CHAPTER VII
Israel's Arab Minority and Social Integration

SINCE ONE touchstone of full minority equality in a modern democratic state is security of citizenship status and residence rights, the Arab citizens of Israel have complained that the insecurity of their residence rights proved that they had but second class citizenship.


Legal Residence and Nationality of Arabs in Israel

The peculiar nature of Israel, by definition a Jewish State, inherently endowed its Jewish residents with prerogatives which could not belong to non-Jews. These prerogatives were stated directly or implied in such international documents and proclamations as the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and the United Nations General Assembly resolution recommending the establishment of a Jewish State. They were asserted in Israel's Proclamation of Independence, which set forth the establishment of a Jewish State "which will be open to Jews from all countries of their dispersion." The Nationality Law of 1952 and the Law of Return of 1950 legally confirmed the special Jewish prerogative to acquire Israel citizenship.

The Nationality Law1 made possible acquisition of Israel citizenship by: (a) return; (b) residence in Israel; (c) birth or (d) naturalization.

Citizenship by "return" was conferred upon every Jew entering Israel under the Law of Return (5710-1950). A person born in Israel whose father or mother was an Israeli national could acquire citizenship by birth. Non-Jews could be naturalized if they lived in Israel, were there for three out of the five years preceding the date of their application, were entitled to permanent residence in Israel and had settled or intended to settle there, had some knowledge of the Hebrew language and had renounced their prior nationality or had proved that they would cease to be foreign nationals upon becoming Israeli nationals. If a person met these requirements, "the Minister of Interior, if he thinks fit to do so, shall grant him Israel nationality by the issue of a certificate of naturalization."

-121-

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Israel and the Palestine Arabs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface *
  • Chapter I - Introduction and Background 3
  • Notes 17
  • Chapter II - The Arab States and the Refugee Problem 19
  • Notes 30
  • Chapter III - Early Repatriation Attempts 33
  • Notes 56
  • Chapter IV - The Shift to an Economic Solution 58
  • Notes 70
  • Chapter V - The Failure of Repatriation Attempts 72
  • Notes 88
  • Chapter VI - Israel's Arab Minority and National Security 90
  • Notes 118
  • Chapter VII - Israel's Arab Minority and Social Integration 121
  • Notes 139
  • Chapter VIII - Israel's Initial Absentee Property Policy 141
  • Notes 164
  • Chapter IX - Absorption of Absentee Property 168
  • Notes 187
  • Chapter X - Early Problems of Compensation 192
  • Notes 201
  • Chapter XI - U.N. Progress on Problems of Compensation 203
  • Notes 219
  • Chapter XII - Blocked Accounts 222
  • Notes 237
  • Chapter XIII - Conclusions 240
  • Select Bibliography 249
  • Index 261
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