A passport case is headed to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court agreed to listen to an appeal regarding whether an American child born in Jerusalem in 2002 will be allowed to list Israel as the place of birth in his passport. In 2004, Parents Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky filed a lawsuit after State Department officials refused to list Israel as their son Menachem’s birthplace. The State Department cited current US policy which lists Jerusalem as the city of birth rather than Israel for children born in Jerusalem.
Had the child been born in Tel Aviv or any other Israeli city, the child’s passport would list Israel as the place of birth. However, due to the Palestinian dispute over Jerusalem, the US has refrained in listing births that take place in Jerusalem as being born in Israel.
Even though Israel has declared Jerusalem its capital, the US along with several other nations around the world do not list Israel on the passport under place of birth if the birth takes place in Jerusalem.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a bill that directed the US Department of State to identify people born in Jerusalem with being born in Israel on their passports.
However, Bush overstepped the office of the president’s authority in formulating US foreign policy.
The US Department of State refuses to list Israel as the place of birth on passports for children born in Jerusalem because they feel that by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, they will isolate the Palestinians and compromise the peace process.
According to the US Department of State, Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, not Jerusalem. Currently, no country’s embassy is in Jerusalem. US passports of people born in Jerusalem will continue to list the place of birth as Jerusalem unless the US Supreme Court overturns the previous decision.
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