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The original question is, in essence: How does Israel define who is and who is not a jew; do those definitions make sense; and based on those definitions, how does Israel treat those who claim that they are jews?

Your question "how does Israel treat..." presumes a uniformity that doesn't quite exist.

I believe Israel treats candidates for Aliyah quite leniently. If they claim to be Jewish they may be accepted without too much further probing. It may help if they have a Jewish sounding name. (But I'm not sure. There may be more probing than I'm aware of). What happens after Aliyah, perhaps when the Oleh or his children want to get married, may be quite different. At that time the matter is no longer in the hands of the ministry of immigration absorption. It is in the hands of the Israeli rabinate, which is sure to demand proof either that they were born Jewish or were properly converted by a rabbi that the Israeli rabinate recognizes.

Elan
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