Show me how Halacha determines law in Israel. It's a lie. The liberals at Haaretz are just pissy that the country is turning more conservative - but conservative does not mean "theocratic".
In order to regulate this immigration, the “Law of Return” was enacted in 1950, giving all Jews or descendants of Jews the right to settle in Israel. This included the children, grandchildren, spouses, children’s spouses and grandchildren’s spouses of Jews.
However, the Orthodox Rabbinate contends that, according to the Halacha, a Jew is exclusively someone who is born of a Jewish mother and who has not converted to another religion. This Orthodox definition was added to the Law of Return as an amendment. Reform Jews also recognise as Jewish those who have a Jewish father but not a Jewish mother.
The lack of a clear definition means that the Supreme Court is repeatedly called upon to adjudicate, and its decisions set precedent for future judicial decisions. Some historical decisions still have a bearing today:
In the 1960s, Daniel Rufeisen, known as “Brother Daniel”, wanted to emigrate to Israel. He was a Jew who had been persecuted by the Nazis and had worked to save the lives of many other Jews, before later converting to Catholicism. Despite the fact that he was recognised as being ethnically Jewish, his immigration application was rejected because of his conversion to Catholicism.
Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that specific interpretations of Israel’s notion of itself as a Jewish State do have an impact on both the judicial system and policies towards minorities, which can be problematical for the country’s understanding of itself as a democracy.