposal was discarded and the Jewish identity debate remains unresolved. In the wake of the rejection of this proposal, the issues and debate regarding who is Jewish under the Law of Return persists. And while Jews of all walks of li fe from all over the world, i ncluding the controversial ones, such as the extended Jewish community from the former Soviet Union and the Ethiopian Jews, have immigrated to Israel under this Law, discrimination remains in Israeli society. The "Ingat hering o f Exiles," into the melting pot of Israeli society is a goal of the Law; in reality when new Jews make their way into Israeli society, they a re joining the ranks of a stratified socie ty where Ashkenazi culture is privileged. Academics engaging the post Zio nist debates, such as Tom Segev, criticize the idea of Jewish homogeneity and the melting pot and argued, "from its, inception, Israeli society was ridden with political, religious, social, and cultural conflicts. These included the ongoing conflicts betwe en Arabs and Jews of Middle Eastern origin, and religious Jews and secular Jews." 15 And while a melting pot society, or any society will have a dominant culture, the degree to which cultural background determines ones !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 Report of the Neeman Committee on Converserion Proposals 11 February 1998 Volume 17 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. 98 1999/17%20Rep ort%20of%20the%20Neeman%20Committee%20on%20Conversion%20Pr [accessed January 9, 2011]. 15 Quoted in Laurence J. Silberstein, The Post Zionism Debates: Knowledge and Power in Israeli Culture [New York: Routledge, 1999],99


! "# socioeconomic status in that society d i ffers. In Israeli society, the stratification occurs on a variety of levels including social, political, and economic. Assimilation to Dominant Culture and the Consequence of Social S tratification The experience of the Ethiopian Jews is exemplary of the ethnic and cultural dominance of Ashkenazi culture. The Ethiopian Jews for a long time were not permitted to immigrate under the Law of Return because their Jewishness was debated. They practiced a form of Judaism different from that of the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim as they had been separated from the rest of world Jewry for so long. The Ethiopian Jews knew nothing of h alacha, Talmud and Chanukah And while the Ethiopian Jews, the Beta Israel have been allowed to make aliyah, the Beta Isr ael remain in the lower strata of society. Additionally, in spite of Israel's acceptance of this group as Jewish, the Beta Israel must go through a symbolic conversion upon arrival to Israel by entering the mikveh, or ritual bath. 16 The treatment of the issue of differe nce and the Beta Israel is indicative of the wider issue of absorption. In reality Israel is not quite a "melting pot" of cultures, in that all are equal, it is a society of clearly defined ethnic and cultural hierarchies, although in recent years steps to ward pluralism have been initiated. Stratification exists in all contemporary societies in some form whether it is based on ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or class. In Israel stratification occurs in all of these forms, yet is most correlated wi th ethnic background. The following section will outline the roots of the ethnic based stratification in Israel prim arily between Jews of Ashkenazi descent and Mizrahi Jews For the sake of this argument, Ashkenazi includes European and American Jews and M izrahi includes Sephardic, Middle Eastern, North !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16 Brian Weinstein, "Ethiopian Jews in Israel: Socialization and Re education," The Journal of Negro Education 54, no.2 (Spring 1985): 219 220


! "# African, and Asian Jews. Although Israeli society is formed by the "Ingathering of Exiles," the bringing together of all Jews from the entire world and absorbing them into "Israeli society," this does not e quate to an equal standing of all groups within this society. In the absorption process, immigrants are expected to assimilate to dominant Israeli society meaning the dominant Ashkenazi or European tradition. Dominance of Western culture will be argued as a product of both European Zionism as well as Orientalist tendencies of the "West" via colonialism. Ashkenazi Jew's initial (and continued) prevailing position in Israel is a product of Zionism as a European movement and Israel being a product of this ideo logy. Post Zionist debates have criticized Zionism for what they call "cruel Zionism." This is in reference to the claim that Zionism and Israel as the Jewish state prioritizes the safety of the Jewish people. Groups such as the Israeli socialist Mazpen c laim: The leaders of Zionism reacted with indifference and even hostility towards the emigration of Jews from the endangered countries to places other than Palestine. Zionism clearly showed that in principle it is not interest in saving the Jews themselve s, but only in saving them by emigration to Palestine. (Machover and Offenberg 1978, 43) 17 They argue additionally that the hegemony of the Ashkenazim in Israeli society resulted from their control over the Zionist movement itself and thus Zionism was inhe rently Orientalist. 18 The European roots of Zionist ideology persist in Israeli nationalist policy, which is particularly apparent through the absorption process, and the educational system. Zionist ideology is centered on the notion of a single Jewish peo ple returning to the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 Silberstein, 86 18 Ibid., 86


! "" homeland to recreate this single Israeli Jewish culture. The following quote discusses the return and creation of an Israeli culture of the "new Jew." The national ideology, Zionism, denies the salience of ethnicity as a continuing fac tor for the Israeli Jewish population. National origin differences among Jews are viewed as the product of the long term dispersal of the Jewish people in the diaspora returning to a homeland, it is argued will result in the emergence of a new Jew untainte d by the culture and psychology of the diaspora and freed from the constraints and limitations of experiences in places of previous (non Israel) residenceIt follows that the recognition of ethnic origins as the country of ancestry would be, in part, a den ial of the "return" home to Israel. 19 The main goals of Zionist pioneer ideology include the revival of the Hebrew language, and "a viable modus vivendi between religious and secular groups and orientations. These common elements account for the fact that many of the rifts, cleavages, and tensions which characterized so many modernized nations were either absent or of small importance in the formative period of the Yishuv ." 20 The goal was to keep sectarian conflict to a minimum in order to reach a common goa l statehood. Absorption itself is traceable to this idea have everyone assimilate to the same cultural ideals, thus avoiding conflict and creating unity. Ideologically, the pioneers focused on self sacrifice and ascetic life style, agricultural and manual work to build the nation, and self reliance. Additionally, as discussed by S.N. Eisentstadt the pioneers had a contradictory tendency to be egalitarian amongst themselves, but elitist towards others, which created sectarian tendencies. 21 Over time the pi oneer ideology became institutionalized within the Yishuv the Jewish community in Palestine before independence, and continued a fter independence. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 19 Calvin Goldscheider, Israel's Changing Society: Population, Ethnicity, and Developm ent. [Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1996], 23 24 20 S.N. Eisenstadt, "Israeli Identity: Problems in the Development of the Collective Identity of an Ideological Society," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 370 (March 1967): 117 21 Ibid, 118


! "# Under the State of Israel, the Zionist ideology and its symbols became ingrained within policies and collect ive Israeli identity. This ideological nature of collective Israeli identity became problematic. Eisenstadt argues that cleavages (regional and secular religious) will emerge thus breaking down the institutional basis of the collective identity. He conclu des that the assimilation to a singular Israeli collective identity has absorbed these cleavage issues for the most part and the litmus test for Israeli identity is its continued ability to do so. 22 The East West Cultural Divide As Eisenstadt argued in 197 0, the ability to absorb ethnic, religious/ secular, and class based cleavages will be the greatest problem faced by Israeli collective identity and that problem continues to be an issue for Israel. The East West divide the Ashkenazi versus Mizrahi divide is arguably the most pronounced cleavage, because the ethnicity correlates with social standing and often times religiosity. Ashkenazi Jews tend to be more secular, be in positions of power, and have higher so cio economic standing. Mizrahi Jews tend to be more religious and have lower socio economic standing. It is crucial to note, these distances reflect nothing inherent in ethnic differences, but reflect a history of cultural dominance and differential access to education. The preexisting differenc es in socioeconomic background of various groups may reinforce and impact the stratificatio n between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews. Because of existing differences in socioeconomic positions of immigrants prior to immigration may reinforce the stratification between Eastern and Western groups. 23 For example most of the Jews from Ethiopia arrived in Israel with nothing, and came from a pre industrialized society !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22 Ibid, 123 23 Lee E. Dutter, "Eastern and Western Jews: Ethnic Divisions in Israeli Society," The Middle East Journal 31, no.4 (Autumn 1997): 453


! "# whereas Soviet and other European Jews arrive with poss essions and skills applicable in Israel Th is in turn determines which jobs an immigrant is able to obtain upon immigration. Upon immigration disparities continue because the government is not adequately addressing them as well as because of continuing racism towards Mizrahi Jews. 24 The absorption process is a contributing factor to the ethnic based stratification. A metaphor of a melting pot is utilized in describing absorption of new immigrants into Israel. The Hebrew term misug galuyot, literally meaning integration is used, yet in practice the mixing and integration means "the Ashkenization of the Sephardim ." 25 Despite the semantics of mixing, the mixing is not equal, "it often seemed to denote little more than Remodeling the Oriental immigrant to bring him up to our level' and mak e him something that he is not. The result has been deculturation, marginalization, educational and cultural deprivation." 26 The "Ingathering of Exiles" task is given to bureaucracies which given initial help to new immigrants. Europeans had an easier time adjusting after immigration, whereas many groups arriving from the Islamic countries were separated from their intellectual elites and did not have leadership. 27 "Along with the perception of success in absorbing immigrants from European countries and of t he lack of such success with many groups from the Islamic countries evolved the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 Ibid., 453 25 Henry Toledano, "Time to Stir the Melting Pot," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, [New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973] 3 35 26 Ibid, 336 (quoting N issim Rejwan ) 27 Celia S. Heller, "The Emerging Consiousness of the Ethnic Problem among the Jews of Israel," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, [New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973], 319


