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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the following questions: Who is a Jew to qualify for immediate citizenship under Israel's Law of Return? Who may be married or buried as a Jew? How can Israel be both a Jewish state and a democratic state open to non-Jews as well as Jews? What authority, if any, should classical Jewish law have in the Jewish state in contrast to laws legislated by the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) and precedents used by judges (based largely on British Common Law together with decisions of Israeli courts from 1948 on)? How should Israel respond to the Palestinians claiming to be refugees driven from their lands in 1948, and what should it do with the large Arab population living in the West Bank that Israel conquered in the 1967 war? Can it remain a Jewish state and also a democracy if it retains the West Bank and then, in the not-too-distant future, the majority of the population is no longer Jewish?

Keywords: Jews, citizenship, Law of Return, Jewish state, Jewish law

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