Proud To Have Been an American
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Ron Dermer, co-author with Natan Sharansky of the best-selling book “The Case For Democracy” (PublicAffairs), was recently named Israel’s minister of economic affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. To take up his new post, Mr. Dermer was required to renounce his American citizenship. The following was attached to his formal application of renunciation.
The United States insists that foreign diplomats working on its soil not hold American citizenship. The reasonableness of this demand makes my decision to relinquish my citizenship no less difficult. I have always been proud to be an American, and I will always be proud to have been an American.
For 33 years I have felt America’s warm embrace, and I am eternally grateful for it. I was born in America, raised in America, and formed in America. I have been educated by the wisdom of its founders, inspired by the words of its leaders, and protected by the sacrifices of its soldiers.
When I think of freedom, I think of Lincoln. When I think of courage, I think of Normandy. When I think of justice, I think of Martin Luther King Jr.
America has convinced me that to achieve greatness, a nation must reconcile faith and freedom. It has taught me that the most vital asset a nation possesses is its own sense of justice. It has shown me the power of freedom to change the lives of individuals, of nations, and of the world.
America has inspired hundreds of millions around the globe who hoped to import its ideals, and it continues to do so today. But the true greatness of America lies not only in its creed but also in the people who share it. Americans are a people whose moral sense remains strong and who have been inoculated against the corrosive cynicism that infects so many who live in freedom elsewhere. As long as Americans reject cynicism, America will thrive. As long as Americans continue to be inspired, America will continue to inspire the world.
There are those who leave America because they no longer feel at home there. But I have always felt completely at home in America. I left America because I wanted to help another nation I love defend the freedoms that Americans have long taken for granted. I left America to help another people I love fight not merely for their survival but also for their right to survive.
Thousands of miles from the torch of freedom that has welcomed so many to America’s shores, Israel carries the torch of freedom in the Middle East. Manning the frontlines in a war against tyranny and terror is a formidable task. But the Jewish state must also defend freedom in the face of a world that is largely shorn of a moral compass, in which a nation’s self-defense is called aggression and in which terrorists and their victims are deemed equally entitled to sympathy.
It is fitting that America chose the eagle as its national symbol. The Bible says that God bore the children of Israel from slavery on the wings of eagles. Soaring higher than any other bird, the eagle carries its young on its back to protect them from the dangers below. America has soared higher than any other nation in the history of the world and protects its sons and daughters from peril. Now, with great sadness, I will leave that protection and face those perils with my new nation.
I am confident that America has armed me well for the difficult struggles ahead. It has convinced me that good can triumph over evil and that a free people, united in a common purpose, will never be defeated by tyrants and slaves.
In order to serve my new country, I have decided to renounce my American citizenship. But I will never renounce America or its people. As a faithful son of America, I will never betray its ideals. In serving the State of Israel and in working to secure our common future, I will champion those ideals all of my life.
May God forever bless America.