Israeli Knesset member gives up US citizenship
Rabbi Dov Lipman speaks out
- Duration 4:05
- Date Feb 17, 2013
Rabbi Dov Lipman speaks out
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This transcript is automatically generated
-- silver spring Maryland and became a rabbi and now he's won a seat in the Israeli Knesset becoming the first American born member in thirty years.
But there's a sacrifice along with that triumphed.
Joining us now to talk about it member of The Knesset rabbi MK doppler.
Welcome sir thank you so much -- tell us about this journey.
It's really been -- -- going to be on with you it's been a remarkable journey.
As -- -- -- growing up in America very much American.
My father was a judge in the federal government my father in law.
Within the united states military in the army very much American very patriotic.
Very -- American values my wife and I moved to Israel -- and a half years ago.
I'm an educator by trade we figured that's the role that I would play.
Very quickly got swept up into political activism and Israel.
And now I find myself blessed with the opportunity be a member of the Israeli parliament but I did have to forego my American citizenship in order to make that happen.
Yes and I thought you wrote such a beautiful letter talking about you know the bitter sweetness of that and part of that you said -- your hardest -- in your eyes filled with tears.
As you raise your right hand to bring my official standing as an American -- and and that you -- It's only official because America will always be a part of you but clearly -- this is something that you felt was her life's calling -- work to move ahead.
How did it feel to have to make such a tough choice.
It was very difficult the biggest issue for me was I didn't want America as an entity or Americans in general.
To feel a certain slap in the face standing there and actually renouncing citizenship is a statement of I am not part of you anymore.
And -- for the letter which I wrote which was thank you America was very important for me to be able to express all that the United States.
Had done for me and my family and my father's side of the family running away from programs and -- and the mother's side of the family and -- finding a safe haven after the Holocaust.
And giving us the opportunity to be religious Jews and a free country and I didn't want any sense.
-- not being grateful alike and therefore in that letter was important but as I would raise my hand and have to say that I announced that they were tears and it was very difficult.
You weren't such a unique position happening been born and -- here in America have but also very deep roots in Israel as well we are now an elected official.
I do you feel that you're able to brain a different -- point to some of the conversations about the current relationship between Israel and the U -- When I stood up in The Knesset chamber last that we can sit in Hebrew -- -- -- any which means.
-- obligate myself and took -- sense -- the oath of office.
I really felt the weight and the burden of that but I embraced that.
I do believe that I can be a voice for Israel -- a positive voice for Israel to the United States and to the world to be able to convey the beauty.
And the amazing things that are happening in Israel.
And also to bring a different type of conversation and dialogue with an Israeli politics as well as -- certain culture that's been embedded in Israeli politics and I think that.
There's a more positive outlook.
That a professional outlook -- more dignified outlook which we might be used to in the United States and I hope that I can bring that -- -- cancer as well.
I thought it was.
It was very enlightening that he said you're still gonna remain a Redskins and Orioles -- And continue to cultivate that although you are an ocean away.
Is that the -- parts of America alien -- -- -- -- -- -- -- the -- -- he grew up with hours apart from the other night I was asked to throw out the opening ball and then.
Israeli football championship and I went out there and I -- -- is the very proud and there are certain things that I'll never be able to figure by -- of these sports after -- -- a little bit of a lighter element but certainly the values of tolerance and respect and the hard work ethic which -- so -- inside of me when I was an all my years in the United States.
I bring all that with me on my path -- to The Knesset and it's something which certainly never forget that -- that was that was in the apartment.
Rabbi MK Dov -- thank you for sharing this fascinating journey with us -- wish you all the best.
Thank you so much have a wonderful day.