Interior Ministry run-around - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Queer - Jew
    • 28.06.11 | 12:30 (IDT)

    When my husband and I moved to Israel nearly four years ago, we experienced a similar situation. Ours was, perhaps, even more precarious. I was not born Jewish. I finished my conversion nearly five years ago. According to the Law of Return, we should have had no problem immigrating to Israel. Not only was I married to a Jew but I also am -- not in the eyes of the Rabbinate but, rather, according to the Interior Ministry instructions handed down by the Supreme Court. Aliyah? No problem, right? Yet, despite my legally approved status in the eyes of Israeli law, I was not granted citizenship for 15 months. During that time, I was not allowed to work because my application was "pending." We went to the Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv every month out of 15. Each time we were told to come back next month. We were told to submit countless documents and letters attesting to the validity of my conversion and our marriage. About 11 months into this ordeal, we decided to get stealthy. Knowing that the various agents we spoke with every month would call Mazal Cohen (02-6294719) at the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem who has full control over all pending Aliyah applications, we paid attention to the numbers being dialed by the agent on one particular visit. I remembered them and wrote them down. Then, we started harassing Mazal weekly. We even called a radio station who then called Mazal threatening to air our story. After that Mazal finally relinquished and my citizenship was granted. Is this any way to "absorb" immigrants to a new country by telling them they are unwanted? By telling their Jewish-born spouses that their partners are not good enough to move this country forward? If the people in charge at the Interior Ministry and the Rabbinate had their way, there would probably only be a few hundred thousand people living in this country. I wonder what lengths they would go to in order to clean up the rest.

    from the article: Israel refuses citizenship for gay man married to Jewish immigrant
    First published 02:28 28.06.11 | Last updated 02:28 28.06.11
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