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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Israeli citizenship for Palestinian spouses?

There is a law in Israel that prevents Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs from obtaining citizenship in the Jewish State. Sounds very reasonable to me, especially considering most of the Arab nations of the region—and by extension the Palestinians—have been in a real or virtual state of war with Israel since the day the modern version that nation was formed in 1948.

To my knowledge, no modern nation has had a practice of issuing citizenship to citizens of nations with which it is at war. I can find no president for such a practice.

I could just imagine the reaction here in Canada if one of our citizens had brought a German spouse home in 1940 and expected citizenship to be awarded to that spouse. The German expat would far more likely have ended up in a determent camp, there to reside until a formal peace agreement had been signed.

Since no equivalent peace agreement exists between Israel and the Palestinians, I’m not surprised to read that Israel’s Supreme Court recently upheld (six judges for; five opposed) that nation’s law preventing Palestinians married to Israeli Arabs from obtaining Israeli citizenship.

In 2003, Israel’s Knesset adopted (for one year) a law limiting the right of non-nationals to residence in the Jewish state, blocking citizenship for Palestinians married to Israeli Arabs. The law was extended later for security reasons.

Far from being “discriminatory” and “racist,” as critics have branded the law, I see it as practical and necessary.

Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

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