Replies: 26 - Last Post: Jan 31, 2013 12:54 AM Last Post By: catw
Sep 12, 2010 11:46 AM
15To sum up:
- "Israeli Arabs" are the Palestinians living within Israel, who received citizenship in 1948 as the villages or towns where they lived were not evacuated. They have Israeli passports.
- "Jerusalem residents" are Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, which is considered by Israel as part of its territory, but by the international community as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory. People with Jerusalem IDs travel abroad either with a travel document that is specific to Jerusalem residents, or with a Jordanian passport when they're entitled to one, which is often the case
- Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory do have passports delivered by the Palestinian Authority. Those living in Gaza face problems as the PA does not deliver passports to everyone there since it is rules by Hamas. Some of the Palestinians living in the West Bank have Jordanian passports, which offer many more possibilities than the Palestinian ones
It's good to point out that :
- a passport is never a proof of nationality. All countries occasionnaly deliver passports to people who are not their nationals, for various reasons
- the majority of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are too poor to afford traveling abroad
Sep 12, 2010 10:47 PM
Not quite. The UN (and most countries) regard the entire Jerusalem area (East and West) as a corpus separatum, that is a "separate entity" which belongs to no one - not to the Palestinians or Israelis. This is borne out by the fact that almost all countries have refused to locate their embassies in (West) Jerusalem since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Therefore, if the "international community" regards East Jerusalem as "occupied Palestinian territory", they would be a bunch of hypocrites, applying a double-standard against Israel, namely, that East Jerusalem is Palestinian whereas West Jerusalem is not Israeli.
Sep 14, 2010 1:36 PM
17Another interesting titbit of information about citizenship rights here is that Israel is the only country in the world that confers citizenship by virtue of converting to the state religion - Judaism. No other country permits this, even those with a heavy majority of Muslims or Christians. Nationality and citizenship are usually indivisible. However in Israel, although there is one citizenship for all, there are legally many nationalities, with differing privileges and responsibilities. All Jews in the world are, defacto, Israeli citizens, and may immigrate at any time. This is the fundamental difference between a secular democracy as in the USA or Australia, and an ethno/religious democracy such as Israel.
It's also interesting to note that while Israel extended its jurisdiction after 1967 into 70 square kilometers of the West Bank and called it Jerusalem, it did not confer citizenship on the residents of the annexed territory, as it did in the Golan. So while the Palestinian residents of East (actually north and south also) Jerusalem found themselves inside a state that grew around them, they were given a special class of temporary residency that can be revoked for a smorgasbord of bureaucratic reasons. A little odd since many of them have roots going back hundreds of years in Jerusalem, unlike the vast majority of Jewish residents. However Palestinian Jerusalemites are entitled to apply for citizenship, which is often approved if they have no security record. Currently about 15% of East Jerusalem Palestinian residents are Israeli citizens.
Just for the record, my own family goes back about 200 years here so I have a wee bit more claim to being 'indigenous' than many other Israelis.
What a mess . . . . . .
Sep 14, 2010 1:51 PM
18It's not true that all Jews are de facto citizens of Israel. They are eligible to take citizenship, as are their spouses, children and grandchildren, but it is not conferred on them against their will. The Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are also eligible for Israeli citizenship, in most cases, but the special status described above is a result of the majority of them refusing to take it.
Sep 15, 2010 4:49 AM
19Let's just say that all Jews around the world are entitled to citizenship even though they do not live in Israel. However the non-Jews who do live in East Jerusalem which Israel considers part of its state, are not entitled to citizenship, only to apply for it. There is no automatic granting of citizenship. Also even if they are granted citizenship they are required by law to renounce any other citizenship they have, and turn in their other passport. Jews are permitted to have dual or even triple citizenship after they become Israeli citizens. This is one example of the unequal application of the law in this 'democracy'.
It's a mess . . . . . . . . !
Sep 15, 2010 6:04 AM
20Countries in the Persian Gulf won't even consider granting citizenship to a person unless they're Muslim. At least Israel lets non-Jewish people apply. Bahrain is known for conferring citizenship to Sunnis (esp. Arab Sunnis) rather easily in order to keep the Shia majority in check. Residency requirements in Persian Gulf states are some of the strictest in the world, and Bahrain also discriminates by letting Arabs apply after 15 years of residency while non-Arabs must wait until 25 years of citizenship. And what about the bidoon of Kuwait who have lived there for decades and are still non-persons in the eyes of the government?
Many countries make distinctions between nationality and citizenship. China, the largest country in the world, is a perfect example. All are Chinese, but there are 56 nationalities, the largest of which is Han. Their identity card indicates their nationality. The British also have 6 current different forms of nationality, each with their own passport and visa requirements.
All Jews in the world are not defacto Israeli citizens for the reasons listed by afz. And we cannot say that all Jews around the world are entitled to citizenship even though they do not live in Israel either. The Law of Return grants Jews, wherever they may be, the right to come to Israel as an oleh (a Jew immigrating to Israel) and become an Israeli citizen. They cannot become an Israeli without going to live in Israel. One cannot apply for Israeli citizenship abroad under the Law of Return.
Sep 15, 2010 6:29 AM
21Excellent points dow204. However Israel remains unique. Any Jew who is born a Jew or converts is entitled to Israeli citizenship and virtually all applications are approved, providing you can prove your Jewishness according to the Law of Return - after all that's the whole point of the Jewish state. However any Muslim from around the world is not entitled to citizenship in a Muslim country although he/she may have preference. However as dow204 rightly stated, Muslim states are not known for being liberal in their immigration policies - to anyone. Similarly a Christian is not entitled to citizenship of any Christian country solely by virtue of being a Christian. Israel is unique in this respect.
Sep 15, 2010 2:57 PM
22Actually, it's not entirely unique. Ethiopia has a similar law extending an offer of citizenship to any follower of the Rastafarian religion. Granted, there are only a few thousand of them worldwide, but then again there are only a few million Jews compared to billions of Christians and Muslims.
Sep 15, 2010 10:06 PM
23Actually it is extremely difficult for Rastafarians to become Ethiopian citizens, and only about 500 Jamaican adherents of the religion currently live there. In fact they want to set up a Ratafarian Embassy in Shashemene to represent their interests to the Ethiopian government. But perhaps this is a bit off topic . . . . . .
Sep 22, 2010 2:42 AM
24The real problem is that the Palestinians whose families have been living for centuries in Jerusalem can lose their right to reside in the city if they go and study abroad. This is a terrible dilemma as many of them wish to go and study a few years in the USA or in Western Europe but if they do, they risk losing their right to ever come back to Jerusalem and to have no nationality.
Jan 31, 2013 12:51 AM
25Palestinians have different status depending on where they live:
- Palestinian citizens of Israel, the Palestinians who were able to remain in the territory which became Israel in 1948, hold Israeli passports
- Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, receive an Israeli residency permit which gives them the right to remain in their homes in Jerusalem. They can travel abroad using either a Jordanian passport, for the few who have one, or a Laissez-Passer issued by Israeli authorities.
Jordan issued passports to some Palestinian living in East Jerusalem due to the specific status of this part of the city, which Israel considers as being Israeli, but which the rest of the world considers to be Palestinian.
Jan 31, 2013 12:54 AM
- I forgot to add that Palestinians who have been living living in refugee camps in Syria or Lebanon since 1948 have ID cards delivered by the United Nations. These are useless when it comes to traveling abroad. Most Palestinian refugees living in Jordan were given Jordanian passports (some of them even received Jordanian nationality) as a goodwill gesture from the King.
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