Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Adoption and the Law of Return

By Daniel Tauber
The Jewish Press
Wednesday, February 25 2009

It may not be a "basic law," Israel's set of semi-constitutional laws, but the Law of Return is probably the most fundamental law of the state. It certainly is the most Jewish and Zionist of all Israel's laws.

The Law of Return states that "[e]very Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh." It fulfills provisions of the 1922 Palestine Mandate approved by the League of Nations, which gave international recognition to Zionism and placed a legal obligation on the then-administering power of Palestine, Britain, to provide for close settlement of the Jews in Palestine.

It also fulfills provision of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, which holds that "the Jewish State would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew" and that "[t]he State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles."

The Law of Return captures the very weltanschauung of Zionism and the Jewish state. So it's no surprise that Ben-Gurion believed the Law of Return to be one of Israel's most important laws.

It is precisely because the Law of Return captures the essence of the State of Israel and the national interest of the Jewish people in the modern era that it is subject to so much controversy and attack, in and out of Israel's courts, by several groups: Israel's Christian friends, concerned about the status of messianic Jews whose missionary activity could threaten the Jewish character of the state; Israel's Arab enemies; and Israel's post-nationalist, post-Zionist academic elite who see this law, so central to the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in Israel after 2,000 years of persecution culminating in the Holocaust, as evil and racist.

The Law of Return became the subject of yet another legal controversy in Israeli courts in regards to the affects of adoption on the ability of an applicant to receive the benefits of automatic citizenship under the Law of Return.

According to Jewish law - the determining factor of Jewish identity for thousands of years - a person who is Jewish cannot become non-Jewish. The halachic definition was practically incorporated into the Law of Return by virtue of a 1970 amendment that reversed an Israeli Supreme Court decision ordering that a "subjective test" - a person's statement that he or she is Jewish - be used in determining Jewish identity.

The 1970 Amendment stated that "[f]or the purposes of this Law, 'Jew' means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion." This objective halachic definition is the one that Jews had used for thousands of years, with an understandably added stipulation against apostates.

This definition of a Jew does address the issue of adoption: It says a person is a Jew if he or she was "born to a Jewish mother" (emphasis added), specifically including people who were born to but not necessarily raised by Jewish parents.

So the case of an adopted Jew would be a no-brainer. Otherwise, Jewish children saved by Christian parents during the Holocaust - Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman, for example, who was raised as a Catholic by his rescuers - could face serious problems if they wanted to make aliyah under the Law of Return.

The problem is that the adopted person at issue in the current case, Regina Bernik, is not a Jew, since it is her biological father, not her mother, who is Jewish.

Under the Law of Return, however, "the rights of an oleh are also vested in a child and grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew." (This provision was most likely aimed at ensuring that a Jew who married a non-Jew would not be deterred from making aliyah or to cover the Holocaust scenario in which a person is persecuted because of his or her Jewish blood.)

After the Ministry of the Interior rejected Bernik’s request to for citizenship under the Law of Return, Bernik petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz argued to the court that while the effect of adoption on the Law of Return was up for interpretation, the biological relation of the petitioner to a Jew should be the determining factor.

According to, the court’s judgment is due soon.

An even more pressing problem than how adoption affects the Law of Return is that over the years the Israeli Supreme Court has been eroding the objective halachic definition of a Jew by widely interpreting the definition of "conversion" so that anyone who converts to Judaism under the auspices of just about anybody can be considered a Jew.

In the case of Pessaro (Goldstein) v. Minister for the Interior (1995), the court recognized a non-Orthodox conversion performed outside Israel as a valid conversion under the Law of Return and awarded the non-Orthodox convert automatic citizenship rights under the Law.

In Pessaro, the court cited the would-be immigrant's religious rights under the rubric of what the court termed the "freedom of the convert" (a concept which never before existed in Israeli law) as support for its ruling. The court thus awarded the benefits of citizenship (rights) - the very thing at stake in the case - to non-citizens, using circular reasoning and a fantastic tautology: it recognized the petitioner as a valid convert because of his rights due to him as a valid convert.

