July 13, 2005

Keeping Israel Jewish

Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reports on some sensible-sounding immigration reforms being considered by the Israeli government:

Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz yesterday appointed an advisory committee to examine Israel's immigration laws.

The advisory committee is expected to recommend legal methods by which Israel can tighten its immigration laws, since three members of the advisory committee - including Eiland and Rubinstein - already served on a National Security Council (NSC) panel that suggested principles under which immigration restrictions could be made more strict. The panel, which presented its findings to the government about two months ago, sought to maintain a distinct Jewish majority to preserve Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state.

The NSC committee suggested limiting the ability of illegal residents to become legal residents by requiring a certain level of financial standing and connection with Israel, as well as legislating an age limit.

Eiland - who presided over the panel and presented its conclusions - also suggested the state prevent Bedouin men in the Negev from marrying more than one Palestinian woman in a bid to get them citizenship, and said Israel should reassess its policy of granting Israeli citizenship to children who have only one Israeli parent.

Several weeks after Eiland presented his group's findings, the government approved a law submitted by Pines-Paz that bans the interior minister from granting permanent residency permits to illegal residents. According to the law, illegal aliens who want to live in Israel legally must first leave the country and stay away for an extensive "cooling-off" period. In addition, foreign spouses of Israelis can no longer become permanent residents as a result of their marriage.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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