Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

George Thomas

Reader 2

Gary Gilbert

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© 2017 Bria Y. Smith


This paper defends Israel's expropriation of property under the Absentee Property Law within the state’s pre-1967 borders on constitutional grounds, but holds that the Law’s increased use in the region of East Jerusalem is invalid under Israel's constitutional scheme. This distinction turns upon the state’s application of the Law for necessary purposes. I hold that Israel’s justification for breaching human rights explicitly protected must be based on the state’s need to preserve its foundational ideology and national purpose in times of extra-normal circumstances. Israel may act undemocratically only to the extent imperative to preserve the Jewish nation and the existence of the Jewish state for generations to come.


I would like to thank my two readers, Professor George Thomas and Professor Gary Gilbert, for sharing their knowledge with me and for offering their generous support throughout this process. I would also like to thank my parents and brother who have supported me throughout every endeavor in my life with endless love and encouragement.

Best Senior Thesis in Religious Studies