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Law of Return

LAW OF RETURN

law that allows jews to immigrate to israel and become israeli citizens.

The Law of Return (Hok ha-Shvut) was passed by the Knesset on 5 July 1950. In accordance with the notion that Israel is a Jewish state and the state of the Jews, the law provides that any Jew is entitled to immigrate to Israel and acquire a certificate and status of oleh, an immigrant with automatic citizenship. The law was amended in 1954 to exclude individuals with a criminal past that might endanger public welfare. An amendment in 1970 extended citizenship rights to non-Jewish spouses and children of Jews.

Some Orthodox leaders have called for an amendment to the law that would narrowly define a Jew as one born of a Jewish mother or one who converted according to Orthodox tradition. To many, this proposed amendment makes the debate over Jewish identity so volatile that it threatens the fabric of worldwide Jewish unity. It has sparked passionate debate both in Israel and the Diaspora over definitions of Jewish identity, and has aroused strong opposition from the Jewish Reform and Conservative movements. There have been periodic calls for repeal of the law by some non-Zionists and others who view it as discriminatory. From their perspective, Israel should be a state like any other modern state, without laws that discriminate on the basis of religion or ethnicity.

see also israel: overview.


Bibliography


Ben-Rafael, Eliezer. Jewish Identities: Fifty Intellectuals Answer Ben-Gurion. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

Landau, David. Who Is a Jew? A Case Study of American Jewish Influence on Israeli Policy. New York: American Jewish Committee, Institute on American Jewish-Israel Relations, 1996.

Schochet, Jacob Immanuel. Who Is a Jew?: 30 Questions and Answers About this Controversial and Divisive Issue. New York: Shofar Association of America, 1987.

Shachar, Ayelet. "Citizenship and Membership in the Israeli Polity." In From Migrants to Citizens: Membership in a Changing World, edited by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2000.

chaim i. waxman

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"Law of Return." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Law of Return." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/law-return

"Law of Return." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/law-return

Law of Return

Law of Return. The Israeli law which gives every Jew the right to settle in Israel as an immigrant. The Law of Return was passed by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) in 1950. Various legal problems have arisen concerning who counts as a true Jew.

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"Law of Return." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Law of Return." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/law-return

"Law of Return." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/law-return