יום שישי, נובמבר 24, 2006

 

One step forward, one step back?

In news from Israel this week, one big advance for individual rights, and one proposed large setback.

On the one hand, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages performed abroad must be recognized as valid under Israeli law.

On the other hand, the Chief Rabbinate has prepared a bill, which may be supported by some cabinet members, that would remove converts from the Law of Return. As noted by Haaretz:

The bill was initiated by Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in an effort to block the possibility that the High Court of Justice could recognize Reform conversions carried out in Israel...

The main element in the bill is a change in the clause defining a Jew for the purposes of the Law of Return. At present the clause defines a Jew as a person born to a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism. The bill proposes that an the only individuals recognized as Jewish by the Law of return will be those born to a Jewish mother.



If this bill passes, it will be all that much harder for us non-Orthodox converts (or converts to be) to identify with the State of Israel, given that the 'Jewish State' would not see us as Jews. Not that I plan to make aliya claim Israeli citizenship as a Jew, but still, this rankles.

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