Is State of Israel right to offer non-Jews a home?

THE Jewish Telegraph reported that more than half of all immigrants to Israel in 2018 under the Law of Return were not Jewish.

This was because the Law of Return allows for “any person who has one Jewish grandparent to emigrate to Israel whereas Jewish law stipulates that a person is Jewish only if their mother was Jewish”.

I fear that this is part of a deliberate policy by the Jewish Agency to counter the perceived “demographic threat” posed by the rapidly-increasing charedi community.

The Jewish Agency fears that this threat will undermine the Zionist vision of replacing the “cringing golus Jew” with a “self-assertive Israeli freed from religious constraints”.

Though, as you correctly note, “one approach to solving the problem has been to make conversion easier, especially for those descended from Jews for whom Jewish law provides certain leniencies”, there is a limit.

This is because conversion requires an honest commitment to Torah beliefs and mitzva observance, which is anathema to the secular camp.

It is truly altruistic for the State of Israel to offer refuge to non-Jews who are persecuted by antisemites because they have some Jewish ancestor.

But the Jewish people have no obligation “to provide them with a homeland for historical reasons”.

On the contrary, if “this is part of the justification for the State of Israel, then its claim to be a Jewish state” is disingenuous.

Martin Stern,
7 Hanover Gardens,

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