Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How does that work?

How does that work? Does entering the IDF not require taking an "oath, affirmation or other formal declaration" to the State of Israel? Or are our armed forces archaic with all the oath-taking and joining Zahal is more like getting hired at WallyWorld? "Okay, fill out your W4. Here's your flak vest. Now your friends will think you're a ninja when you show them the dumb way we're gonna teach you to carry a pistol."
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41 comments:

Chris said...

Americans have always fought in foreign wars in foreign armies. WWI, Spanish Civil War and WW2 all had Americans fighting under other flags. I believe that these specific Americans held dual citizenship. So, no conflict at all.

lelnet said...

It's actually pretty hard to lose US citizenship. I'm guessing that the reason for this has to do with our unique-in-the-developed-world tax laws...but whatever the reason, any action which could plausibly be interpreted as _not_ intended to constitute a renunciation of citizenship, generally preserves it. (And to be fair, for a dual citizen residing in Israel, where military service is universal and compulsory, the most reasonable assumption is that they did not, by fulfilling that obligation, intend to give up their US citizenship.)

http://tinyurl.com/ouyejz8 has more, including citations of the relevant statute and court cases.

Firehand said...

Was going to say, WWII a lot of Americans went to Canada and Britain and joined their military to fight the Germans.

No idea if they have a modified oath for that.

Tam said...

Chris,

Yeah, I'm aware of the history. Most of your cited examples, however, took place before (and specifically led to) the Nationality Act of 1940. Also, neither of the two guys here were conscripted involuntarily, so Nishikawa v. Dulles has no bearing.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

My ex-girlfriend's son lives over there; served his stint, and remains in the reserve. But he still carries a US passport.

You would be surprised (or maybe not) how many Jewish American teenagers and early-twenty-somethings are over there serving in the IDF.

Reno Sepulveda said...

My friend Neil and I were talking about this Saturday. He knows several "kids" from the LA area that are in Gaza fighting today. They were born in America but their parents moved the family to Israel long ago.

Dual citizenship and mandatory military service. I don't know the legalities of the process but with the IDF, necessity is the mother of ... everything.

Richard said...

The US has long and still does recognize dual citizenship status. Not all foreign countries do but Israel is one that does. My daughters carry Swiss passports as well as US ones (Their mother is Swiss).

Certainly, Americans served in the Canadian and British military after 1940 and probably the Soviet military as well. They also served in the Japanese military as you note and the German military. Coercion may or may not have been involved but it was convenient to claim such in the aftermath. And, of course, there was Prime Minister Panic of Yugoslavia who was an American citizen.

ScotchDave said...

It's very normal in Jewish communities in 3 countries I can think of. Though I don't know anything about the legalities.

Chris said...

http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/citizenship-and-foreign-military-service.html

"Military service in foreign countries, however, usually does not cause loss of nationality since an intention to relinquish nationality normally is lacking. In adjudicating loss of nationality cases, the Department has established an administrative presumption that a person serving in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities against the United States does not have the intention to relinquish nationality. On the other hand, voluntary service in the armed forces of a state engaged in hostilities against the United States could be viewed as indicative of an intention to relinquish U.S. nationality."

Tam said...

I swan, people keep saying "Dual citizenship!" as though I might never have heard of such a prospect. ;)

Incidentally, the aforementioned Nishikawa v. Dulles as well as Kawakita v. U.S. are fascinating jumping-off points for Wikiwanders.

Anonymous said...

Background info
http://www.timesofisrael.com/lone-soldiers-follow-long-diaspora-tradition/

And a long American tradition, as pointed out by others.
Kishnevi

TJIC said...

> I swan, people keep saying "Dual citizenship!" as though I might never have heard of such a prospect. ;)


So if both US and Israel allow dual citizenship, and you grok that, what issue are you asking about? To rephrase: ** I ** see nothing here that needs an explanation, but ** YOU ** do see a mystery. Could you explain what contradiction or law you see as relevant? Nationality Act of 1940? I'm not a legal scholar on it, but I see nothing there that makes this question deep.

Tam said...

Jesus Christ, yes! I know this! I know people who have gone off to serve in the IDF.

I was wondering about the legalities underlying it. You know the part where USC§XXX(x) says "As established by the Long-Standing Tradition Act of 1971, the prohibition on swearing oaths of allegiance to foreign powers is waived in the case of countries we're not at war with or generally like a lot."

So far, it looks like what's at work here is the pivotal SCOTUS decision in Afroyim v. Rusk.

Tam said...

TJIC,

"So if both US and Israel allow dual citizenship, and you grok that, what issue are you asking about?"