In reaching its decision, the court rejected the dissenting opinion of Judge Tzevi Tal, who noted that even in the United States immigration law is an area in which laws are constitutionally permitted to be discriminatory and therefore the rights of the would-be immigrant were irrelevant to the case. Tal further wrote that recognizing conversions performed by any Jewish group outside of Israel - regardless of whether the group followed halachic standards for conversion - would have the practical effect of allowing any group to issue immigration visas and citizenship to the State of Israel.

It is not clear how the court will rule on the adoption case, but one thing is clear: protecting Jewish identity does not seem be among the weightiest factors influencing the court’s judgment.

CORRECTION NOTICE: This article has been revised. It originally stated that the Attorney General had said that the effect of adoption of a person born to a Jewish mother on the person’s rights under the Law of Return was up for interpretation. As noted above, the Attorney General’s statement was addressed at the rights of a non-Jew under the Law of Return by virtue of that person’s relation to a Jew, such as a Jewish father. We apologize for the error.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fourth Circuit Rejects U.S. Appeal in AIPAC Case

In the espionage case against two former AIPAC employees, accused of passing classified information to other AIPAC staffers, foreign officials and the media, the Fourth Circuit rejected the U.S. Government's request to review the trial court's determination that two documents could be introduced into court by the defendants.

The Court held that the government's appeal was interlocutory;  that regarding one admitted document - the "Israel Briefing Document" - whose relevence was unclear, the Court could not "substitute our judgment for that of the trial court, which has been immersed in these proceedings for many months and has far more familiarity with the matter than we do;" and in regards to the other - the "FBI Report" the Court simply upheld the trial court's determination that another document was relevant. 

According to the JTA the "[o]bservers have predicted that the . . . decision could lead the Obama administration to reconsider whether to go ahead with the case."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Israeli Supreme Court Appoints Committee to Probe Situation of Gaza Expellees

Israel's Supreme Court has appointed a committee to investigate the compensation and assistance (or lack thereof) given by the Israeli government to those expelled from Gaza as part of the Disengagement. The Committee will be headed by a former Supreme Court judge, Eliyahu Matza.

According to a July report, 81% of those expelled still lacked permenant housing, while a more recent January 2009 report states that 95% of those who requested to be resettled with other expellees do not have permanant housing.

The July report also said that 37% of those expelled describe their economic situation as bad or very bad, with many forced to use the compensation for their homes, which would have been used for new homes, for day to day living instead. 17% percent of those expelled did not have jobs, 2.7 times higher than the rest of the country.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Anti-Semitism and Jonathan Pollard

A number of recent Jerusalem Post articles have been dedicated to the subject of Jonathan Pollard. In one of them, Esther Pollard, compared her husband's case to that of French military officer Alfred Dreyfus. In response to Esther's article (which was itself a response to another article), Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner declared that it would be crazy to think that anti-Semitism was behind Pollard's long sentence.

Derfner writes:
You have to be way over the top with Jewish paranoia to believe that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are anti-Semites or haters of Israel, that they acted out of such motives in the White House. I think any reasonable person, Jew or gentile, has to agree that neither Bush nor Clinton would have treated any Jew unfairly because he wanted to punish American Jewry or the State of Israel.
Therefore, Derfner concludes, it must be that Pollard deserved his life sentence for an offense, which as Esther Pollard said, "carries a median sentence of two to four years."

But Derfner is "way over the top with Jewish" naiveté, to believe that anti-Semitism had nothing to do with a ridiculously harsh sentence being given to a Jew spying for the Jewish state.

First of all, there is no magic pill that U.S. Presidents take to immunize themselves from anti-Semitism. Can there really be any doubt that anti-Semitism was behind U.S. immigration policies keeping Jews out of the United States during World War II? What about Nixon's numerous slurs against Jews (and other groups) caught on tape?

Regardless of a President's possible anti-Semitic feelings, the President didn't put Pollard in prison and therefore no one is accusing President Clinton or Bush of taking any anti-Jewish action. But just because the president isn't anti-Semitic doesn't mean that anti-Semitism has nothing to do with the case.

