Today, 14 May 2006, a majority of the Supreme Court of Israel, in a split of 6-5 Justices, issued a 263-page decision in which it dismissed a petition filed by Adalah, and six other petitions joined by the Court to the petition including a petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The petitions demanded the annulment of the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 2003, which violates the right of Israeli citizens to family unification with their Palestinian spouses from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).
The majority of Supreme Court Justices, who approved the law as constitutional, were: Justices Mishael Heshin, Miriam Naor, Asher Gronis, Yonatan Adiel, Eliezer Rivlin and Edmond Levy. Dissenting Justices of the minority opinion were: Chief Justice Aharon Barak and Justices Dorit Beinisch, Ayala Procaccia, Salim Jubran and Esther Hayut.
Justice Heshin, who lead the majority position, stated that citizens of Israel have no constitutional right which authorizes the Court to cancel a law enacted by the Knesset, according to which “foreign” spouses are not allowed to receive legal status in Israel.
According to Heshin, the right to human dignity does not include any constitutional obligation on the state to allow “foreigners” married to Israeli citizens to enter the state. Heshin added that, in his opinion, the “State of war against the Palestinian Authority” justifies the law, which aims to prevent the entry of elements hostile to the security of the state into Israel. Justice Levy indicated that the law is unconstitutional, but that the petitions must nonetheless be dismissed in order to give the Knesset the chance to amend it. The remaining Justices from the majority position ruled that although the law violates constitutional rights, it is proportionate.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak, in his articulation of the minority position, stated that, “The issue concerns the right of Israeli citizens of the state to family life and equality, which derive from the constututional right to human dignity, as espoused in the Basic Law [Human Dignity and Liberty]… A citizen has the right to conduct a family life with a spouse in Israel. There [in Israel]