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June 8, 2015 1:21 pm

US Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Allowing ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on Passports

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The Supreme Court now enables Americans born in Jerusalem to list "born in Israel" on their passports. Photo: Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons.

The Supreme Court struck down a law that enabled Americans born in Jerusalem to list “born in Israel” on their passports. Photo: Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that enabled Americans born in Jerusalem—which the U.S. government does not recognize as a part of any country—to list “born in Israel” on their passports, on the grounds that Congress overstepped the president’s authority on foreign affairs.

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court said that the “the power to recognize foreign states and governments and their territorial bounds is exclusive to the Presidency.” The case in question involved a 12-year-old boy, Menachem Zivotofsky, whose parents sought to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the birthplace on his U.S. passport.

The U.S. government does not recognize any nation’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and maintains that its status must be resolved through negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel took control of he eastern portion of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and considers the entire city to be its eternal and undivided capital.

In 2002, Congress passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which included a section that mandated recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At the time, president George W. Bush signed the law, but issued a statement saying that it violates the president’s foreign relations authority.

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Additionally, Congress has called on the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem through the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. But presidents Bill Clinton, Bush, and Barack Obama have all delayed the move out of “national security concerns.”

“We are, of course, disappointed by today’s ruling by the Supreme Court. But we are more disappointed by the persistent policy of the United States government—carried out by successive presidents—to treat the capital city of Israel with less respect than that accorded to capital cities of virtually every other nation,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Diament added, “Jerusalem is unquestionably the capital of Israel. It is where Israel’s president resides, parliament sits, and supreme court convenes. Moreover, over history, Jerusalem has only ever served as a capital city for the Jewish people—as it does today. Even after this court decision, it is high time for the U.S. Administration to acknowledge the reality of Israel’s capital—Jerusalem.”

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  • Emanuel

    Relocate the embassies to Jerusalem or start listing District of Columbia, Western Iran on passports. People born in Cuba or China, have that on their passports but if an American Jew is born in Jerusalem they are at the mercy of their king to determine from which country (if any) they originate. They should specify if not Israel, then what country where they born in?

  • ‘Ami Artsi

    Where is my comment ?

    It is written “2 comments”, but I see only one the Mickey Oberman’s one… So where is mine ?

    • ‘Ami Artsi

      Ah, now I see it… ;o))

      I don’t understand what happened

  • Mickey Oberman

    Israel must insist that all foreign embassy relocate to Jerusalem.

    It must refuse to discuss relations or business or any other matter with representatives of foreign countries in any Israeli local but Jerusalem.

    Israel’s staunch friend and ally, Barak Hussein Obama, must be smirking up
    the short sleeve of his golf shirt.

    • ‘Ami Artsi

      Mea a’huz okay with you, Mickey Oberman !

  • ‘Ami Artsi

    Okay… Hey, ‘hevrei ! When will we apply to them our law “an eye for an eye” / “‘ayin ta’hat ‘ayin, shen ta’hat shen” ?

    Let open our embassies in Seattle, as the capital of the US is not anymore Washington, for us, but Seattle… Washington is somwhere nearby the United States of America.

    Let’s open an embassy in Honfleur, because the capital of France is not anymore Paris but Honfleur ! France will have to deal with it!

    And let’s close all our societies in Le Loir et Cher !!! Because it does not belong to France, it belongs to Scandinavia ! French people have shamefully stolen that department to Scandinavian people and we will not allow french activities in Le Loir et Cher occupied !

    Maybe that by undergoing what they make us undergo, they will understand finally what they make us endure !

    Let’s try, at least !

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