According to Jamie Cowen, president of the UMJC (umjc.net), who is an attorney and whose daughter was a defendant in this case, this ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court is precedent setting for future cases. When the ruling says “as long as the person is not Jewish,” this means that they never were religious Jews prior to applying for citizenship (I don’t think, but I could be wrong, that this excludes those with a Jewish mother from applying). Thus, many Messianic Jews still could not become citizens of Israel, but many could. The reason for this exclusion of religious Jews who later became Messianic Jews is a very early court precedent that Jews who have changed religion may not become citizens.
Note, however, that Jews who practice Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, and many other “different religions” are not excluded. The law of return has not been evenly applied, but has been used primarily to discriminate against Jews who believe in Jesus (Jesus the Jew at that!!).
Here is the official wording of the ruling:
High Court of Justice
SUPREME COURT RULING
Case No. 2708/06
Judges: Honorary Justice A. Rubeinstien
Honorary Justice S. Jubraan
Honorary Justice Y. Dentziger
Petitioners: 1. Sean Steckbeck
2. Ayelet Steckbeck
3. Daniel Silverman
4. Melanie Silverman
5. Yehoshua Silverman
6. Amalia Silverman
7. Aliana Silverman
8. Gusia Silverman
9. Matty Nadler
10. Amy Cowen
Respondents: 1. Ministry of Interior
Registrar of Population
Date of court hearing: 16.04.08
The parties have submitted to us the following notification:
“In their notification dated 13.04.08 the Respondents declared, that the fact that a person is a “Messianic Jew” has no bearing on an application according to Sec. 7 of the Law of Citizenship, as well as an application according to Sec. 4(A)(a) of the Law of Return (as long as the person applying according the abovementioned section of the Law of Return is not considered to be Jewish, as described in section 4B of the Law of Return).
The Respondents declare that in accordance with their notification they will process the applications of all Petitioners as soon as possible, as well as the application of Alvetina Zibareva, and Valentina Zibareva who requested to join the petition on 01.04.08 to the extent that their request is similar.
Due to these circumstances the representatives of the Petitioners requested to remove the petition without a ruling regarding court costs.
The Petition is removed by consent as aforesaid.