It is hard to believe that Pollard's actions were so heinous as compared with others convicted of passing classified information, as President Clinton agreed to consider releasing Pollard and the U.S. prosecutor did not seek a life sentence.

Instead of an anti-Semitic president cruelly keeping Pollard in prison, the picture Derfner says Pollard supporters (who include most of Israel's Knesset) have in mind, what is more likely is that high level officials in the executive branch are the ones with anti-Semitic feelings. As Derfner forgets, there are in fact people who believe that U.S. support for Israel has no rational basis, and is only due to overbearing Jewish lobby groups who have more control over U.S. policy in the Near East than they should. Such people would see Pollard's release (or being given any sentence other than life) as a miscarraige of justice and as being against U.S. interests. They would therefore oppose granting Pollard any mercy despite Pollard's cooperation with U.S. Prosecutors, their promise not to seek a life sentence, and the U.S.-Israel friendship, in a way they wouldn't even consider with a person convicted of passing classified information to any other country.

For more information see:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

France High Court Recognizes French Culpability in the Shoah

The French Council of State, the highest court in France, gave official legal recognition to France’s responsibility for its role in sending 77,000 Jews to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust.

The Council said that France had “permitted or facilitated the deportation from France of persons who had been victims of anti-Semitic persecution” and that these actions had not been the result of “direct constraints put upon it by the occupying [Nazi] force.”

The Council’s statement was part of an advisory opinion to a Paris administrative court in which the daughter of a French citizen deported to Auschwitz sought reparations from France.

The official trend of accepting France’s role in the Holocaust instead of differentiating between the French state itself and the Vichy government began in 1995 when French President Jacques Chirac publically acknowledged France’s role:
These dark hours forever sully our history and are an insult to our past and our traditions . . . . Yes, the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state.
Almost classically, this European state’s admittance of guilt also came with a disclaimer of any further responsibility towards the victims and their progeny: "The various measures taken since the end of World War II, both in terms of compensation as well as symbolic reparation, have repaired, as much as was possible, all the losses suffered," the Council said.

While the Court ruled out further monetary reparations, perhaps France as a whole should consider, at least, learning from its mistakes by giving it’s current Jewish community of more than 500,000 (higher than the 350,000 of pre-WWII France) greater protection from a growing anti-Jewish Muslim population and by giving greater support to the largest Jewish community in the world, the State of Israel, against the Nazi-like enemy it is confronted with on a daily basis.

Even more so, in recognition of the Holocaust, perhaps Europe as a whole can reject Arab's using the "apartheid" card when it comes to Israel . If it weren't for the Holocaust, Israel's population would be boosted by 6,000,000 and their progeny, making any comparison to South African aparthied or Arab democratic rights to control the State of Israel laughable.

For more information on France's Council of State's ruling see:
France 'responsible' for holocaust deportations, court rules (Telegraph, Feb 16, 2009),
French Holocaust role recognised (BBC, Feb. 16, 2009)
France's role in Holocaust legally recognized (AP / Jerusalem Post, Feb 16, 2009)
France 'responsible' for Holocaust deaths (CNN, Feb. 16, 2009)