! "# dichotomous labels and characterizations of the two multicultural categories." 28 Derogatory terms and negative stereotypes for various groups developed over time. Inequality be tween Mizrahi and Ashkenazi groups exists in positions of power. Ethnic stratification is structured, and continues across generations and Mizrahi Jews are increasingly viewing Israel as a closed society. 29 The Black Panther Movement, which emerged out of 1 971 Jerusalem initially brought attention to the ethnic inequality issue amongst groups of Jews in Israel. 30 "A group of youths of N orth African or Middle Eastern p arentage staged demonstrations about income inequality and having learned the lessons of the mass media called themselves the black panthers." 31 Bias towards Ashkenazi culture presents itself in many aspects of Israeli society, but is particularly noticeable in the education and the curriculum biased towards European tradition. 32 The role of the ed ucational system as a nationalist tool of socialization is crucial in understanding the continued disparities between Jews of Western and Eastern descent. "Israel's school system is designed to serve the government's nation building goals, and Zionism is the government's guiding philosophy. Zionism defined here as the modern nationalism of European Jews transplanted to the Middle East." 33 Schools instill Israeli ideology of patriotism and the "pioneering spirit" of the founders of the state. As expressed prior to independence, the use of the Hebrew language was and continues to be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 28 Heller 319 29 Heller, 322 30 Heller, 313 31 Howard Pack, "Income Distribution and Economic Development: The Case of Israel," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, [New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973]: 184 32 Toledano, 340 33 Colman Brez Stein, "Israeli Policy toward Sephardi Schooling," Comparative Education Review 29, no. 2 (May 1985), 204


! "# an important component of Israeli collective identity and n ationalism. 34 This is visible through the absorption programs of the state, particularly the ulpan The ulpan is an intensive Hebrew program for new immigrants to Israel to improve or begin learning the Hebrew language. Each ulpan has a cultural component The ulpan framework offers a special culture basket designed to familiarize new immigrants with the country trips, lectures, seminars, and holiday and special events." 35 The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Senior Division for Community Absorption take s care of this process. It is responsible for the establishment of policy regarding ulpans and in establishing new programs along with the Ministry of Education and the Jewish agency. 36 Israel starts the nationalization of new immigrants upon arrival thro ugh its absorption policies, yet the role of education does not end there. The absorption centers, particularly in the case of the Ethiopian Jews is the initial point of contact upon immigration. In these centers, they are acculturat ed through language ins truction, by somchot or housemother, and through occupational training. The somchot or housemothers have the most contact with immigrants and teach them basic skills s uch as how to use modern appliances, transportation, and with grocery shopping. They have however been accused of paternalism and forcing conformity. 37 After a year of Hebrew instruction the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency assess the proficiency level of the immigrant. The occupational training one receives is based on this profic iency. Thus if an immigrants Hebrew skills are deemed insufficient they are put !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 Yit zhak Kashti, "Nationhood, Modernity and Social Class in Israeli Education," British Journal of Sociology of Education 19, No. 3 (September 1998), 356 35 MOIA website, community absorption, 36 Ibid 37 Weinstein, 217


! "# into unskilled work. This employment tracking system in which different immigrant groups are put into different employment tracks exemplifies how absorption centers perpetuate inequalities. 38 Education is how one achieves higher socioeconomic status, thus it is not surprising that Mizrahi Jews with less access to education remain in lower socio economic strata of Israeli society. Perhaps their subsequent continued lower social s tatus was a product of their lack of time in school, not because of the actual education itself but the lack of socialization they were exposed to in that educational system. Prior to the founding of the State of Israel and in its early years, sectarian i ssues were avoided by this process of absorption assimilation to dominant Ashkenazi culture. Also along the lines of the "Ingathering of Exiles" is the discriminatory dispersion of jobs to new immigrants in the past. Mizrahi Jews were victim to "ethnocentr ism and internal colonialism" of the Ashkenazi officials. Europeans were given better jobs in skilled labor, and professional sectors whereas Mizrahi Jews were given factory and agriculturally based employment. 39 Improved education was the clear solution to this imbalance. In 1959, police in the Wadi Salib neighborhood of Haifa shot a North African Jew. Subsequently, North African Jews in Haifa and around the country rioted. Pressure for a "commission of inquiry" arose from the media and the evidence found by the commission exhibited clear discrimination towards Sephardi Jews particularly in the schools. This prompted the initial reforms and the Knesset special committee reviewing the educational practices towards minorities. 40 T he Education law of 1968 increased the years required in school to nine years, and introduced compensatory programs for !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 38 Ibid., 217 39 Stein, 206 40 Ibid., 209


! "# overcoming "cultural disadvantage." 41 While these reforms were meant to improve the position of Mizrahi Jews, some problems still persisted, particularly the sepa ration between the two groups. "The social stratification replicates itself by channeling the new students to lower tracks, that lead mostly to technical occupations that are not conducive to social mobility." However in the 1970s the education situation o f the Eastern Jews improved with increased access to secondary education. In recent years a move towards parental choice for their children's schools while positive could be problematic for the perpetuation of social stratification between Ashkenazi and Mi zrahi Jews. 42 Educational stratification: The Ethiopian Jews The experience of the Ethiopian Jewish community is exemplary of social stratification issue in Israel as well of the recent improvements towards a more multi cultural society. Prior to the immig ration of 50,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, the community was isolated from the rest o f World Jewry for most of it's history and thus had different practices. U pon arriving in Israel Ethiopian Jews had to adjust to a modern industrialized society, while le arning new customs and a new language, and facing discrimination and some racism. Due to the difference in practices of the Ethiopian Jews, also known as the Beta Israel, they were not permitted to immigrate to Israel under the L aw of Return until after 19 70. This delay in qualification for the Law of Return came out of the same Zionist dynamic claiming true Jewishness to be homogenous. Although the government of Israel eventually accepted the Beta Israel, under the condition that upon arrival they go throu gh a ceremonial conversion ceremony, some racism still occurs as they are perceived by the dominant Ashkenazis as primitive and are often called !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 41 Kashti, 357 42 Kashti, 360


! "# "Kushi" which is slang for black person and also slave. 43 In "Ethiopian Children in Israeli Schools: the Prospec ts for successf ul integration," Geoffrey Short points out that academic failure of minorities is thought to be a product of low self esteem. In a doll test where Ethiopian children were asked to identify with either a black or a white doll, they often chos e the white doll. Short discusses the positive results of a multicultural curriculum and how this would improve self esteem of Ethiopian children. 44 The case of the Beta Israel demonstrates the challenges presented by an immigrant society, particularly one that seeks to assimilate all inhabitants to a singular culture. Such a varied society in reality cannot achieve such an assimilation and thus those not in the dominant category are part of the lower hierarchy. The Beta Israel, who are culturally, religiou sly, and physically distinct were unable to quickly assimilate into the Israeli cultural landscape. Ethiopian Jews and other minorities would benefit from a change in the m elting pot ideology to one that fully acknowledges the plurality of Jewish culture Non western cultures would be further validated. In recent years Israeli society has made steps towards multiculturalism with the acceptance and celebration of the Ethiopian festival Sigd each year in Jerusalem. Although "the melting pot" still exists and barriers to acceptance still exist particularly with family purity and Ethiopians stricter religious practices regarding separation of menstruating women. 45 Ethiopian culture has more traditional views regarding women in the realms of employment, premarita l behavior, and menstrual !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 43 Geoffrey Short, "Ethiopian Children in Israeli Schools: The Prospects for Successful Integration," Comparative Education 31, No. 3 (November 1995): 356 44 Short, 359 45 Short, 361


! "# purity. Thus Ethiopian women have been encouraged to make their own decisions regarding these issues in an effort to assimilate them to modern Israeli culture. 46 Jewish Arab Divide Discussion of the Arab population is relevant to this thesis because of its relation to issues of inclusion and exclusion in Israeli society. While the Mizrahi Jew is lower in the hierarchy in Israel, Arabs particularly Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are outside of the political framework. They are considered outsiders because they are not part of the Zionist framework. The gatekeepers of society are those that control immigration and citizenship laws, the Ministry of Interior, which is headed by ultra Orthodox that seek to maintain the Jewish ch aracter of the state. This separation occurs for a variety of reasons, namely security concerns and fear of the "other." The Palestinian population in Israel is often viewed as a "hostile minority," which leads to separation. This structural stratificatio n occurs physically, socially, in education, economic opportunity, and politically. Additionally, it is unclear at times as to whether this division is a question of religion or ethnicity? 47 The answer appears to be both as there is a differentiation between the situation of the Christian Palestinian population and that of the Muslim Palestinian population. The socioeconomic structure of Israel starts with Ashkenazi Jews at the top, followed by Mizrahi Jews, followed by Christian Palestinians, and Muslim Palestinians at the bottom 48 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #$ Steven Kaplan and Hagar Salamon "Ethiopian Jews in Israel: A Part of the People or Apart from the People?" in Jews in Israel 136 47 Goldscheider, 27 48 Vered Kraus and Yuval Yonay, "The Power and Limits of Ethnonationalism: Palestinians and Eastern Jews in Israel, 1974 1991," in Stratifi cation in Israel: Class Ethnicity, and Gender. [New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2004], 207


