On Wednesday, a legislator who has been chosen to be the next minister of immigration and integration advocated for changing the rule that automatically grants Israeli citizenship to Jews and certain of their descendants.
Without going into more detail, Religious Zionism MK Ofir Sofer told Army Radio that "it appears that the Law of Return has to be altered in some way or another."
Sofer said that to effectively serve as a minister, he must first "take on all the intricacies. I know the concerns, but when I study them in depth, I can handle them in a new way."
When questioned about the contentious "grandparent provision," which allows anybody with one Jewish grandparent to get Israeli citizenship as long as they don't follow a different religion, Sofer replied it was "extremely difficult" and he would need a "grace period" to fully research it.
Under this clause of the Law of Return, a large number of immigrants to Israel, especially but not exclusively those from the former Soviet Union, are granted citizenship.
Shas, United Torah Judaism, Otzma Yehudit, Religious Zionism, and at least one MP from incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party advocate eliminating the grandchild clause, which would limit immigration to those born to Jewish parents.
Those who desire to reduce the number of immigrants who are not regarded as Jews under the old interpretation of Jewish law, which solely acknowledges matrilineal heritage, welcome such a reform. Jewish Agency head Doron Almog has cautioned that limiting Jewish immigration might alienate the Jewish diaspora. The Jewish Agency supports immigration to Israel.
Despite the desire of its supporters, Likud is expected to reject a motion to repeal the grandfather clause, Kan public radio reported last week. In the right-religious alliance that won the majority of Knesset seats in the election on November 1 and is now negotiating to form the next government, Likud is the biggest party.
In response to a question on modifying the Law of Return, Netanyahu said he "doubts" it would be amended but did not specifically rule it out in an interview on Sunday.
A senior Likud MP expressed concern on Tuesday that any changes to the grandchild provision may spell the end of the Law of Return as a whole.