The US allows dual citizenship, yes. The US also has a statutorily enumerated list of things that will cause you to lose your citizenship. Among these things is "taking an oath, affirmation, or other formal declaration". I asked a pretty specific question about how this works, and all I got was handwaving about "long-standing traditions" and "dual citizenship".

It's okay, though, because I found the answer in Afroyim v. Rusk.

Kilroy said...

Pretty sure that guy in the Mummy was allowed to fight in the french foreign legion without giving up his citizenship. But I'm pretty sure his citizenship was revoked anyway after coming up out of a bunker 20 years after thinking WWIII happened.

Noah said...

Huh. And Afroyim v. Rusk boils down to 'powers not expressly granted' vice 'powers not expressly forbidden'.

And yeah, those are some dangerous wikiwanders...

Anonymous said...

From the IDF website.

"Unless you are joining a IDF Mahal program you must become an Israeli citizen to join the army. If you are not a citizen, but would like to serve in the IDF, then there are a number of programs which include army experience as well as volunteer programs for the army, where you will serve shoulder-to-shoulder with regular Israeli soldiers."

I was unable to open the website for the Mahal to get more info.

Look on the bright side, Tam. Fighting for the Israelis is something to be proud of. There have been more than enough citizens of the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and various European nations fighting for Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Al_in_Ottawa

Steve C said...

So long as you're not opposing the United States, it shouldn't be a problem. Mercenaries do it all the time. As I recall, Latvia's first post-Soviet head of their army was an American.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Tam, I think what it comes down to "What your definition of the word is,is."

In that State Dept. Document you brought up, notice the phrase "AND wishes to give up their Citizenship..." So, if someone wants to keep their Citizenship, yet go fight for the Great Nation State of Belize, well, as long as we aren't in Conflict with them, I guess it's legal.

BTW, from what I've read today, these "Lone Soldiers" get to join the IDF if they can prove they're Jewish and/or left Israel before the age of 15 and/or never have lived in Israel at all. I understand that there's about 2,000 of them serving right now from all over the Planet.

So "Duel Citizenship" shouldn't come into play at all.

Tam said...

Al_in_Ottowa,

" Fighting for the Israelis is something to be proud of. "

Jesus Howard Christ on a turbocharged f***ing popsicle stick! Where did I say, or even imply, that it wasn't?

I need to take a break from the goddam internet before it gives me an aneurysm.

Kristophr said...

If they accept a commission as an officer, a real noble title, or stand for office, then the Constitution says they lose citizenship.

You can join the Légion étrangère and still keep your citizenship, provided you don't become an officer.

Kristophr said...

Bubblehead Les: or what the definition of ISIS.

Anonymous said...

Tam, I never suggested you did, was just pointing out that there are 'moderate muslims' out there fighting against civilization. One Australian muslim posted youtube videos of himself in Syria while drawing disability benefits in Oz. There are also some Canadian muslim youths who happily got 'blow'd up real good' in Syria and therefore are no longer a problem.

Al_in_Ottawa

Dave said...

Check out this book for the full story on IDF service: Aaron Cohen - Brotherhood of Warriors. Good read and gives lots of perspective on Israel's situation.

Kristophr said...

Tam: I need to take a break from the goddam internet before it gives me an aneurysm.

Again, the nearly universal impulse to skim until offended rears its ugly head. We all seem to only read what we expect to see, I guess.

Will said...

Tam,
since you bring up Israel, I'll ask if you have ever talked to an Israeli about our Second Amendment, or just owning weapons in general?

I worked for an Israeli owned startup back in the 90's, and had a brief discussion with one of the work visa engineers about it. You would think that in their situation, an armed populace would be a given, especially after the Holocaust. Nope. They don't grok it at all. They seem to be programed to fear weapons except in the hands of military or police. Strange.
I guess this might explain why Jews here in the US are the same way, if they think like that near the front lines, so to speak.

Matthew said...

"If you are not a citizen, but would like to serve in the IDF, ...as well as volunteer programs for the army, where you will serve shoulder-to-shoulder with regular Israeli soldiers."

Al,

So the IDF does ride-alongs?

;)

mdsteve1066 said...

Just what we need a "hot temper" that owns a gun! Sheez,can I borrow you for next class I teach?

Mark

Aesop said...

Taking an "oath or affirmation" may cause one to lose their U.S. citizenship.

The answer you're looking for isn't in the statutes, it's simply that if the government chooses not to notice, it never happened. Codified nowhere in black and white, but operative forever nonetheless.

Like cops going back to their sandwiches instead of racing off to write a ticket, or terrorists killing our ambassador on 9/11, or 50,000 MS-13 gangbangers and whatnot from Central America showing up in El Paso, and so on.

