Interior Minister Eli Yishai
Interior Minister Eli YishaiIsrael news photo: Flash 90


Minister of Interior Eli Yishai (Shas) has informed the Justice Ministry of his intention to bring back the item denoting nationality in Israel ID cards, Channel 2 news reported Monday evening. Yishai had the item removed from the ID cards in 2002 after the High Court ordered that Reform and Conservative converts be listed as Jewish.
To circumvent the High Court demand, Yishai intends to have the word “Jewish” appear only in the ID cards of people whose IDs said “Jewish” in 2002. Others will continue to have asterisks next to “nationality.”
The formal reason for the decision, according to Maariv, is that Holocaust survivors whose IDs have become worn out have been refusing to take ID cards that do not have the nationality “Jewish” in them.
The Reform movement reacted to the news by vowing to turn once again to the High Court against Yishai’s decision. The movement accused Yishai of “unsophisticated and obvious” use of Holocaust victims as an excuse for the move.