Israel Studies Effect of Mccarran Law on Americans in Its Army

The effects of the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act on Americans now serving with the Israel Army are being considered by Israel officials at the Embassy here, but the matter has not yet been raised with the State Department or any other branch of the United States Government, a spokesman for the Israel Embassy said today.

The McCarran Act, which goes into effect December 24, provides that any American citizen who serves in the armed forces of a foreign country automatically loses his citizenship. Under Israeli law, Americans and other foreign nationals resident in Israel who otherwise qualify for national military service are liable to such service. This presents Americans already in Israel’s Army with the choice of surrendering their citizenship or deserting the Israel Army.

Israel officials, fearful that immigration from the U.S. will drop off further under the impact of the McCarran Act, are investigating the possibility of working out an arrangement with the U.S. to permit U.S. citizens to remain in its Army and to enable others to join. Under study is a McCarran Act provision which allows Americans to serve in foreign forces if they receive prior permission from the Secretaries of State and Defense.

Also being considered is the possibility of the U.S. and Israel concluding an arrangement before December 24 which would permit such military service. This may cover the situation since the McCarran Act exempts from its military service provisions, treaties or conventions existing on the date the measure goes into effect.

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