thanks for response. of course it will depend on who sets the overall definition, as always. one thing is clear though, whether from a secular /religious point of view, you're dealing w/a people, ie in modern terms an ethnic group. this has always been the case & is central to judaism itself. the UN resolution on partition spoke clearly about a "jewish" as opposed to an "arab" state. since emancipation the jewish tree has grown in all kinds of directions, incl. the rise of reformed streams of judaism as well as a thorough secularization, in a very parallel way to what has been happening w/reg. to christianity in the western world. what follows is that only one "label" remains covering the jewish world as a whole - the label of an ethnic group. this was at the core of the zionist movement & the state's founding fathers who were largely secular people, w/a socialist /humanistic outlook. it's the reason why you got the law of return not following halakhic but ethnic lines.
from the article: Why Israel must become a secular state: a thought for Yom Kippur 5770