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When Revoking American Citizenship Is Acceptable

When Revoking American Citizenship Is Acceptable

July 31, 2017

Social Sciences & Humanities

BGU’s Dr. Ben Herzog sat down with TLV1’s Tel Aviv Review podcast recently to discuss his new book, Revoking Citizenship: Expatriation in America from the Colonial Era to the War on Terror.

Dr. Ben Herzog

Dr. Herzog, a lecturer in the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism and incumbent of the Michael Feige Career Development Chair in Israeli Society, is an expert in the legal construct of citizenship and the relationship between the individual and the state. In this podcast, he discusses how even in a democracy like the United States, citizenship has not historically been an inalienable right.

“Some of the reasons for expatriation are obvious to us, like betrayal, espionage or terrorism,” Dr. Herzog explains. “But if you look in the past, in the United States until 1922 women who married foreigners would lose their American citizenship.”

Today we have modernized many expatriation laws, says Dr. Herzog, but modern events like the rise of terrorism have raised new legal quandaries.

“Some prominent American politicians would argue that ‘yes, if you do a terrorist act we should take your citizenship away’.  Although legally it’s impossible, socially it’s — I would argue — accepted.”