! "# While Arabs do have citizenship rights within Israel, these rights are accompanied by many restraints including, "limited political expression, geographic regi onal concentration, and powerful informal rules about geographic mobility and residence marriage and social activities, and hence about access to economic opportunities, social integration, and quality education." 49 And while gaps between groups have decre ased over the years the tiered structure of Israeli society remains intact. Regarding physical separation, the Palestinian population lives in primarily three areas: the Galilee, the Little Tria ngle, and the Negev 50 The Galilee is the mountainous north of Israel. The Little Triangle refers to an area south east of Haifa. The Negev is the desert in the south of Israel. To reiterate, this thesis is discussing those Palestinians, or Arab Israelis living in Israel proper not the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. T h e Palestinian population has a separate schooling system. And while there is a separation in educational systems increasingly more Palestinians are becoming educated; however, the Palestinian economy cannot accommodate the increased number of educated work ers. Subsequently, these workers are forced to work in the Jewish controlled economy 51 Majid Al Haj argues that the separate educational systems are a means of cultural control. the model that guides policy on Arab education is based on administrative an d s ectarian separation, with Jewish control of the administration, staffing, resources, and most important of all, the content of the school system. Its main objective has been to legitimize the ideology of the state (as a Jewish Zionist state), enhance lo yalty to the state, maintain order and stability, and educate for a Jewish Arab coexistence in which Arabs accept their inferior status. 52 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 49 Goldscheider, 27 50 Majid Al Haj, "The Status of the Palestinians in Israel: A Double Periphery in an Ethno National State." in Critical Issues in Israe li Society. [Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004], 111 51 Ibid., 116 52 Ibid., 115 116


! "# Despite the ability to participate in the political process, n o Arab political party has ever been allowed to be a full part of a c oalition government 53 Palesti nians do not participate in the mandatory service in the Israeli Defe nse Forces in the same manner as the Jewish population 54 In order for better relations between Arabs and Jews, the two groups need to intera ct with one another. Merging the education system to be one teaching both Hebrew and Arabic, while a seemingly drastic step would change relations greatly. The initial integration of Sephardim and Ashkenazim into the same schools was too met with great opp osition. 55 Exclusion of Arabs from the mandatory military service further solidifies their exclusion from society because like the education sy stem, the Israeli Defense Force is the other main organ of socialization in Israeli society. Post Zionist Critiqu es In addressing the problems of the "Ingathering of Exiles," it is useful to consider two components of the post Zionist debates: the role of the Arab question and the reality of plurality amongst Jews and Israelis. In the context of this thesis, these are the problems most pertinent to the fractious nature of Israeli society and politics. Shelilat Hagalut, meaning the negation of the Diaspora, is ultimately embodied by the Law of Return, and thus the idea that all Jews are part of a single nation and must return to the ancient homeland in order to solve the "Jewish problem." This Jewish problem is also portrayed as singular, but is contested. In the same light the notion of a single Jewish people is problematic: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 53 Ibid., 115 $% Rustum Bastuni, "The Arab Israelis," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, [New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973]: 414 55 I bid 414


! "" Whereas Zionist discourse represented t he Jewish homeland and the Jewish state as the vehicle for unifying the Jewish people, the result of establishing the state has been quite different. The state of Israel, by concentrating Jews of diverse religious and ethnic groups in one place, has had th e effect of sharpening the differences among them. The Jewish population in the state of Israel has been increasingly fragmented by the growing conflict between religious and secular groups over the nature of "Jewish identity. In addition, ethnic divisions among Jews have been sharpened. The multi ethnic character of the state has precluded the realization of the Zionist vision of a unified national culture. 56 The fractious nature of Israeli society plays out within the political arena of the Knesset and the coalition process. As pointed out by the above quote from The Post Zionism Debates, the reality is a state rife with ethnic and religious divisions. Subsequent to this fact, no party in the Knesset has ever achieved a simple majority, thus the mul ti party system utilizes the coalition government to do business. The major parties make individual agreements with smaller parties for their support. Such agreements create the contradictory marriage of the secular parties with the ultra Orthodox Agudat Y israel and Shas giving them authority over the key ministries determining inclusion and exclusion through legislation dictating Jewish identity, religion, and immigration within Israel. Also the initial tendency by the founding Zionist leaders to gloss over the Arab issue continues to present challenges for the Israeli state. Amos Elon's critique of Zionism lies with the problem of "normalization of Jewish life" The early Zionists proclaimed their hope to "normalize" Jewish life. They wanted to take a ho liday from Judaism as it had exited throughout two millennia. But as the Arab Israeli conflict intensified, with little if any hope of reconciliation, it became evident that even in Israel, there was to be no holiday. (Elon 1971, 24) 57 Just as Zionist ideo logy failed to recognize the reality of many Jewish peoples, it failed to acknowledge the reality of Arab peoples in Palestine. These ideological voids are the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 56 Silberstein, 81 57 quoted in Ibid, 53


! "# basis for two of the most contentious debates in Israeli society: "who is a Jew" and the role of the Palestinian. Conclusion The melting pot, the most widely used metaphor for Israeli society, while an admirable goal for a society is not the reality that has existed or exists currently in Israel. The term insinuates a society where all cultures are mixed together and bonded in some way. Immigrant societies are faced with the issue of assimilation and absorption of the new arrivals all over the world. America faces the same issue where immigrants were exp ected to assimilate into white P rotestant dom inated society. In order for this to be achieved groups must leave behind their own cultural attributes for acceptance into American society. Since over 200 years have passed since the founding of the United States, this problem has improved, if only sligh tly. However, as clearly expressed by the recent immigration debate in Arizona over illegal Mexican immigrants, and the desire to build a wall along the US Mexico border tensions regarding "the other" are maintained. As Israel continues on its journey th r ough statehood it would behoove policy makers to addr ess issues of inequality among Jewish groups and between Jews and Arabs in social, political, and educational spheres. Furthermore, the multiparty political system and coalition bargaining perpetuates the Israeli stratification dilemma. The following chapter describes the Israeli political system and the role of coalition agreements in maintaining debate over the "who is a Jew" argument and the boundaries of inclusion in Israel. The chapter utilizes th e current discussion regarding conversion and the proper authority on the matter to show how these contentious issues remain so in Israeli consciousness.


! "# V. Israeli Political System: Coalitions, Cleavages, and Policy Zionist ideology posits the process of "Ingathering of Exiles," will complete the process of Shelilat Hagalut or the negation of the Diaspora. This would return all of world Jewry from exile and incorporate the Jewish people into the State of Israel. As a result of the mass immigration of people from all o ver the world, with a variety of cultures and histories, albeit all Jewish in some sense, division arose in Israeli society. Such cleavages originate in ethnicity, social status, political affiliation, and religious practice. In addition to the ethnic div isions between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews and the correlation of one s ethnic status and social status, Israel is deeply divided on issues of religiosity dati versus lo dati These issues and divisions play themselves out within the multiparty political s ystem. Because of the necessity in coalition making in forming a government the secular political parties of Israel must make concessions to the more religious parties in order to create a government One such concession is control over key cabinet positio ns in the government pa rticularly the Ministry of the I nterior. Due to the nature of Israeli democracy, based on a multiparty system, debate on contentious subjects is recurrent and often times unresolved. Policies regarding issues of controversial nature correspond with the ideals of the controlling party Thus religious parties such as the Mizrahi party Shas often hold the cabinet position of Minister of Interior because of the Ministry of Interior's role in creating policy relating to immigration. In this way the religious values of the ultra O rthodox have bearing on the lives of the Israeli population both secular and observant. The Ministry of the Interior is of particular concern to this thesis due to its role in immigration policy and implementatio n of the Law of Return, thus putting the


! "# controlling faction in the position of gatekeeper of society. The Ministry decides, "who is a Jew" within the framework of citizenship laws and the Law of Return. This chapter will give an overview of the Israeli political system and the major political parties and blocs. I will explore the affect of proportional representation in the Knesset and its role in creating and perpetuating the fractious nature of Israeli society through the multi party system The multip arty system generates the need for co ali tions in government formation. Furthermore, this chapter will explore the effect of political bargaining on pol icy vis ˆ vis the control of rel i gious parties on k ey ministries. Th e chapter will conclude with a discus sion of the current proposed conversion bill as a case study for the religious secular divide. Ultimately, this chapter seeks to explains how changing policies in Israel vis ˆ vis the struggle for political power between the religious and secular affect immigration policy. Structure of the Political System In June, 1950 the first Knesset decided a constitution would be written at a later time and Israel adopted the Basic Laws, which "articulate the formal requirements of the system in specific areas of activity, thereby providing a written framework for governmental action." 1 Israel is a self defined Jewish state with a parliamentary governmental system. The main institutions are the cabinet and the parliament of Knesset. 2 The Knesset or parliament of the State of Israel is the supreme political authority in the State. It is a unicamer al body with 120 members who are elected for four year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Bernard Reich, "Chapter 11: State of Israel ed. David E. Long, Bernard Reich, and Mark Gasiorowski The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa, 5th Edition, [Boulder, Colorado: W estview Press, 2007], 327 2 Reich, 328


