Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Being a Hebrew in the Jewish State

All Israeli Jews have their IDs marked with the word "Jew". Prof. Uzi Ornan's says "Hebrew." Due to a loose bureaucracy back in 1948, Uzi Ornan succeeded in getting himself by nationality, as he interprets it, rather than religion. Makes sense. Prof Ornan is a Hebrew linguist and member of Israel's Academy for the Hebrew Language.
Following in the footsteps of author Yoram Kaniuk, Ornan wants to get the church out of the Israeli state. He wants his legal status to be defined in secular terms, not religious.

His petition was denied. Ironically, since Ornan was born in Jerusalem before the founding of the State of Israel, his right of abode in the State of Israel is granted to him only under Israel's Law of Return.

This should become part of Israel's Hasbara spiel: Israel does not discriminate against non-Jews! All indigenous peoples, Jewish or Palestinian are denied citizenship rights by virtue of having been born in Palestine!

The Haifa court ruled that Ornan is an Israeli citizen because his mother is Jewish, not because he was born in the country. So, even a Jew, who was born in Palestine can be a citizen only because he is as Jewish as an American Jew.

The Law of Return applies to Jews. A "Jew" is someone whose mother was Jewish. According to the Haifa court, the Israeli authorities must deny an individual's desire to declare his own identity. Otherwise, per the court, the non-religious, or non-identifying child of a Jewish mother in the U.S. would not be allowed to enter Israel under the Right of Return. This is much more than an issue of church and state. This is about the state imposing religious status on citizens.

This is a bizarre ruling. Seems to me that it is born of a fear that Israel will run out of Jews. In its endless battle to achieve demographic superiority, Israel needs every weapon it can use: including importing Jews from overseas. Any dilution of that reservoir is a matter of national security. So, the state must enact laws to preserve the Jewish character of the state even if the Hebrew object.


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    I like hebrew identity because it clearly allows us to delete citizenship from those who refuse to pledge loyalty to a HEBREW REGIME.

    under my plan, the IDF would have hebrew-speaking muslim clergy and hebrew-speaking Roman Catholic clergy in the Chaplain Corps, not only rabbis.

    If you aren't aware that there's actually a good quantity of non-Jewish, hebrew-mother-tongue ordained clergymen in Israel..... then you don't know what's actually happening here, and you should go back to worrying about singing Kumbaya with the Azlatanos. There, in Occupied California. No need to worry about the AmerInds (except if you love casinos).... you pretty much fully ethnically-cleansed them!

  2. Michael, I don't agree with your conclusion that Jewish identity should be separated from Israeli national identity, but I do agree with what you seem to hint at - that it is absurd that Israel should be concerned about the demographic problem.
    It is this trumped up problem that has frightened many Israelis into inventing the Two State Solution fantasy - a non-starter that is neither moral nor feasible.
    Indeed, many respected academics have stated recently that Israel is winning the demographic war and that there seems to be no real reason for concern.
    Watch this for instance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra879tN9pAA&list=UU37YEqjkoOcx5y2WjiuEsvQ
    I personally believe that Israel's Jewish majority will continue to rise in the next few decades due to immigration from Western countries.
    The rise of anti-Semitism in the guise of liberal anti-Zionism may fool some, but others can already see the clouds of catastrophe gathering over Europe.
    Jews will try to save themselves by taking a strong stand against other Jews, and against Israel, thinking that this might make them popular among their friends.
    That strategy may even convince they and their communities for a while. But it wont convince their Muslim neighbors or the right wing extremists who are on the rise in Europe.
    Back 75 years, it was their Jewish ancestry that doomed 6 million to die. Hitler didn't care that they weren't communists, or even that they were artists, soldiers and scientists that contributed to Germany. They had Jewish mothers (or great grandmothers) - that was Jewish enough for him.
    And when history eventually repeats itself, as it so often does, those liberal, post-modern Jews, who criticize Israel today for fighting for the Jews' right to live in peace andto return to the one place they can be safe, will thank God that the same Jewish ancestry will still be enough to buy them a ticket to safety.