On its second day, the Historical General Assembly (HGA) investigated more solutions to solve and determine a national identity for the Jews. Primarily, the topics discussed were those of dual citizenship and dual allegiance, where different countries presented their various stances and perspectives on the pros and cons associated with being a dual citizen.
During a moderated caucus that was held, most countries elaborated further on the advantages and disadvantages associated with dual citizenship. The Delegate of Chile mentioned, “Although it would help Jews carry two passports, and provide more opportunities… the cons outweigh them. It would create multiple obligations and security issues.” Moreover, many delegates were in agreement that availing a citizenship is not only a lengthy process, but very expensive as well and as a result, may not be economically practical for them.
On the contrary, there are also several benefits of availing dual citizenship. “Jews are in fear of going back to their homeland, where they have faced discrimination and antisemitism.” stated the Delegate of France. Therefore, they are forced to migrate to countries which are more religiously tolerant. Additionally, the Delegate of Iraq expressed more points, like, Jews possessing land in both countries, exposure to the culture of two countries instead of one and employing the rights of both countries.
“Dual citizenship however, would make the Jews lose a sense of nationality.” said the Delegate of India. This statement is quite true, plus many delegates do recognize this fact, and without a sense of nationality, the whole point of the committee becomes redundant. Along with dual citizenship, comes the burden of dual taxation, dual allegiance and dual obligation. Moreover, it is not just about the Jews whose benefit the committee is trying to find – if the society they live within deems the Jews untrustworthy due to their lack of loyalty towards one country.
There were several unmoderated caucuses that took place, where most delegates were highly participative. As the time for working papers came near, the delegates had already begun defining the blocks they wish to work with. On one side, there seemed to be the UK, the US and France forming a block, the other included Yugoslavia and Iraq forming alliances with other countries. With a General Speaker’s List, the first committee session came to a close. It can be hoped that the sessions to come will be more exciting.
Reporter: Shubhangi Dutta, Gulf News
Editor: Seher Anand