! "# terms. During elections for the Knesset in Israel, voters cast ballots for parties and not individual candidates. Each party has a list of candidates (up to 120) which voters rate according to preferen ce. In order to gain a seat in the Knesset a party has to have at least 2.0% of the votes cast. The distribution of seats among the party lists is determined by dividing the number of valid votes obtained by all lists that secured the minimum percentage b y the number of Knesset members and the result is set as a quota for each Knesset seat. Each list receives the nearest whole number of seats thus determined each party fills its seats in the order the candidates are listed on the party's election list. 3 Countries have different party systems that are correlated with the type of electoral system in place. Simple majority electoral systems tend to produce a bipartisan party structure whereas proportional electoral systems generate multiparty systems. Due t o Israel's proportional electoral system, a simple majority has never been held in the Knesset or the pre existing bodies during the British Mandate in P a l e s t i n e 4 Thus coalitions must be formed between parties to create a government. Coalition formation is a difficult task because each party and leader has its own set of interests and concerns and, seeks to maximize its gain from its participation in and support of the prime minister's government. Each party leader wants ministerial slots, concessions on policy matters, and funding for institutions, as well as patronage and positions fro party loyali sts. Parties traditionally sought control of certain ministries that focused matters of their central interest thus religious parties traditionally focused on the Ministry of Religious Affairs, until its dismantlement, the Ministry of Education, and the Mi nistry of the Interior. 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 Ibid, 329 4 Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Israel: A Country Study, [Washington D.C., Federal Research Dvision, Library of Congress, 1990], 210 5 Reich, 333


! "# Control over the Ministry of the Interior is sought because among other responsibilities, it has control over who is registered as a Jew and who becomes a c i t i z e n 6 Like many current realities in Israeli society and politics th e cooperation between the secular and religious factions dates back to pre state Palestine and the Yishuv In 1947, David Ben Gurion the then head of the Jewish Agency wrote a letter to the anti Zionist group Agudat Yisrael now known as the Status Quo Agre ement: Then, on the eve of statehood, the Jewish Agency was eager to ensure the united support of the Jewish people for the new Jewish homeland. Agudat Yisrael was to be brought into the fold and the fears of other religious groupings assuaged by the promi se that the new State would do nothing to undermine Orthodoxy's established position within the Jewish community. Specifically, the letter promised that Saturday would be set aside as the national day of rest; Jewish dietary laws would be observed in all k itchens under government control; religious courts would maintain exclusive jurisdiction over marriage and divorce; and the full autonomy of every religious tendency in education would be respected by the future s t a t e 7 This agreement carried over to the coalition formation process after the formation of the State of Israel. Due to the inability to achieve a Knesset majority, the historically secular major political blocs must create coalition governments. Religious parties w ork with non religious partie s in order to achieve certain aims, namely control over the before mentioned m i n i s t r i e s 8 They are willing to be a part of a coalition government in exchange for policy concessions and thus because of their crucial role in coalition formation, the ultra or thodox parties maintain a great deal of power and clout in Israeli politics. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Reich, 333 7 Jonathan Marcus, "Israel: The Politics of Piety," The World Today 42, no. 11 (November 1986), 189 8 Asher Arian, "Israel: The Challenge of a Democratic and Jewish State," in Secularism Women and The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21 st Century ed. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, [Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, 2009], 78


! "# Once Knesset elections occur, coalition negotiations have taken place, and a government formed a vote of confidence or no confidence takes place Knesset functions include legis lating, formation of national policy, supervision of government administration, approving the budget and taxation, election of the president, and participation in appointment of j u d g e s 9 The President of Israel is a ceremonial figure and head of State. P owers of the president include signing treaties ratified by the Knesset appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives, granting of pardons, appo intment of judges and dayanim ( Jewish religious judges), and signing of all laws passed by the K n e s s e t 10 The Prime Minister of Israel is the most powerful position in the sy stem and is the Knesset member chosen to form a government with cabinet members chosen usually from the members of the Knesset but not always. After the formation of the government th e Knesset a vote of confidence the government will stay in power unless th ere is a vote of no confidence. H owever, the government can also dissolve on its own accord, by ending the Knesset's tenure, or if the prime minister r e s i g n s 11 The last component of the Israeli political system is the judicial system. It is made up of both religious and civil courts. Each religion has its own religious c o u r t s 12 The religious courts make decisions regarding marriage and divorce. There are no civil unions within Israel giving the ultra Orthodox groups that hold the monopoly over the Jewish court, the Chief Rabbinate greater capacity to dictate matters of Jewish identity. The Multiparty System !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 9 Reich, 329. 10 Ibid, 328 11 ibid, 329 12 Ibid, 330


! "# The coalition bargaining process that takes place between the major secular p arties and the minority religious parties originates in the multiparty system of the Knesset Because the minority party in this case the religious party is necessary for the establishment of the government, they have significant leverage in the bargaining process, allowing them to gain cabinet positions they desire. Historically the two dominant political blocs have been the Labor party ( Avodah ) and Likud representing the left and right respectively. Labor dominated during the Yishuv up through 1977, when the election of Likud led by Menachem Begin ended the dominance of the Labor party. Following the election of 1984, the national unity government was formed in which Likud and Labor shared power through the rotation of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir betwe en the positions of prime minister and foreign m i n i s t e r 13 Following the rotation government, power alternated between Labor and Likud In 2006, a centrist party formed when Ariel Sharon split with Likud creating K a d i m a 14 Kadima and Likud currently hold the highest number of seats in the Knesset with 28 and 17 seats respectively. And while the major political parties are secular, these secular parties must work with and make concessions to the religious parties in order to gain their support for a coalition government. The religious parties in Israel are dominated by the ultra Orthodox and by religious Zionists. They seek, "to gain theological ends by means of political a c t i v i t y 15 The following section outlines the diversity existing within the religious c amp. Types of Religious Parties Religious Zionists !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 13 Ibid., 336 14 Ibid., 347 15 Metz 220


! "# Religious Zionists are parties such as the National Religious Party and Gush Emunim. These parties hold that politics are always religious because they serve the ultimate end of messianic r e d e m p t i o n 16 Religious Zionist parties promote the settlement of the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, today known as the West Bank. 17 They are the most willing to cooperate with the secular Zionist enterprise by partnerships with Labor and later with Likud, and thr ough military service in the Israeli Defense F o r c e s 18 The Haredim Of greater significance to the question of immigration are the ultra Orthodox parties. The three main parties include: Agudat Yisrael Shas and Degel Hatorah Generally, the members of thes e parties do not consider themselves part of the Zionist enterprise, and have their own organizations and participate in the political system of Israel in a limited capacity. The success of religious parties rests on their pivotal role in coalition formati on. They are able to gain concessions on issues because the secular parties need their support for government formation. "To ensure their support, Israeli governments (led by either Labor or Likud ) have allowed them unusual privileges, such as exempting th eir sons from army service (daughters are completely exempt) and allowing their sons to study in yeshivas instead, and allowing them to maintain an independent school system funded by public monies yet not controlled by the ministry of e d u c a t i o n 19 Further more rulings on issues of Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16 Ezra Kopelowitz, "Religious Politics and Israel's Ethnic Democracy," Israel Studies 6, no. 3 (Fall 2001) 177 17 Eliezer Ben Rafael "The Faces of Religiosity in Israel: Cleavages or Continuum?" Israel Studies 13, no. 3 (Fall 2008), 98 9 18 Arian, 85 19 Arian, 86


! "# definition of "who is a Jew," marriage, divorce, Shabbat observance, and abortion have all gone in favor of the religious p a r t i e s 20 Agudat Yisrael an Ashkenazi ultra Orthodox party was founded in Poland in 1 9 1 2 21 Its members differentiate themselves through their dress of black suits and wide brimed top hats for men and wigs for women, and in the past through the use of Yiddish as opposed to Hebrew; however, they now speak Modern Hebrew as well They believe themselves to practice the only "true J u d a i s m 22 Agudat Yisrael had two major splits. In 1983, Mizrahim left because of discrimination creating the Shas party. In 1988, Degel Hatorah, a Ashkenazi party split from Agudat Y i s r a e l 23 Shas deve loped out of traditionalist of North African and Middle Eastern Jews with their underprivileged status as a catalyst for this movement. And due to the more traditional quality of their base communities, they have a larger following than the Ashkenazi Ortho dox p a r t i e s 24 However, like the Ashkenazi parties, Shas postulates that they practice the "true Judaism" and view non religious Jews as potential religious Jews that they can bring back to a religious way of l i f e 25 Shas aspiration to "conquer" Israeli Ju daism may also be viewed as an attempt to capitalize on Mizrahim 's weight in the Israeli population to endow them a new status vis ˆ vis the Jewish w o r l d 26 Consistent with past coalition governments these religious parties hold power over the desired mi nistries, such as the current Shas control over the Ministry of the Interior under Eli Yishai. This control allows for the ultra Orthodox "true Judaism" to be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 Ibid, 88 21 Reich, 222 22 Ben Rafael, 94. 23 Kopelowtiz, 175 24 Ben Rafael, 96 7 25 Kopel owitz, 175 26 Ben Rafael, 98


! "# applied to the rest of the population, secular or otherwise, particularly in issues of Jewish identity and citizenship. The Minist ry of Interior As discussed previously, control of the Ministry of Interior is desirable for parties, specifically those religious parties and secular parties who wish to control policy on immigration and who is registered and defined as a Jew. The Minist ry of Interior, amongst its other duties acts as the custodian of the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in Israeli society on matters relating to Jewish identity. Religious parties desire to control this position because they view ultra Orthodox Judai sm as the only "true Judaism." Secular parties such as those dominated by Russian immigrants seek control because of controversy over their J e w i s h n e s s 27 This section focuses on the dominance of religious control of this ministry as a concession for coaliti on support. Functions of the Ministry of the Interior The Ministry of Interior's responsibilities include anything related to internal affairs of the State of Israel. These include supervision of the social and economic policies of local authorities, reg ulation of legal status of Israeli residents, issues of citizenship, immigration, and the census. The Ministry also deals with matters of physical planning, controls emergency services, organizes elections and has jurisdiction over elections, and enforces construction and planning l a w s 28 The functions most relevant to this thesis are those related to immigration, residency, and issues of Jewish identity. The relevant departments are the Registry and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Arian, 86 28 Israel Minis try of Foreign Affairs. Ministry of the Interior April 17, 2001 Israel Mnistry of Foreign Affairs Website. [accessed February 20, 2011].


