by Gideon Alon and Yair Ettinger | Ha'aretz | May 2003
The prime minister and defense heads have requested an amendment to the Citizenship Law to prevent automatic Israeli citizenship for a child with a Palestinian parent.
The move follows the discovery that the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Mazza restaurant in Haifa was the son of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father. The bomber had automatically received Israeli citizenship and this aided him in moving freely and carrying out his attack.
Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein has informed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon he is in favor of the amendment.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has sent a sharply-worded letter to Rubinstein that people should not be discriminated against on the basis of nationality and race, especially when it refers to a child born to one Israeli and one Palestinian parent.
Labor party secretary general, Ophir Pines-Paz, described the initiative as "a bad joke" and said Sharon was using it to counteract the reactions in the Likud to his support for the road map. Pines-Paz said the amendment would be anti-constitutional and racist. "It distinguishes between one type of blood and another," he said.
Balad MK Azmi Bishara said the amendment would make Israel "the only country in the world since the fall of apartheid where people are discriminated against on the basis of their blood and their origin." Sharon's initiative "puts his words about a Palestinian state in another light; his motive is merely racial segregation," he said.