Love Suspended: Demography, Comparative Law and Palestinian Couples in the Israeli Supreme Court
Social & Legal Studies (2013) 22(3) 309–334.
26 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2013 Last revised: 31 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 24, 2013
This article considers a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Israel dealing with the right to family unification of Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCI). By situating the decision in the broader debate on Israel’s constitutional definition as a Jewish and democratic state, the article examines patterns where the definition plays an important role in defining the nature of the citizenship held by PCI and the limits of their rights. This examination focuses on three main issues that arose in the case: the scope of the protection of the right to family life, the comparative method used by some of the Justices to limit that right, and statements about the legitimacy of demographic considerations in devising immigration policies. This analysis demonstrates how the arguments and justifications used by the Court may provide building blocks for a legal framework that is proceeding in the direction of institutionalizing separate hierarchical categories of citizenship.
Keywords: Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law, Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, Palestinian citizens of Israel, right to family life, family reunification, demography, comparative law, immigration
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