! "" Passport Department, the Visas and Aliens Department, th e Citizenship Department, and the Population Registry Department. The Visas and Aliens Department is of significant importance as it is the body, which regulates entry and exit into the country and implements the Law of Return and the Entry into Israel Law As a result of the power to implement policy pertaining to the Law of Return, this department controls who is permitted to immigrate under this law, meaning whoever controls this department defines who is Jewish and who is able to register as a Jew and m ake a liyah A reason for rising contentions regarding immigration, especially under the Law of Return, resulted from the massive immigration of the extended Jewish community of the former Soviet Union. The extended Jewish community includes Jews and their family members who may or may not be Jewish according to halacha. With the sizable influx of Russian immigrants during the 1980s and the 1990s, the question of Jewishness became of more concern. Because of the fact that many of these recent immigrants ar e not Jewish according to halacha but were able to become citizens of Israel under the Law of Return the boundaries of "who is a Jew" is further blurred. In this case people are Jewish enough to qualify for the right to live in the Jewish state, but not Je wish enough to fully participate in it. The following quote is an example of people that fall into this grey category, meaning it shows how the Law of Return and the amendments of it allow for the inclusion of the expanded Jewish community. It is relevant to this thesis because such examples complicate the relationship between the Law of Return and the Ministry of Interior. When the Ministry of Interior is held by the ultra Orthodox Jewishness is defined differently than the Law of Return, which includes re latives of Jews. The law includes an expanded Jewish community, whereas the policies


! "# defining a Jew according to halacha is contradictory to the inclusion of the greater community. The waves of Russian immigration underscored the Orthodox rabbinate's mono poly over marriage and conversion. The Law of Return granted every Jew in the world the right to immigrate to Israel. Passed in 1950 in the shadow of the Holocaust, the question of "who is a Jew" seemed simple. Whoever the Nazis identified as a Jew and sen t to the death camps was to be offered refuge in the newly established state. The anomaly of admitting non Jews to the country as Israeli citizens did not occur to lawmakers in Israel's formative years. The 1952 Law of Citizenship granted citizenship grant ed citizenship to every Jew, his or her spouse, and their children and grandchildren. A single Jewish grandparent was sufficient enough to secure the right to citizenship upon immigration to Israel. Granting Israeli citizenship had no bearing on the Orthod ox rabbinate's determination of whether the person was, or was not, a Jew. Stories abound of immigrants tracing their rights to Israeli citizenship to a grandparent who had no connection to Judaism other than an accident of birth. Imagine a young Bolshevik whose progeny, decades later came to Israel. Or a Jewish woman in Kurdistan who married a Muslim man and bore him nine sons. Eventually, she was allowed to enter Israel along with her family of 170 people children, grandchildren, and their spouses. Were A mericans to contemplate immigrating to Israel under existing rules, perhaps as many as 20 million people would be eligible under the Law of R e t u r n 29 While the debate surrounding the question, "who is a Jew" recurs often in Israel as a result of the wide variety in people, the definition remains as it is according to the 1970 amendment of the Law of Return as a person born to a Jewish mother, or some one who converts to J u d a i s m 30 The definition of a Jew according to h alacha is a further testament to the ul tra Orthodox monopoly over matters of religion in the state of Israel. Previously mentioned in chapter 3 of this thesis other streams of Judaism within world Jewry, such as the Reform movement in America, hold different criteria for Jewishness, namely the acceptability of patrilineal descent. Whereas in Israel, religion and nationalism are intertwined and due to the ultra Orthodox monopoly on religion that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29 Arian, 82 30 Ibid., 82


! "# means nationalism and Orthodox Judaism are intertwined in government p o l i c y 31 The monopoly extends in to the lives of secular Jews and prevents those who are not Jewish from marrying in the country, as the ultra Orthodox rabbinate will not sanction a marriage if there is a question over one partner's J e w i s h n e s s 32 Shas control over the Ministry of Interior goes back to 1980s with Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz who served as Minister until 1987. "As minister of the interior, Rabbi Peretz became a source of controversy as a result of his promoting religious fundamentalism in g e n e r a l 33 Despite this controversy, Shas ma intains control over the Ministry of the Interior to this day, with Eli Yishai as current minister of the Interior. The most current rendering of the "who is a Jew" debate surrounds the conversion bill introduced by the party Yisrael Beiteinu Who is a Jew ? And the Conversion Debate The controversy regarding conversion is by no means a recent development in Israel. Under the National Unity government in the 1980s, the then Minister of Finance Shimon Peres and the Labour party disagreed with the religious c amp on their desire to narrow the definition of a Jew under the Law of Return to be someone born to a Jewish mother or someone who had converted according to Orthodox religious l a w 34 In 2010 the secular Russian party Yisrael Beiteinu sponsored two related bills regarding the issue of conversion in the Knesset. One of them initially sought to make conversion of Russian immigrants easier by giving the jurisdiction to local rabbis; however, after the necessary negotiations with the ultra Orthodox parties, the bill came to give ultimate jurisdiction !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 31 Ibid. 80 32 Ibid., 83 33 Metz 223 $% Marcus, 190 1


! "# officially to the Chief Rabbinate. Due to the ultra Orthodox dominance of the Chief Rabbinate, this bill very quickly became controversial both in Israel and with the Diaspora community particularly in the United Sta tes. As a consequence the office of the Prime Minister issued a sixth month moratorium on the bill. The second bill, known in the press as the IDF Conversion Bill, sought to give equal authority of conversions performed in the IDF. This bill too was recei ved with controversy. The question of conversion who can perform them and who decides their validity are an extension of the "who is a Jew" debate. Yisrael Beiteinu campaigned during the last election to address the conversion problem for its electorate. The Knesset member David Rotem, the sponsor of the bill, stated it would allow lower level rabbis to authorize conversion, thus making it easier for Russian immigrants to convert. "We have a problem with about 400,000 people who came to Israel who, accord ing to Jewish Law, are not Jewish. They are part of the State of Israel; they join the army, they live here, they contribute to the economy. I am trying to make it easier for them to convert," said R o t e m 35 This is a problem because only one measuring stick is used in determining Jewishness in Israel and because of the Zionist need to maintain the "Jewish" character of the state. If being "Jewish" according to h alacha was not the sole component in being allowed to participate fully in Israeli society, conver sion would not be a decisive issue in the way it is today. Again the nature of coalition politics affects the policy. Yisrael Beiteinu in its position as a coalition member, made concessions to the ultra Orthodox parties. "Their condition has been to giv e final authority on conversion to the rabbinate, the highest, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 35 Adam Mynot, BBC News, Jerusalem "Row Rages over defining who is a Jew," BBC News, Jerusalem. July 20, 2010 middle east 10688920 [accessed February 20, 2011].


! "# Orthodox Jewish order in the c o u n t r y 36 Giving final authority on conversion to the ultra Orthodox establishment is contentious for many Jews, because they do not adhere to the same practices a nd beliefs. However, Rotems's assumption is that the Chief Rabbinate is not entirely ultra Orthodox but, modern Orthodox and religious Zionist as well. Nonetheless giving the sole authority of conversion to the ultra Orthodox Chief Rabbinate is problematic for the Diaspora community, which is primarily not Orthodox, because many will not be included by the ultra Orthodox definition of J e w i s h e n s s 37 The stipulation in the bill for a conversion to be considered valid is that the convert must have "accepted the Torah and the commandments according to Halacha ." This causes the concern of the Diaspora Jews that they will be excluded from this d e f i n i t i o n 38 Subsequent to the controversy surrounding this issue the bill was put on moratorium for six months and re emerged in the winter of 2010 2011 only to be met with more controversy and put on moratorium once again. In December 2010 a bill also introduced by Yisrael Beiteinu was proposed to address IDF conversions. Religious parties were concerned about the validity of IDF conversions and the bill seeks to solve this issue. Shas opposes this bill. "Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, a protŽgŽ of [ Shas foun der Rabbi] Yosef's proposed that someone from his office sign off on all IDF conversions thereby ensuring that they are deemed valid by the Chief Rabbinate and pledged to personally see to it that all conversions are approved. But Yisrael Beitenu rejected the idea, terming it a crude attempt by Shas to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36 Ibid. 37 Yair Ettinger, "The Conversion bill Demystified," J uly, 13, 2010 edition/news/the conversion bill demystified 1.301565 [accessed February 26, 2011]. 38 ibid.


