RAMALLAH, June 26 (JMCC) - The World Zionist Organization on Friday asked Israel not to reinstate a religious demarcation on national identity cards, reports the Jerusalem Post
While the group, meeting in Jerusalem, said it was affront to non-Orthodox Jews who do not meet strict standards of conversion in Israel, the designation has also been criticized by leftist groups and Palestinians in Israel.
“We believe such an act will sow discord among the Jewish people and we oppose the proposed change,” said delegates from the Masorti (Conservative) Movement, who voted in favor of the motion.
“Most of the world’s Jews are not Orthodox. If the State of Israel wants to continue being the state of the Jewish people, then it must treat the world’s Jews with respect.
“The Interior Ministry’s decision to reinstate the religion clause alienates converts to Judaism who are not Orthodox, violates the Supreme Court’s ruling and sends a message of contempt and humiliation to millions of Jews around the world,” the delegates said.
The entry known as the “religion” or “nationality” clause, states the holder’s religion as either Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Other, and has appeared in local identification cards since the British Mandate.
Israel's interior minister, a member of the Ultra-Orthodox party Shas, decided last week to reinstate the designation (which was removed after a 2004 court ruling) and to prevent Reform Jews from being listed as Jews on their Israeli identity cards.