Six new MKs required to renounce foreign citizenship before entering Knesset

Newly elected members of the 19th Knesset will first have to give up their foreign citizenship before they are sworn in as MKs.


Six incoming members of the 19th Knesset will have to give up their foreign citizenship before they are sworn in as new MKs on February 5.

Moshe Feiglin

The Knesset requires any citizen with dual citizenship to cancel his or her additional nationalities before being sworn in. Knesset Secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz has already contacted incoming MKs to inform them of the law.Two new MKs – Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid’s Dov Lipman – will no longer be American citizens.

Though Bennett was born in Israel, his parents immigrated to Israel from California and he lived in the United States for several years.

Lipman, who made aliya from Maryland eight years ago, told The Jerusalem Post last week that giving up his American citizenship is one of the hardest things he has ever done and that he sees himself as a voice for the Anglo community.

Another Yesh Atid MK, Karin Elharar, will have to cancel her French citizenship. Elharar was born in Israel, but her mother is French.

Yoni Chetboun of the Bayit Yehudi was also born in Israel to French parents. He is not a citizen of France, but applied to be one, and now plans to cancel his request.

Similarly, Bayit Yehudi’s Avraham Wortzman used to have Brazilian citizenship, from his parents, but it expired.

The Likud’s Moshe Feiglin has Australian citizenship, because of his parents, but says he has no problem giving it up. Feiglin told Makor Rishon on Friday that he has never been to Australia, and never plans to go there. He also said that his wife is an American citizen, but that he intentionally did not give his children foreign citizenship, in order not to give them a sense that they have somewhere to live other than Israel.

In addition, two new Labor MKs will have to give up foreign citizenship: Michal Biran from Lithuania and Miki Rosenthal from Germany.

Yonah Jeremy Bob and Sam Sokol contributed to this report.



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