! "# amass more p o w e r 39 In January 2011, the moratorium on the initial conversion bill was extended yet it is not clear if that included the IDF bill as well. The initial moratorium from the Prime Minister's off ice occurred because the proposal is alienating to the large Jewish community in America, whose support whose support Israel needs. Non Orthodox communities both in Israel and abroad are thankful for the extension because it gives more time for inclusive d iscussion on the debate that will hopefully promote the united of the Jewish people. Yizhar Hess CEO of the Masorti or Conservative, movement in Israel stated, "principles on conversion should not be set without the broad agreement of all parts of the Jew ish p e o p l e 40 Furthermore there is the additional issue of Orthodox converts from abroad not being recognized for Israeli citizenship. The Jewish agency appealed the Interior Ministry for a greater role in determining which conversions should be accepted "Recent Reports that the Interior Ministry is consulting with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate are disturbing. Those Orthodox rabbinical leaders in the United States who are content with such an arrangement represent only one slice of the North American Ortho dox Jewish community and do not represent us or our c o n s t i t u e n c i e s 41 The Jewish Agency resolution seeks to address the problem of the Interior Ministry consulting with the Chief Rabbinate on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 39 Jonathan Liz, Mazal Mualem, and Yair Ettinger "Yisrael Betitenu facing off against Shas over IDF Conversion Bill," December 15, 2010. http://www.haartez .com/news/national/Yisrael beiteinu facing off against shas over idf conversion bill 1.3300743 [accessed February 27, 2011] 40 Jonah Mandel, "Conversion bill moratorium extended another 6 months." January 10, 2011 Jerusalem Post Online, [accessed February 27, 2011]. 41 Jonah Mandel, ""Conversion bill moratorium extended another 6 months." January 10, 2011 Jerusalem Po st Online, [accessed February 27, 2011].


! "# matters of immigration relating to Orthodox converts. 42 The probl em with having only one group of rabbis, ultra Orthodox rabbis, make decisions on which conversions are valid worldwide, is that as Rabbi Seth Farber pointed out, "those entrusted with determining who is a Jew are often unaware of the complexities of Diasp ora Jewish l i f e 43 One might argue that it is not ignorance that presents the problem but the ultra Orthodox belief that they hold the practice of the only true Judaism, and thus there discriminatory policies towards other sects of Judaism are not out of i gnorance but out of this superiority complex. Conclusion Ultimately the debate over the conversion bill is indicative of other issues in the State of Israel. The problems include the divisive factionalism between groups and demographics and the issues presented by concessions of the major secular political blocs to the religious parties. The predicament lies in the way coalitions are formed through political bargaining. Not only is it problematic that the ultra Orthodox control these matters affecting a ll Israelis, secular or not, coalitions are formed by the dominant party making agreements with each member of the coalition s e p a r a t e l y 44 This only reinforces the fractious nature of Israeli parliamentary politics with implications for legislation that def ines Jewish identity. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 42 Jonah Mandel, "North American rabbis demand Yishai rectify injustice' February 21, 2011 Jerusalem Post Online [accessed February 27, 2011]. 43 Ibid. 44 Susan Hattis Rolef, "The Convesion Bill a nomalies," December 22, 2010 Jerusalem Post Online. http://www.jpost .com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=200621 [accessed February 27, 2011].


! "# VI. Conclusion: A Critique of Zionism and the Question of the Right to Return Postzionism and the Subjectivity of Identity In many ways this thesis unintentionally became a critique of Zionism. It was only after I read Laurence Silberstein's The Postzionism Debates that my argument had taken on such a tone. Regardless my conclusion that despite the goal of "Ingathering the Exiles," to a single Jewish Israeli culture, Israeli society is stratified and rife with tensions is reminiscent of many post Zionist critiques. My thesis research began with a question of identity and finished with the same question. I began by looking at the Israeli Law of Return as an ethnic or identity based immigration law. In comparing the Law of Return to similar laws in Germany, Croatia, and Ireland it became clear how subjective identity is. What makes someone a member of a particular group? What makes someone a member of a nation? Is it an ideal, the location of birth, or the nationality of one's parents? From that question, I explore d one component of Jewish identity in particular the historical trajectory of Zionism, both in Jewish tradition and as a nationalist movement. While exploring Jewish statehood and the ideological tenets behind Zionism, the notion of the oneness of the Jewi sh people, their union into a single nation recurred. The product of the desire to achieve this single nation, to bring the Jews out of exile and back to their natural homeland is the Law of Return itself. Ironically it is the immigrant nature of the Israe li state as promoted by the Law of Return that highlights and reinforces the differences and inequalities between groups.


! "# I next explored the effects of the Law of Return and related absorption policies meant to streamline Israeli culture and society on s ocial structure between ethnic groups. It became clear to me in investigating the nationalist policies of Israel in regards to immigration that Israeli culture was for many years synonymous with Ashkenazi Jewish culture. There was a preferable Jewish cultu re as portrayed by the placement of Ashkenazi Jews at the top of the socio political stratrum in Israel. The role of the political system concluded my study of identity. The social distances between the ethnically Ashkenazi and the Mizrahi J ews play a rol e in political cleavages. However, it is the contention between the religious and secular components of Israeli society that most impact the political arena. It is the power of the ultra Orthodox in matters of immigration and Jewish identity that puts them in the position of societal gatekeeper. While it does not go uncontested, as of now it is the minority ultra Orthodox definition of what a Jew is that reigns supreme. Heretofore, the question of "who is a Jew" remains unresolved and will continue to be unresolved in Israel and abroad as long as the Law of Return is in place. Whenever a law exists regarding a specific group of people, the question of the qualifications for membership of that group will persist. An ambiguity exists regarding such a law as the definitions of identity fluctuate due to the nature of democracy and the variety of voices and opinions within Israel. While the desire to maintain the "Jewish nature" of the State of Israel, above all else, persists, so will the question. How can on e maintain the Jewish character of something if no consensus on what it means to be Jewish exists.

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! "# The exclusion of non Jews particularly Arabs and those who are "not Jewish enough" according to the ultra Orthodox establishment will continue to be preclu ded from full participation within Israeli society. An additional question lies in the conflation of Jewish and Israeli identities. Can Jewish identity at large in the Diaspora exist outside the framework of Zionism and the Israeli state? Recent experiences tell me that many in the Jewish community would an swer no to this question. If someone is critical of Israel are they anti Semitic? And so is a Jew a member of a nation of people Israel? Or is a Jew a member of a culture an ethnic group? Is a Jew a member of a religion? The most reasonable answer is tha t a Jew can be considered any or all of these definitions as is evident by the plurality of groups within Israeli society and in the Diaspora communities, particularly the United States. Returning to t he Right of Return This discussion of the Israeli bra nd of nationalism leads to the greater discussion of nationalism and nationality at large. While the world moves increasingly towards international unions, such as the African Union or the European Union, nationalism is still very much prevalent. Reference s to nationalism recur throughout international law. For example, the right to a nationality is in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Congruent with this right to nationality, is the right of return. The world is still very much attached to the idea that people who live in a defined area, with shared cultural traits such as a language have the right to self determination, and sovereignty over that area.

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! "# A framework to understanding the Arab Israeli conflict is that the two groups hold conflict ing claims to the land as the place they each have the right to have sovereignty over and within that defined space. Jews and Israeli have the right of sovereignty and the right of return to thi s piece of land currently as expressed through the Law of Return and naturally the question of the Palestinian right to return occurs again and again through each round of peace negotiations. As mentioned in chapter 3, International law holds relevant the issues of nationalism an d self determination The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in article 13 states: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country includi ng his own, and to return to his country. 1 The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in article 12, section 4 states, "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country." 2 Within the current framework of Israeli immigration law and Israel's power of both the Palestinian territories and Israel proper, it is the Jews who hold sovereignty, with out the same rights to Palestinians, those that live in Israel and those that live in the territories. If the Palesti nians were ever to be granted the right of return in a peace agreement, how would this process be decided? Who would decide which Palestinians !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, [New York, 1948] Article 13, [accessed March 28, 2011] 2 United Nations, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI), 1966, Article 12 [4]. [accessed March 28, 2011].

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! "" had greater claim to return to their "homeland"? What would be the criteria? How Palestinian would someone need t o be? Thus, Palestinian nationalism and their right of return present similar predicaments to those of Israel. Like Israel, Palestinian society is divided on issues of politics and identity Would it be Hamas or Fatah that chose the Palestinians to "retu rn" to the homeland? Or would it stil l remain the Israeli government ? Ultimately, the greater critique to be drawn from this thesis is that of nationalism and the social and political boundaries it creates. Within the nationalist framework an insider and an outsider will persist. This was apparent in the comparison of Israel's Law of Return to the Rights of Return to other countries. Each country perceived nationality in terms of an inherited identity. The definitions of identity are constantly in flux an d are subjective, contributing to the ambiguity of identity based citizenship.

