(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman announced on Tuesday that he does not intend to seek the return of his American citizenship after he leaves the Knesset next week.
The Maryland native was placed 17th on the Yesh Atid candidates list that won 11 seats. He will cease to be an MK when the 20th Knesset is sworn in next Tuesday.
When he gave up his US citizenship to join the Knesset two years ago, Lipman said it was one of the hardest things he had ever done.
Lipman checked the procedure for regaining his American citizenship, in order to ease travel abroad.
He was told that under US law, a voluntary renunciation of citizenship is irrevocable, though in rare instances it could be set aside by administrative or judicial appeal.
He decided against going through with the procedure.
“I will not be seeking my citizenship back,” Lipman said. “Since I plan to run and be reelected to the Knesset in the next elections, which may be as soon as two years from now according to sources I have spoken to within the Knesset. There is no reason for me to bother with the process of asking for my citizenship back, since I will have to renounce it again so soon.”
When the outgoing Knesset was sworn in, there were six MKs who had to renounce their citizenship of foreign countries. They were all reelected last week – Bayit Yehudi’s Naftali Bennett (US), the Zionist Union’s Michal Biran (Lithuanian) and Mickey Rosenthal (Germany), and Yesh Atid’s Karin Elharar (French) – except for Lipman and Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, who was a citizen of Australia.
Asked whether he would seek to return his Australian citizenship, Feiglin said he had not given it any thought and he was not sure he had successfully completed the process of renouncing the citizenship.
The only US-born MK in the next Knesset, former ambassador to the US Michael Oren, already renounced his citizenship when he became ambassador. His Kulanu colleague Rachel Azaria renounced her American citizenship last week.