Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Friday, May 21, 2004

Walk like an Assyrian

Yes, Israel is different. For one thing, it’s the only nation there is that doesn’t have an attached nationality. Israelis carry an identity card with a space marked Nationality’. If you’re a naturalised ex-Egyptian, you write ‘Egyptian’, and so on. If you were born there you fill it in as ‘Jew’, ‘Arab’, ‘Druse’, ‘Samaritan’ and so on. I now read in Ha’aretz that when some citizens recently went to court to argue that they should be able to write ‘Israeli’, the Israeli Government argued that this “undermines the very principles under which the State of Israel was created”.
The state claims that
"the dictionary definition of a nationality is `a nation, a people; a large group of people of a joint origin, common destiny and history and usually a shared spoken language' and thus registering as ‘Israeli’ would not reflect the person’s "national and ethnic identity".


Professor Uzi Ornan, one of the petitioners, says. "The state is afraid that if it agrees to register an Israeli nationality, it will create a de facto separation between Jews abroad and Jews living in Israel as part of an Israeli nationality.”
Israel is not an ordinary state like other states, and this is at the heart of many of the problems of the region.

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