With American citizens serving in foreign militaries, it's just one of those things that no one really wants to stir up in the first place if they don't have to do it. They will currently if we're talking about Al Queda or the Taliban, but for the IDF, the Coldstream Guards, or Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, not so much.

As long as you show up at a U.S. consulate or back on U.S soil once every ten years or so, and haven't become some worldwide media circus loci in the interim, for all they care, you've just been off on an extended visit abroad. Less paperwork all around, and less stress for the permanent bureaucracy who mainly serve their own interests, and only secondarily those of the country, when it's convenient, and after their union-mandated break.

If everyone played by the rules, you're absolutely right, and their citizenship would/should be revoked under the laws.

When they're dead anyways, apparently no one at Customs is going to tell Mom and Pop "Sorry, he can't come back, even in a pine box." So far.

Knucklehead said...

It has been a while since I researched this sort of thing but IIRC, American citizens don't generally jeopardize their US citizenship if they are fighting with the armed forces of nations we consider friends. Heck, we send US forces to do this sort of thing all the time and sometimes we muster out soldiers and send to the CIA to do such things as clandestinely as possible.

There is a widespread misconception among Americans that dual citizenship is a no-no. That is not the case. US caselaw is generally quite accepting of dual citizenship.

Sigivald said...

On the statutory question, see 8 USC 1841, which is the current much-amended version of the Nationality Act.

The "intention of relinquishing ... nationality" language is statutory; there in section (a).

By the language there, you could fight against US troops but keep citizenship if you pinky-swore [and they couldn't prove otherwise] that your enlistment with the hostile army was not with intent to relinquish citizenship.

Tam said...

Aesop,

"The answer you're looking for isn't in the statutes..."

...it's in the case law. ;)

Go look at the SCOTUS cases linked upthread (but only read the WWII Japanese-related ones if you have time on your hands, lest ye fall down the Wikihole. :) )

Chris said...

That Wikihole is dark and deep. I got sucked in once...Started out looking up a chemical reaction and ended up reading about Paul Bowles. No idea how I got there.

Tam said...

Sigivald,

Indeed. As Justice Black wrote in the Afroyim decision, quoting the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment:

""All persons born or naturalized in the United States ... are citizens of the United States...." There is no indication in these words of a fleeting citizenship, good at the moment it is acquired but subject to destruction by the Government at any time. Rather the Amendment can most reasonably be read as defining a citizenship which a citizen keeps unless he voluntarily relinquishes it. Once acquired, this Fourteenth Amendment citizenship was not to be shifted, canceled, or diluted at the will of the Federal Government, the States, or any other governmental unit."

Richard said...

I still want to talk about the Prime Minister of Serbia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Pani%C4%87

Although there was discussion about his citizenship, nothing was ever done. And being Prime Minister is a different order of magnitude than being a non-commissioned officer. At least Serbia was not then at war with the US.

Matthew said...

"By the language there, you could fight against US troops but keep citizenship if you pinky-swore [and they couldn't prove otherwise] that your enlistment with the hostile army was not with intent to relinquish citizenship."

The little known, seldom invoked, "I love America but I really hate *that* guy, and *that* guy, and *that* guy, and, no, you're cool, but *that* guy, and *that* one..." exception.

Aesop said...

Afroyim is illuminating, thanks for the tip.

Anytime I see a decision authored by Hugo Black, I instinctively suspect it's ripe for revisitation by some future court.

But until that happens, short of a clear explicit desire to forfeit US citizenship, you're one forever.

So the follow-on is how does that affect the standing to sue BHO for violation of due process by killing American citizens with Hellfire missiles at whim?

Anonymous said...

Prime Minister Panic! Chortle, snicker...

Ulises from CA

Richard said...

Anonymous said...

Prime Minister Panic! Chortle, snicker...

Ulises from CA

I did give you a link. Couldn't do justice to the Slavic name on an English keyboard. But I am old enough to actually remember the episode which was in the early '90s

D.W. Drang said...

Dear fellow Internet Aspies:
"How does that work?" was a rhetorical device, not a request for illumination. Imagine, if you will, Tam at Open Mike Night in the comedy Club...

On second thought, don't. You'd all think it was a debating society.

One more argument for the development of a universally recognized "sarcasm" font, although the debate would be about whether it's use was appropriate here...

Anonymous said...

I know at least one US soldier who finished his enlistment, joined the Rhodesian Light Infantry, finished his enlistment there and rejoined the US Army, became a Ranger and when retired was made a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame. I'll assume since he never surrendered his citizenship, it was not a problem.

John Paul Jones served as an admiral in the Russian Navy under Catherine the Great and is interned at the US Naval Academy. It did seem to hurt his status as a US citizen.

Gerry.