Follow up Research on PA Death Sentences

As a follow up to the posting of PA Death Sentences Symbolize Return to Arafat by Daniel Tauber, first published in The American Thinker, on February 6, 2009, here is a list of links to documents, press releases, and news articles for anyone who wants to do further research on the use of death sentences by Israel's "partner for peace," the Palestinian Authority.
Information & Documents from Human Rights Groups
Letter from Nachi Eyal, Director of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel to Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak on PA Death Sentence in Hebron (Jan. 26, 2009).
Statistics on the Death Penalty in the Palestinian Authority (B’tselem, Nov. 30, 2008) Providing a timeline of the PA’s use of the death penalty from 1995 through Nov. 30, 2008.
Death Penalty under the Palestinian National Authority (Position Paper, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Sept. 14, 2006).
Death Penalty in the Palestinian Authority (Background information from B’tselem)
Military Court in Hebron Sentences a Palestinian to Death; PCHR Calls upon Palestinian President Not to Ratify the Sentence and Demands the Abolishment of Death Penalty from Palestinian Law (Palestinian Center for Human Rights Press Release, Jan. 26, 2009).
Palestinian Authority: Death Sentences Surge in West Bank, Gaza, 11 Sentenced to Death in December 2008 (Human Rights Watch Press Release, Dec. 15, 2008) (also available at UN Council on Human Rights).
Document - Palestinian Authority: Death penalty / Fear of imminent execution: Tha’er Mahmoud Husni Rmailat (m) (Press Release, Amnesty International, April 16, 2008).
Palestinian Authority: Amnesty International calls for halt to death penalty as four executed in Gaza (Amnesty International Australia, Aug. 26, 2005).
News Stories
Hamas executes suspected Fatah traitors in Gaza (San Fransico Chronicle, Jan. 22, 2009).
Hamas asserts control in Gaza, seeks "collaborators" (Reuters, Jan. 21, 2009.
PA court sentences two to death for 'collaboration' (Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2008).
Hamas condemns collaborator to death (Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2008)

Friday, February 6, 2009

PA Death Sentences Symbolize a Return to Arafat

By Daniel Tauber
The American Thinker
February 6, 2009

On the eve of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's mission to Israel as U.S. envoy in the aftermath of Israel's recent anti-terror Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, a Palestinian Authority military court in Hebron sentenced a former member of the Palestinian Authority presidential security service, Force 17, to death for the crime of collaborating with Israel in anti-terror operations.

In two other instances, in April and July of 2008, a Palestinian Authority court in Jenin sentenced three other Palestinian-Arabs to death for collaborating with Israel as well. According to Human Rights Watch, Palestinian Authority courts have sentenced at least 11 Palestinian-Arabs to death in 2008 alone.

Thus, far from fulfilling its obligations to fight terror of its own accord or by cooperating with Israel, the Palestinian Authority punishes, in the worst way possible, those who do.

The courts' verdicts recall the extremist policies of the Palestinian Authority once practiced under terror-chief Yasser Arafat. Between 1994 and 2005 (Arafat died in November of 2004), the Palestinian Authority issued 74 death sentences. And this is aside from the numerous other human rights violations under his rule.

The issuing of the verdicts by courts of the supposedly moderate Fatah-run side of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") also parallel those currently practiced by the Hamas-run side of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. In July, a Hamas-run Palestinian Authority court in Gaza sentenced a Palestinian-Arab to death for informing Israel of the whereabouts of Palestinian terrorists, later killed by the I.D.F. In fact, during Israel's recent operation in Gaza, Hamas executed over 19 Palestinians and brutally tortured and maimed over 60 others whom Hamas suspected of collaboration with Israel. Just as Israel ceased its operations in Gaza and withdrew its forces Hamas said that its first order of business would be to round up collaborators.

In order to be carried-out, death sentences issued by Palestinian Authority courts must be approved by the Palestinian Authority President, currently Mahmaoud Abbas. The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, an Israeli civil rights and government reform group, wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday, urging them to pressure Abbas not to give his approval.

"It is your moral obligation," Legal Forum Director Nachi Eyal wrote, "to clarify to [Abbas] that approving the sentence will have a grave meaning from Israel's point of view."

The section of the penal code of the Palestinian Authority which contains the death penalty dates back to 1979, when the Authority was still the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a recognized terrorist group led by Arafat which hijacked airplanes, threw a wheelchair-bound American citizen off the side of a boat into the ocean, killed Israeli athletes in Munich and committed scores of other horrific and murderous acts.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, in a press release regarding the death sentence, argued that the Palestinian Authority's use of the death penalty constituted a violation of international law and called on the Palestinian Authority to enact a "penal code that conforms to the spirit of international human rights instruments."

Before newly inaugurated President Barack Obama and his envoy Senator Mitchell even consider asking Israel to make security concessions which will undoubtedly enable terrorists to attack Israeli civilians and use rockets to shut down entire Israeli cities, they must demand an end to the obvious cause of violence - the official approval of terrorism and anti-Israelism and corresponding condemnation of helping Israel fight terrorism.

