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High Court Rules Shalit’s Third Child Not to Be Registered As Hebrew

The third child of Commander Benjamin Shalit, chief psychologist of Israel’s armed forces, is not to be registered as belonging to the “Hebrew” community in his identification papers, the Supreme Court decided here today. The first two Shalit children were registered as belonging to the Jewish community (being of Jewish “nationality”) and of no religion. Their mother, an atheist, is not Jewish and the case was heard by an unprecedented bench of nine high court judges two years ago.

However, the law was changed afterwards and for registration purposes Jewish means a child born to a Jewish mother or having undergone conversion and having no other religion. Shalit, therefore, applied to have his child, born last year, registered as Hebrew. In its judgement, the high court said that Hebrew and Jewish are synonymous and the registration asked for by the Shalit would be misleading. His plea was, therefore, rejected. However, the three justices added that their judgement applies to the population registration ordinance only and is no reflection on the feeling of belonging that a person may have.

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