"There must be legislation allowing Jewish people everywhere in the world to become Israeli citizens, even if they do not live here," asserted Rabbi Zalman Melamed on Sunday at a conference debating Torah-derived teachings as they pertain to minority issues in the State of Israel.
Melamed is regarded as an influential authority in the Religious Zionism movement and currently serves as Beit El's chief rabbi.
Doing so, said Melamed, would strengthen the idea of Israel as the nation of all Jews while simultaneously shoring up the country's Jewish demographic in future elections. However, he agreed, Jews who do not reside in Israel should not receive monetary benefits so long as they are also exempted from paying taxes and other national duties.
"Our ideal objective is for the land of Israel, on all its borders, to be filled with the people of Israel, as was promised to Abraham our father. For the country to operate in accordance with the Torah of Israel," said the rabbi, adding that Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National UnionNational Religious Party) is already working towards legislating such a bill.
Melamed advocates stripping Israeli Arabs of their civil rights. "Even those with a democratic viewpoint understand that we must limit the rights of those who wish to harm the State. There are many non-Jews in Israel who are striving to undermine the country," he said at the conference. "These people should not be able to vote who sits in the Knesset or determine who leads the country. The law must dictate that the subversive cannot be citizens."
Although such legislation is unlikely to pass, it is worth our time to reflect with horror on the enormity of the idea proposed here: to officially identify every Jew in the world with the Zionist enterprise, the terrible trespass against G-d's decree of exile.
In the days of the British Mandate, when the British automatically recognized every Jew in Palestine as a member of the Zionist Vaad Leumi unless they stated specifically otherwise, the great rabbis of Jerusalem Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld and Rabbi Yitzchok Yerucham Diskin told their followers to go down and register themselves specifically as non-members. Then came the establishment of the state, and it became much harder for Jews born there not to be citizens. And now, the Satan is never satisfied, and they are coming after the Jews of the entire world. Where will we run?
Moreover, since this citizenship would be a matter of choice, we can expect that most of those who go down to register themselves as citizens would be Orthodox Zionist Jews, since they are the ones who care the most about Israeli affairs and politics. Eager to get more votes for their parties, organizations such as Agudah, Young Israel, and the Orthodox Union would issue rulings urging all their followers to become citizens and vote. The religious parties would double their power in the Knesset, and would effectively dominate the Zionist state. A religious Zionist state would be far worse than a secular one, because it would claim to act in the name of the Torah and thus desecrate the name of G-d in the world.
Furthermore, this neat little trick of giving citizenship to Jews outside the state's borders and revoking it from Palestinians within the state's borders would make it impossible for Zionism to be outvoted through the democratic process, which is exactly what Melamed has in mind.
We must pray to the Almighty that this evil plan never come to fruition, so that the Jews of the world not be faced with this trial.