More than asking Abbas to merely not approve death sentences, the U.S. must demand that Abbas pardon the men and remove sections of the Palestinian Authority penal code which criminalize fighting terror in collaboration with Israel. Anything less would leave those convicted with a court approved stigma of evil for doing what the United States has been demanding for years and would serve as a deterrent to those who would otherwise assist Israel in the future.

Over the last 8 years, U.S. aid to the Palestinians totaled almost $2.3 billion, hundreds of millions of which went directly to the Palestinian Authority. Ultimately, and more to the root of the problem, the U.S. must seriously reconsider its funding of an organization which executes people for fighting terror in "collaboration" with Israel, names stadiums after homicide bombers or riflemen who target women and children, uses textbooks to promote anti-Semitism to school children, and whose constituency fired rifles in the air in celebration of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

As former Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain said over and over during the presidential campaign, its time we stopped sending billions of dollars to people who don't like us very much. This includes - perhaps more than any other entity which currently receives U.S. aid - the Palestinian Authority.

Eyal made a similar point in his letter to Olmert and Barak: not only does the execution of collaborators with Israel symbolize a "return to the uncivilized norms that typified the rule of Yasser Arafat," but it "shows that whoever trusts the PA and gives it weapons and armored cars is behaving irresponsibly."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Adoption and the Law of Return

The Law of Return was most recently the subject of what can aptly be described as a microcosm of the insanity of Israeli legal interpretation as displayed in Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's opinion that, as summarized by, because the section of the Law of Return addressing who is a Jew does not discuss the ramifications of adoption of a Jewish child by non-Jewish parents, the question of the child’s Jewish identity is open to interpretation.

In most legal systems the absence of a legal provision which would change a person's legal status would mean only that the person's legal status is what it always was. The real question is why would anyone think that adoption of a Jew by non-Jews makes the person less Jewish? If this were the case any Jews saved by Christian parents from the Holocaust – for instance Abraham Foxman, Director of the Anti-Defamation League who was raised as and by a Catholic – could face serious problems if they wanted to make aliyah under the Law of Return.

In any case, pursuant to a 1970 Amendment, the Law of Return states that “[f]or the purposes of this Law, ‘Jew’ means a person who was born of a Jewish mother . . . ." specifically including people who were born to but not necessarily raised by Jewish parents. The only real question being has the person at issue who has been adopted by non-Jewish parents become "a member of another religion" - since such persons are understandably excluded from the Law's benefits.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tel Aviv Unviersity Appoints IDF Legal Exert to Faculty Amidst Protest

After Haaretz published a report that IDF legal expert Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch and her team used legal loopholes to justify attacks in Gaza involving civilians, a couple of law professoers and Haaretz itself in an editorial protested Sharvit-Baruch's appointment to a position on the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University.

Professor Chaim Ganz of the university's Minerva Center for Human Rights wrote to the Law School's Dean that "Sharvit-Baruch's interpretation of the law... allowed the army to act in ways that constitute potential war crimes" adding that Sharvit-Baruch "harms Israel's values system."

Another law professor at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Anat Matar, said, "I was shocked to learn that half of the second-year law students will learn the foundations of law from someone who helped justify the killing of civilians, including hundreds of children."

Amidst the brouhaha, Sharvit-Baruch's predecessor, Col. (res.) Daniel Reisner, who was interviewed for the Haaretz report claimed in the Jerusalem Post that the quotes were innacurate and that he was considering suing the paper for libel.

In addition, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to Sharvit-Baruch's defense, calling the protesting professors "self-righteous sanctimonious hypocrites." Olmert even suggested that if the University cancel the appointment it could lose state funding."In my opinion, any university that disqualifies lecturers on such grounds, before an examination [of their service] has been concluded, is not suitable to receive funding from the Israeli government," Olmert said.

Apparently, the attacks and defenses mattered little as Law School Dean Hanoch Dagan wrote in a letter that "[a]t no point did the faculty even consider cancelling Pnina Sharvit-Baruch's appointment."

