09.07.2011 07.Tammus, 5771 Balak
This Week in History: Jewish right to aliya becomes law
1950 Law of Return legally enshrined Jewish immigration as a legal right, recognizing that “Every Jew has the right to come to [Israel] as an oleh.”
Nearly 25 months after the Declaration of Independence, the Knesset codified one of the most fundamental principles of Zionism – the right of Jews to make aliya (to immigrate to the State of Israel). Although the 1948 Declaration of Independence opened the gates of the country “for Jewish immigration and for the ingathering of the exiles,” the declaration held no force of law. Thus, on July 5, 1950, the Knesset passed the Law of Return granting every Jew “the right to come to this country as an oleh” (a Jewish immigrant to Israel).
The modern State of Israel was established to fulfill the national self-determination of the Jewish people in its historic homeland. Members of the Zionist movement, which envisioned the establishment of the state, began emigrating from the Diaspora decades before the establishment of the state. The governments of the Ottoman and British Empires, however, in the name of ethnic and civic stability, severely limited Jewish immigration to the land of Israel….