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Catriel Lev
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Oct 14, 2010

The Debate about a "Pledge of Allegiance" in Israel

It seems to me that the debate being held in the state of Israel these days about a proposal to require a "pledge of allegiance" to the Jewish state as a requirement for those who want to acquire Israeli citizenship is, in most cases, "dancing around the issue" rather than dealing with it forthrightly, as often occurs in debates about issues of public interest.

My proposal would be that EVERYONE who wants to acquire Israeli citizenship be required in such a "pledge of allegiance", whether one acquires citizenship by marrying an Israeli citizen, or by taking advantage of the "Law of Return", or in any other way.

This idea, which seems to have been ignored by the major participants in the debate, has been mentioned by several people since this debate began, and was recently mentioned (along with some other ideas) by the famous legal expert Ruth Gavison in an opinion article on this topic which can been found on the internet at:,7340,L-3966890,00.html.

The so-called "right-wing" position of requiring such a "pledge of allegiance" ONLY FROM NON-JEWS who want to acquire Israeli citizenship seems to me to be as disingenuous as the so-called "left-wing" position of requiring NO ONE to make such a pledge.

This topic probably would not have even arisen if there had not been cases of support of terrorism by Arabs who acquired Israeli citizenship (in general by marrying an Israeli Arab), so there is proven reason to require such a pledge, but no one can be so naive as to claim that there are not Jews who work against the Jewish state, and even support its destruction, and all of them are eligible for Israeli citizenship according to the "Law of Return". So why not simply require such a pledge from everyone "across the board" who wants to acquire Israeli citizenship? For anyone who really wants to help build a Jewish state here (or, at least, is not determined to destroy the Jewish state) it should not present any problem to make such a pledge in order to acquire citizenship, and many (and probably most) Western nations have a similar requirement for ANYONE who wants to acquire citizenship in their countries.

I am still not certain what kind of deterrent this would provide to destructive activity against the Jewish state, since anyone who is so unhampered by moral concerns that he would be willing to support terrorist activities (or other ways of trying to destroy the state in which he lives and which provides him with many services) would probably be willing to lie in order to acquire Israeli citizenship in order to have a more effective platform to cause damage to the Jewish state.

Perhaps there would be legal grounds to cancel the citizenship of anyone who signed such a "pledge of allegiance" and then was caught violating that pledge, and that could be useful for such instances.

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