For more information see:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Law of Return & Amendments

Law of Return 5710-1950

Right of aliyah** 1. Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh**.

Oleh's visa 2. (a) Aliyah shall be by oleh's visa.

(b) An oleh's visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of Immigration is satisfied that the applicant

(1) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or

(2) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State.

Oleh's certificate 3. (a) A Jew who has come to Israel and subsequent to his arrival has expressed his desire to settle in Israel may, while still in Israel, receive an oleh's certificate.

(b) The restrictions specified in section 2(b) shall apply also to the grant of an oleh's certificate, but a person shall not be regarded as endangering public health on account of an illness contracted after his arrival in Israel.

Residents and persons born in this country 4. Every Jew who has immigrated into this country before the coming into force of this Law, and every Jew who was born in this country, whether before or after the coming into force of this Law, shall be deemed to be a person who has come to this country as an oleh under this Law.

Implementation and regulations 5. The Minister of Immigration is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation and also as to the grant of oleh's visas and oleh's certificates to minors up to the age of 18 years.

Prime Minister

Minister of Immigration

Acting President of the State
Chairman of the Knesset

* Passed by the Knesset on the 20th Tammuz, 5710 (5th July, 1950) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 51 of the 21st Tammuz, 5710 (5th July. 1950), p. 159; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza'ot Chok No. 48 of the 12th Tammuz, 5710 (27th June, 1950), p. 189.

** Translator's Note: Aliyah means immigration of Jews, and oleh (plural: olim) means a Jew immigrating, into Israel.

Law of Return (Amendment 5714-1954)*

Amendment of section 2(b) 1. In section 2 (b) of the Law of Return, 5710-1950** -

(1) the full stop at the end of paragraph (2) shall be replaced by a semi-colon, and the word "or" shall be inserted thereafter ;

(2) the following paragraph shall be inserted after paragraph (2):

"(3) is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.".

Amendment of sections 2
and 5
2. In sections 2 and 5 of the Law, the words "the Minister of Immigration" shall be replaced by the words "the Minister of the Interior".

Prime Minister

Minister of Health
Acting Minister of the Interior

President of the State

* Passed by the Knesset on the 24th Av, 5714 (23rd August, 1954) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 163 of the 3rd Elul, 5714 (1st September, 1954) p. 174; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza'ot Chok No. 192 of 5714, p. 88.

** Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 51 of 5710, p. 159, LSI vol. IV, 114.

Law of Return (Amendment No. 2) 5730-1970*

Addition of sections 4A
and 4B
1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950**, the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:

"Rights of members of family

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.

(c) The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).


4B. For the purposes of this Law, "Jew" means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion."

Amendment of section 5 2. In section 5 of the Law of Return, 5710-1950, the following shall be added at the end: "Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Juridical Committee of the Knesset.".

Amendment of the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965 3. In the Population Registry Law, 5725-1965****, the following section shall be inserted after section 3:

"Power of registration and definition

3A. (a) A person shall not be registered as a Jew by ethnic affiliation or religion if a notification under this Law or another entry in the Registry or a public document indicates that he is not a Jew, so long as the said notification, entry or document has not been controverted to the satisfaction of the Chief Registration Officer or so long as declaratory judgment of a competent court or tribunal has not otherwise determined.

(b) For the purposes of this Law and of any registration or document thereunder, "Jew" has the same meaning as in section 4B of the Law of Return, 5710-1950.

(c) This section shall not derogate from a registration effected before its coming into force.".

Prime Minister
Acting Minister of the Interior

President of the State

* Passed by the Knesset on 2nd Adar Bet, 5730 (10th March, 1970) and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 586 of the 11th Adar Bet, 5730 (19th March, 1970), p. 34; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published in Hatza'ot Chok No. 866 of 5730, p. 36.

** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5710 p. 159 - LSI vol. IV, p. 114; Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. 5714, p. 174 - LSI vol. VIII, p. 144.

*** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5712, p. 146 ; LSI vol. VI, p. 50.

**** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5725, p. 270 ; LSI vol. XIX, p. 288.

[Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.]