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! "## Appendix 1 Major Immigration Waves to Israel Name of Immigration Years Location Numbers First Aliyah 1882 1903 Eastern Europe (due to pogroms and anti Semitism) 35,000 Second Aliyah 1904 1914 Russia and Eastern Europe (because of pogroms and anti Semitic sentiment) 40,000 (half of which later left) Third Aliyah 1919 1923 Eastern Europe and Russia(due to pogroms of Hungary and Poland, and the October Revolution) 40,000 Fourth Aliyah 1924 1929 Eastern Europe (due to anti Jewish policies of Poland) 82,000 (23,000 later left) Fifth Aliyah 1929 1939 Europe (due to rise of Nazi party) 250,000 (20,000 later left) Aliyah Bet (illegal immigration) 1939 1948 Europe (due to Nazis and Holocaust) 60,000 Operation Magic Carpet 1949 1950 Yemen 45,000 Operation Ezra and Nehemiah 1951 Iraq 130,000 Iran 1979 Iran (due to Islamic Revolution) 30,000 Operation Moses 1984 1985 Ethiopia via Sudan (Ethiopian Jews walked to Sudan to be airlifted to Israel.) 7,000

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! "#" Operation Solomon 1991 Ethiopia 14,000 Former Soviet Union 1989 2003 Former Soviet Union States and Russia 950,000 (Numbers from

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! "#$%&'(!)%*!+,!-&./$01!203'(#4!5$%0#'%.(+0! )%*!+,!-&./$0!6789:8;69! 6!&$?!<&*!4%#!.4&!$(34.!.+! @+A&!.+.!4(#!@+/0.$?!%#!%0! +'&4BB! Oleh's visa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leh's certificate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esidents and !!S=!2>&$?!<&*!*4+!4%#!(AA(3$%.&I! (0.+!.4(#!@+/0.$?!G&,+$&!.4&!! persons born !!!!!@+A(03!(0+.!,+$@&!+,!.4(# !)%*L!%0I!&>&$?!<&*!*4+!*%#!G+$0! (0!! in this country !!!.4(#!@+/0.$?L!*4&.4&$!G&,+$&!+$ !%,.&$!.4&!@+A(03!(0.+!,+$@&!+,!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.4(#!)%*L!#4%''!G&!I&&A&I!.+!G&!!%!K&$#+0!*4+!4%#!@+A&.!.+!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4(#!@+/0.$?!%#!%0!+'&4!/0I&$!.4(#!)%*=! Implementation 6=!54&!M(0#(.&$!+,!"AA(3$% .(+0!(#!@4%$3&I!*(.4!.4&!! And regulation (AK'&A&0.%.(+0!+,!54(#!)%*!%0I! A%?!A%O&!$&3/'%.(+0#!%#!.+!! %0?!A%..&$!$&'%.(03!.+!#/@4!(A K'&A&0.%.(+0!%0I!%'#+!%#!.+! 3$%0.!+,!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!+'&4H#!>(#%#!%0I!+'&4 H#!@&$.(,(@%.&#!.+!A( 0+$#!/K!.+!.4&!%3&!+,! 8T!!!! !!!?&%$#=! 89S

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mendment of Section 2(b) BM!-(!)&1*$+(!:!C8G!+,!*3&! W/R!+,!X&*=#(?!@AB;JBF@;77!J!! CBG!*3&!,=EE!)*+H!/*!*3&!&(2!+,! H/#/.#/H3!C:G!)3/EE!8&!#&HE/1&2!89! /!)&%$J1+E+(?!/(2!*3&!R+#2!Y+#Y!)3 /EE!8&!$()&#*&2!*3&#&/,*&#!N!! C:G!*3&!,+EE+R$(.!H/#/.#/H3!)3/E E!8&!$()&#*&2!/,*&#!H/#/.#/H3! C:GV!! YCZG!$)!/!H&#)+(!R$*3!/!1#$%$(/E!H/)* ?!E$K&E9!*+!&(2/(.&#!H=8E$1!!!!!! R&E,/#&MYM Amendment of sections :M!-(!)&1*$+()!:!/(2!@!+,!*3&!W/ R?!*3&!R+#2)![<3&!'$($)*&#!+,!! 2 and 5 !!-%%$.#/*$+(\!)3/EE!8&!#&HE/1&2!89!*3&!R+#2)![<3&!'$($)*&#!+,! *3&!! !!!-(*&#$+#\M!! MOSHE SHARETT "#$%&!'$($)*&#!! B;@

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YOSEF SERLIN "#$#%&'(!)*!+',-&.! /0&#$1!"#$#%&'(!)*!&.'!2$&'(#)(!! YITZCHAK BEN-ZVI 3('%#4'$&!)*!&.'!5&,&'!! 6!3,%%'4!78!&.'!9$'%%'&!)$!&.'!:;&.!/<=!>?@;! A:B(4!/C1C%&=!@D>;E!,$4!FC7-#%.'4!#$! 5'*'(!+,GH.CII#J!K)L!@MB!)*!&.'!B(4!N-C-=! >?@;!A@%&!5'F&'J7'(=!@D>;E!FL!@?;O!&.'! P#--!,$4!,$!NQF-,$,&)(8!K)&'!R'('!FC7-#%.' 4!#$!+,&S,T)&!H.)I!K)L!@D:!)*!>?@;=!FL!UUL!! 66!5'*'(!+,GH.CII#J!K)L!>@!)*!>?@V=!FL!@>D=!W52!<)-L!2X=!@@;L!! !"#$%&$'()*+,$-./(,0/(,)$1%2$34$56789:;68< !! Addition of sections 4A and 4B @L!2$!&.'!W,R!)*!Y'&C($=!>?@VG@D>V66=!&.'!*)--)R#$1! %'0&#)$%!%.,--!7'!#$%'(&'4!,*&'(!! !!!!5'0&#)$!;Z! !!!! "Rights of members of family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efinition !! @VM

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!"#$%&'$()*$+,'+&-*-$&.$()/-$0123$45*24$6*17-$1$+*'-&7$ 2)&$21-$8&'7$&.$1$5*2/-)$6&()*'$&'$)1-$8*9&6*$ 9&7:*'(*;$(&$5,;1/-6$17;$2)&$/-$7&($1$6*68*'$&.$ 17&()*'$'*#$?7$-*9(/&7$@$&.$()*$012$&.$A*(,'73$@BCDECF@D3$()*$ .&<<&2/7=$-)1<<$8*$1;;*;$1($ ()*$*7;G$4A*=,<1(/&7-$.&'$ ()*$+,'+&-*-$&.$-*9(/&7-$!H$ 17;$!"$'*I,/'*$()*$1++'&:1<$ &.$()*$J&7-(/(,(/&73$0*=/-<1(/&7$17;$5,'/;/91<$ J&66/((**$&.$()*$K7*--*(#4$ Amendment of the Population Registry Law,5725-1965 L#$?7$()*$M&+,<1(/&7$A*=/-('N$0123$@B>@ECFO@PPPP3$()*$ .&<<&2/7=$-*9(/&7$-)1<<$8*$/7-*'(*;$1.(*'$-*9(/&7$LG$$ "Power of registration and definition $$ LH#$Q1R$H$+*'-&7$-)1<<$7&($8*$ '*=/-(*'*;$1-$1$5*2$8N$*()7/9$ 1../7;$H;1'$"*(3$ @BLD$QCD()$V1'9)3$CFBDR$17;$+,8
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! "#$ %%!&'(')!*+,-./0012!3(!45"#!67!"48!,!9&:! ;3<7!:=>!67!""?@!&'(')!*+,-./0012!A37! 45"?>!67!"5?!,!9&:!;3<7!=:::>!67!"??7!! %%%!&'(')!*+,-./0012!3(!45"B>!67!"?C!@!9&:!;3<7!=:>!67!4#7!! %%%%!&'(')!*+,-./0012!3(!45B4>!67!B5#!@!9&:!;3<7!D:D>!67!B$$7!!

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! "#$ Appendix 3 Ministry of Interior Functions: Divisions of the Ministry: 1. The Local Authority Finance and Budget Division makes decisions on financial problems of local authorities and provides municipal services to citizens. Division implements social and economic policy of the Government. a. The Budget Department prepares annual budget forecasts for local authorities and provides statistics, information, and guidelines for budget preparation. Additionally the department sets local tax rates. b. The Grants and Loan Departments distributes grants and loans to local government authorities and allocates funds from the Finance Ministr y to the local authorities. c. The Municipal Services and Development Department works on streamlining and standardizing the service and development programs of local authorities and helps assess the funding of development projects. d. The Audit and Inspec tion Unit and the Municipalities Accountant's Bureau: Auditors examine financial documents. The Audit and Inspection Unit presents conclusions to district commissioners and the local authorities and correct irregularities. The Budget Department work with f ield accountants and keep them updated with current information. e. Municipal Water Administration works in concert with the Center for Local Government and the Water Commission to provide funding to local authorities fro pipelines and waterworks. The Admi nistration works with all government ministries on the financial aspects of improving the water supply. 2. The Local Government and Administration Division is a collection of departments seeking to implement national government policy on the local level, t o develop and improve governance and improving public opinion of local government. Departments: a. Local Authorities' Manpower streamlines local authority administration' standards for manpower. b. The Local Authority Training Department offers training programs such as conferences, seminars, and workshops to local authorities to develop their human resources. c. The Local Authority Organizational Development Department designs programs and tools to improve function of local authority units.

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! ""# d. The Loc al Authorities and Corporations Department aids with organization of local authorities and amends the laws and regulations regarding the management of local authorities. e. Staff Units: The Municipal Research Department aids local authorities in the formu lation of policy and works with the Israel Academy of Sciences Humanities, universities, colleges, and research institutions. f. The Advisor for New Rural Settlements and Regional Council was appointed to aid with two problems: the decrease in importance of the agricultural sector and the adult children of settlement families who are not heirs to the parents' land. g. The National Coordinator for the Arab Sector aids the Local Government Administration in creating programs for development of Arab village and coordinates all operations of this sector. 3. Planning Authority plans at the national, regional, and town levels. This authority draws up programs, planning guidelines, land use designations, engineering surveys, and conducts monitoring and coordinat ion. 4. Population Administration works on issues regarding the personal, formal, and legal status of residents of Israel according to Government policy on citizenship and immigration. a. The Registry and Passports Department is responsible for the plann ing, management, and supervision of services regarding passports and registry according to the Passports Law, the Population Registry Law, the Identity Card Law, and the names. It is also responsible for the registration of residents of Judea Samaria and t he Gaza Strip. b. The Citizenship Department implements the Citizenship Law of 5712 1952. c. The Population Registry Department collects registration details and gathers information from other ministries, the IDF, and other institutions. d. The Border Checks Department records the movement of Israelis and aliens across border posts. 5. The Planning and Systems Analysis Unit develops software for the Ministry and maintains it's data processing system. 6. Emergency Services and Special Duties Administrati on is responsible for firefighting and the Emergency Services Division. 7. Supervision of Bathing Beaches regulates the beaches along the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and the Sea of Galilee according to the Regulation of Bathing Places Law 5724 1964.

