ISRAEL: Citizenship

In Jerusalem last week, Pinhas Koplovitch, a small, balding Polish Jew, took a slim, dark-blue booklet from the hands of an Israeli government official and murmured a traditional thanksgiving: "Praised be Thou, O Lord, who hast let me live to see this day." Koplovitch had in his hands the first Israeli passport.

Until Israel's long-delayed nationalization law came into effect last month, residents of Israel remained citizens of their old countries, or were stateless. The law made citizens, if they so desired, of all the 1,400,000 resident Jews, whether immigrants or native-born. More than 20,000, including a handful of U.S.-born, did...

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