Israeli Officials Ordered to Implement Identity Card Regulations

The Ministry of Interior announced last night that it has issued orders throughout the country for registering applicants for identification cards in accordance with the new regulations to which the religious bloc objects, and as a result of which members of the United Religious Party resigned from the Cabinet.

Under the new regulations, children of non-Jewish parents are registered on the new identity cards as Jews, providing both parents request such registration. The new rules also permit any adult to designate himself as a Jew providing he declares himself Jewish “in good faith.”

The Ministry’s announcement, which adds that additional instructions will be issued “in due course,” follows reports that implementation of the new rules had been suspended pending a report by a new Cabinet committee headed by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

The Prime Minister’s office today confirmed an earlier report that Mr. Ben Gurion had sent a letter to former Minister of Posts Joseph Burg, offering a move whereby the Religious Party ministers might return to the Cabinet. Dr. Burg is one of the resigned Religious Ministers. However, the contents of the letter to Dr. Burg were not disclosed. It is understood that the Interior Ministry’s latest move will be challenged in the Cabinet.

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