Oath wouldn’t require Americans to drop citizenship

Many American-Israelis worried that pledge of allegiance to Israel would jeopardize US status.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
October 21, 2010 06:02
1 minute read.
us flag 88

us flag 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The US Embassy in Israel said Wednesday that proposed legislation being discussed by the government, which would require would-be Israeli citizens to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, would not have any bearing on their American citizenship.

“I don’t think there’s anything that impacts on [US] citizenship in this proposed law,” the embassy spokesperson said. “Unless I hear something about this because it’s new, I don’t think anything’s going to change.”

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The spokesperson was responding to phone calls from American- Israelis worried that their legal status as US citizens might be in jeopardy if they swear allegiance to Israel. Some of their concern may have been sparked by wording in the US Oath of Allegiance, taken by new would-be citizens, which requires them to “absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen...”

But the spokesperson said they had nothing to worry about.

“US citizenship, in general, in order for it to be lost, something fairly strong has to happen like renunciation,” he explained. “So it’s really hard to accidentally lose American citizenship, with the exception of treason or working for a foreign government and those sorts of things. For example, Michael Oren had to renounce his American citizenship when he became Israel’s ambassador to Washington.”

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