The case of Israel generally, and specifically regarding the justifications put forth for the Law of Return by a wide range of liberal scholars, accents the main problems and weaknesses of liberal legality. Part one of the paper rethinks aspects of liberal legality and its artificial nature in light of debates surrounding the Law of Return. Debating both the case of Israel and the insistence of many Israeli scholars on justifying the Law using liberal terms, this part reveals certain aspects of liberalism that usually remain hidden.Part III comments on Israel and evaluates the Law of Return while comparing it to similar laws, arguing that even after revisiting liberal legality, the Law of Return scores badly according to the criteria of liberal legality. Thus, the first analysis places Israel within a paradigm, revealing that Israel may not be so exceptional. For those who view liberalism as a pure, ideal theory (both those who support the Law and think that it passes the test of liberalism and those who oppose the Law and think that it fails the test of liberalism) this paper points to the dark side of liberalism, and thereby suggests that Israel might not be the only pariah state, but even within the new paradigm (the second analysis), the Law of Return is at the extreme end of the spectrum and scores badly.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston