No 'Israelis' in Israel?
- No 'Israelis' in Israel?
Court to debate State's refusal to acknowledge Israeli nationality
by Aviram Zino
Published: 10.31.07, 20:45 / Israel News
The Jerusalem Administrative Court on Wednesday ordered the State to
justify its refusal to include the term 'Israeli' on the list of
possible nationalities inscribed in Israeli identification cards.
"In its response, we as of the State to address, among other things, the
manner in which the list of nationalities is set and through which legal
means a nationality can be added or removed from that list," wrote Judge
The court's decision follows a petition filed by 38 Israeli
intellectuals and artists, including former minister Shulamit Aloni,
former MK Uri Avnery, Professors Yehoshua Porat, Yosef Agassi and Uzzi
Ornan and singer Alon Olearchick.
In their petition the plaintiffs note that there are currently over 132
different nationalities recognized by the State of Israel for use in
registering for an ID card but 'Israeli' is not one of them.
The plaintiffs state in their petition that since the days when the list
of nationalities was agreed upon, an 'Israeli' identity has been
formulated and it must be recognized.
The petition further states that since 1992 Israeli passports declare
their holder to be of 'Israeli Nationality,' therefore the State does
acknowledge such an identity.
The judge also questioned the Interior Ministry's claim that the list of
nationalities is highly confidential and therefore was only handed to
the plaintiffs after the court demanded it based on the freedom of
The court also questioned how it could rule on a social matter that has
little legal merit. The plaintiff's attorney presented the court in
response with a series of previous cases wherein courts took a legal
stance on complex public issues such as religious conversion, the
security fence, the disengagement and questions pertaining to the status
of common law spouses.