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! """ 8. Nationa l Elections Commission supervises and organizes elections including at the local and regional levels.

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! ""# Appendix 4 Ministers of Interior !"#$ % &"'() % *+,$'-#$-(. % /"($.%0-%12203$ % $%&'()*! +,-./0)-1 2/3.4./3./& 5,67%8%6/)9 :;"<;"=<> ? @;"A;"=<= B)%1 ? C68(.! D()4%,) E/%&.3!F.9%G%6-8! H,6/&I B)46.9!B)C%',)J(% "I#I@ @;"A;"=<= ? "#;#<;"=:# 28,).9!F6*)( +./.,)9!K%6/%8&8 "";@;"=:: ? "#;"O;"=:= B)%1 ? C68(.! D()4%,) P)&%6/)9!F.9%G%6-8! 5),&Q =I"AI""I"#I"@I"I"=I#A L;#A;"=OO ? =;"@;"=>< D(%16/!5.,.8 N9%G/1./& #" =;"@;"=>< ? "#;#<;"=>< $%&'()*! 5.,.&' D()8 #"I## "#;#<;"=>< ? ";L;"=>O $%&'()*!D()1%, S%*-3 ## ";L;"=>O ? "#;##;"=>> N,Q.(!T.,% D()8 #@I#> ? :;"";"==@ $%&'()*!F)0%/ S)06,!5),&Q #: :;"";"==@ ? L;O;"==@ N,Q.(!T.,% D()8 #: L;O;"==@ ? =;"<;"==@ $%&'()*!F)0%/ S)06,!5),&Q #: =;"<;"==@ ? #;#O;"==: E'%!M),)1 S)06,!5),&Q #: #;#O;"==: ?

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! ""# $%&%"''( )*+,-!.,/*, .*/01!2*134 5( $%"'%"''( 6 &%"7%"''( 89:-!;*1*< .*/01!2*134 5( &%"7%"''( 6 ""%55%"''( =*,>!?*>0@ .*/01!2*134 5$ ""%55%"''( 6 $%"7%"''$ 8A,!B:,CC* D03!EF>/F1!0G! H@FCCF3 5& $%"7%"''$ 6 &%$%"''' D*3*@!B9*1*@C<4 I,C1*FA!;FJA,4*9 57 &%$%"''' 6 &%""%5KKK =*,>!?*>0@ L@F!MC1*FA 57 &%""%5KKK 6 #%&%5KK" 8A,!I,C9*, B9*C 5' #%&%5KK" 6 (%5#%5KK5 J1,FA!B9*10@ .,<:! 5' (%5#%5KK5 6 $%#%5KK5 8A,!I,C9*, B9*C 5' $%#%5KK5 6 5%57%5KK# J+1*9*>!201*N B9,@:, #K 5%57%5KK# 6 "5%O%5KKO LP9,1!2,@FC 6 2*N .*/01!2*134 #K "%"K%5KK( 6 ""%5#%5KK( J1,FA!B9*10@ H*-,>* #K ""%5#%5KK( 6 (%O%5KK$ ?0@,!;*1 6 L@ H*-,>* #" (%O%5KK$ 6 &%O%5K& EF,1!B9FF31,3 H*-,>* #" &%O%5KK& 6 #%#"%5KK' 8A,!I,C9*, B9*C #5 #%#"%5KK' 6 21FCF@3 ! !

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! ""# Deputy Ministers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! ""# Bibliography Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. New York: NY: Verso 2006. Asher A rian, "Israel: The Challenge of a Democratic and Jewish State," in Secularism Women and The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21 st Century ed. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society an d Culture, 2009. The Balfour Declaration, the Avalon project, Yale Law School [Accessed October 24, 2010]. Bard, Mitchell. "The Jews of Iraq," The Jewish Virtual Library, semitism/iraqijews.html [accessed November 4, 2010]. Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz,GG) 23 rd May 1949. Article 116[Definition of "German"; restoration of Citizenship] German Basic Law, [accessed September 22, 2010]. Bastuni, Rustum. "The Arab Israelis," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, 409 418, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973. Ben Rafael, Eliezer. "The Faces of Religiosity in Israel: Cleavages or Continuum?", Israel Studies 13, no. 3 (Fall 2008), 89 113. Bergman, Elihu. "The American and Canadian Contrib ution to Aliyah Bet: Facing the British Blockade with Rusty Ships." Jewish Virtual Library

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! ""# [accessed November 4, 2010]. Brauner, Gila Ansell. "Hatikivah: A Hadracha Guide," The Jewish Agency for Israel, 71DA 4FB2 B436 B3C07C3D2EB8 [accessed March 28, 2011]. British White Paper of June 1922, the Avalon project, Yale Law School [accessed October 24, 2010]. Borowitz, Eugene. Choices in Modern Jewish Thought, Springfield NJ: Behrman House, In c., 1995. Cohen, Israel. A Short History of Zionism, London: Frederick Muller LTD, 1951. Consulate General of the Federal Republic of German y Melbourne. German Citizenship Law. July 1010. [accessed September 22,2010]. Council of Europe. Article 11, The Law on Croatian Ci tizenship 1991, with amendments of 1992 and 1993. operation/foreigners_and_citizens/nationality/documents/national_legislation/Cr oatia The%20Law%20on%20Croatian%20Citizenship.asp [accessed September 22, 2010]. Derfler, Leslie ed. The Dreyfus Affair: Tragedy of Errors? Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 196 3. Dieter Gosewinkel, "Citizenship and Naturaliza tion Politics in Germany in the Nineteenth and twentieth centuries," Challen ging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration," 59 75. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002.

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! ""# Dinur, Benzion. "Emancipation." Encyclopaedia Judaica Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 374 386. Gale Virtual Reference Library Web. 25 Nov. 2010. Dowty, Alan, ed. Critical Issues in Isr aeli Society. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004. Dutter, Lee E. "Eastern and Western Jews: Ethnic Divisions in Israeli Society," The Middle East Journal 31, no.4 (Autumn 1997): 451 468. Edelman, Rabbi Moshe, "Al Ha Derekh: On the Path," The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism website. [accessed January 9, 2011]. Eisenstadt, S.N. "Israeli Identity: Problems in the Develop ment of the Collective Identity of an Ideological Society," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 370 (March 1967): 116 123. Ettinger, Yair, "The Conversion bill Demystified," July, 13, 2010. edition/news/the conversion bill demystified 1.301565 [accessed February 26, 2011]. "First Racial Definition (April 11, 1933)" in The Jew in the Modern World, 2 nd Edition, edited by Paul Mendes Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, 642. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1985. Goldscheider, Calvin. Israel's Changing Soc iety: Population, Ethncity, and Development. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1996. Gordon, Leonard. "Reflections on Inter an Intragroup Relations i n Israeli Society,"

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! ""# Jewish Social Studies Indiana University Press 36 no. 3 4 (Jul. Oct. 1974): 262 270. Heller, Celia S. "The Emerging Consciousness of the E thnic Problem Among the Jews of Israel," in Israel: Social Structure and Change, 313 332, New Brun swick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 1973. Hirsh Rabbi Richard "Boundaries and Identity: Di scussing Where We Stand and Who We Are," October 16, 2007, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Website. [accessed January 9, 2011]. "Immigration Since 1948," Immigration_Since_1948.html [accessed 11/4/10]. Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956. (No. 23 of 1986), the Irish Naitonality and Citizenship Act 1994 (No. 9 of 1994) and the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2001 (No. 15 of 2001). Unofficial restatement November 2002. pdf [Accessed September 29, 2010]. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Law of Return 5 710 1950, the 5 th of July, 1950. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. turn%205710 1950 [accessed September 8, 2010]. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ministry of the Interior April 17, 2001 Israel Mi nistry of Foreign Affairs Website. 0the% 20Interior [accessed February 20, 2011].

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! ""# Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Natan Sharansky," tm [accessed April 2, 2011]. Jacobs, Joseph and Schulim Ocsher "Yemen,", [accessed November 4, 2010]. Kashti, Yitzhak Nationhood, Modernity and Social Class in Israeli Education," Britis h Journal of Sociology of Education 19, No. 3 (September 1998), 355 364. The Knesset. Laws of Special Interest The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (temporaryprovision) 5763 2003. [accessed September 18, 2010]. Kopelowitz, Ezra. "Religious Politics and Israel's Ethnic Democracy," Israel Studies 6, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 160 190. Laqueur, Walter. A History of Zionism, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. Liz, Jonathon, Mazal Mualem, and Yair Ettinger "Yisr ael Betitenu facing off against Shas over IDF Conversion Bill," December 15, 2010. Haar beiteinu facing off against shas over idf conversion bill 1.3300743 [accessed February 27, 2011] Mandel, Jonah. "Conversion bill moratorium extended another 6 months." January 10, 2011, Jerusalem Post Online, [ ac cessed February 27, 2011].

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