General, Justice in Israel

Citizenship is a basic human right, not a gift of the state

0 Comments 08 August 2017

It must be plainly stated: Citizenship is a basic human right; it is not a gift for the state to revoke.

We learned this week that Ala’a Ziwad, a resident of Umm al-Fahm who committed a terrorist attack in Gan Shmu’el injuring four Israeli civilians, will have his citizenship revoked. passport

Once again we see the desire for revenge obscuring the most basic truths: Citizenship is not a status of honor granted or denied by the authorities. Ziwad has already been sentenced to 25 years in prison. While the state can – and in this case, did – punish criminals with imprisonment, it cannot make them stateless.

In the court’s ruling to revoke citizenship, Justice Elyakim explained:

“Every citizen has obligations alongside their rights, including loyalty to the nation, which includes not carrying out terrorist acts against its residents and its security.”

It is not clear why other convicted terrorists have not also had their citizenships revoked. Such has not been the case in incidents of terror by Jews against Arabs, in the murders of women by their partners, or even in the assassination of a Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir.

This is not justice – it is a slippery slope that will lead to grave abuses of power by the state and the violation of the basic rights of its citizens.

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