Jews' Next Dor

Congregation Beth David's Young Adult Group for Jewish 20 & 30 Somethings

Israeli Interior Minister: Get Rid of Automatic Citizenship

Posted by ishtov on November 8, 2007

In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit has proposed that Jews should no longer get automatic citizenship when making Aliyah to Israel. Although some of his arguments sound reasonable, not wanting to grant citizenship to criminals, wanting to see immigrants learn Hebrew; his real target appears to be Ethiopian Jews and Jews of other minority backgrounds. He apparently even called out NACOEJ, the North American Conference For Ethiopian Jewry, by name.

This is really awful. I’m not an expert in Israeli politics, so I don’t know what party he is from; but I think he should lose his position as Interior Minister over this. Jews come in all colors. To make a proposal that suggests otherwise is not befitting of the government of Israel.

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3 Responses to “Israeli Interior Minister: Get Rid of Automatic Citizenship”

  1. ishtov said

    I messed up the link to the Jerusalem Post article. The correct one is:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1192380692329

    Also, the word on the street is that Meir Sheetrit is a member of Kadima.

  2. Oyster said

    Ishtov:

    There’s a big difference between the Falashas and the Falash Mura. The latter group are really Christians, and not Jewish. They’re trying to manipulate American Jewish & Israeli politics to get airlifted to Israel.

    A journalist friend of mine lived among them for a few weeks, and she said that after a while it was obvious that they still revered Jesus, and that they would ask her to take pictures of them doing Jewish rituals, like entering the mikvah.

    It’s not as simple as the color of their skin.

    But the Law of Return, like many of Israel’s laws, are in dire need of reform. Having a Constitution would be nice…

  3. ishtov said

    Oyster, thanks for your response and the info. I’m not advocating that people pretending to be Jewish should be given citizenship. My understanding about making Aliyah is that everyone has to go through a Jewishness verification process.

    Sheetrit seems to be saying that after that happens, certain subgroups should have a 5 year waiting period, while living in Israel, before they are given citizenship. This is what bothers me so much. It should either be that every verified Jewish person gets immediate citizenship or that everyone has to go through the 5 year waiting period. None of this good ethnic groups and bad ethnic groups stuff.

    Here’s one of his quotes from the article:

    “Don’t go finding me any lost tribes, because I won’t let them in anymore,” he declared. “We have enough problems in Israel. Let them go to America.”

    And a response from a leader of Shavei Israel:

    “Regarding the comment on lost tribes, Freund said, ‘Mr. Sheetrit has never bothered to explore or even study the issue of the lost tribes, such as the Bnei Menashe, nor has he ever met with any members of the community, so I find it simply astonishing that he would so irresponsibly determine their fate without even bothering to investigate the issue.’ ”

    At the risk of getting all religious up in here, gathering in the lost tribes is one of the major reasons for having a state of Israel.

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