high court panel citizenship law 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The cabinet will be asked to approve an amendment to the Citizenship Law on
Sunday whereby those applying for citizenship will have to declare allegiance to
Israel as a “Jewish, democratic state” and commit themselves to respecting the
According to the explanation sent out to government
ministers ahead of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, the amendment is needed to help the
state protect itself from giving citizenship to those who may then act against
it, namely Palestinians using family unification to qualify for citizenship, and
then acting against the state; infiltrators from enemy states entering Israel
illegally from Egypt.
The amendment also states that citizenship will not
be granted to those liable to endanger public safety or the security of
state. It would also give the country the right to bar the entry of
enemy countries or entities, a clear reference to the Gaza Strip.
amendment would allow the state to revoke the citizenship of those who
in a fictitious marriage in order to help someone else gain citizenship
false pretenses as well.
The amendment, which is expected to easily be
approved by the cabinet, was roundly criticized by Aryeh Carmon,
the Israel Democracy Institute.
He told Israel Radio on Thursday that
citizens’ allegiance can only be to a state’s constitution, something
does not have.
“There is something called freedom of conscience. The
state cannot dictate to any of its citizens their ideological or
opinions, or how they identify themselves,” Carmon said.
He said that if
Israel had a constitution, the Supreme Court would certainly annul the
legislation being brought to the cabinet.