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November 22, 2014 7:28 pm

Netanyahu Describes Controversial Nationality Law as ‘Essential’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Cherie Cullen / WikiCommons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Cherie Cullen / WikiCommons.

Ynet – The public storm brewing in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition over a vote on the ‘Nationality Law’ will reach a critical point on Sunday when the bill comes to a vote at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will oppose two measures scheduled for a vote tomorrow. “I will firmly oppose any legislative proposal which hurts the values of the State of Israel as laid down in the Declaration of Independence,” she said Saturday evening.

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  • Yoel Nitzarim

    As a citizen of the State of Israel I wish to join in on the debate presented here. I was born Randall David Smith, an assimilated, America or Anglo name. At both, my private Hebrew name was Yoel, after my paternal great-grandfather who died in the Jewish shtetl Siemiatycze, Poland, presumably in a pogrom. My paternal grandfather, Charles Smith, changed the name of his birth, Isadore Makler, at Ellis Island because he was totally illiterate and at age twelve he was hopelessly at the mercy of the vast hordes of nondescript Jews in America who might take him in as well as the vast numbers of American citizens who could discriminate against him as a Jew in 1906. Taking the odyssey of my loving, dear grandfather full circle, I changed my name legally ion June 15, 1988, at age thirty-eight. It is no small coincidence that I did so after a failed aliyah to Gal-on, Israel with my then wife Esther and older daughter 2 1/2-year-old Cheli, both of whom had just survived a devastating crimson conjunctivitis and an acute amoebic dysentery respectively. That and Esther’s background as a daughter of survivors of Auschwitz, profoundly influenced me to change my identity to one whose G-d wills descendants, hence Yoel Nitzarim.

    Now back in Jerusalem as a toshav chozer or returning citizen at age sixty-five, I can readily comprehend the requirement of the Jewish State of Israel to invoke the language of our ancestors and founding fathers and mothers both of the Israelites and the modern state some sixty-six years ago to be designated the lingua franca of the Jewish homeland. It might not be considered the vernacular or native language, but the common language of the ethnicities and religious groups–Jews, Christians, Muslims, Ba’hai, Druze, Circassians, Bedouin, Arabs and other–inhabiting the land.