Born in Jerusalem? Where’s That?

June 11, 2015

2 min read

David Rubin

By a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated a law of Congress from 2002 that would have forced the State Department to alter its long-standing policy of not listing Israel on passports as the birthplace for Jerusalem-born Americans, instead listing only “Jerusalem.” The court ruled that Congress “overstepped its bounds” with its action, which interfered with the executive branch’s decision-making power on foreign policy.

American citizens born in Paris have it registered on their passports that they were born in Paris, France. Those born in Cairo are listed as having been born in Cairo, Egypt. Even those who were born in Havana have it registered that they were born in Havana, Cuba. Only Israel has an inferior status. The result of theSupreme Court ruling for American citizens born in Jerusalem is that they will continue to have their place of birth registered as Jerusalem, seemingly an island in space that has no country.

While the constitutional issues between the relative authority of the executive and legislative branches in the United States government are very real, the Supreme Court has, in effect, sided with those who refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, or even as part of Israel. Therefore, even if their intention was to emphasize the authority of the President to conduct foreign policy, the result of their decision is blatantly political and emboldens every nation and terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. And that, I believe, runs contrary to the will of the American people.

Paradoxically, the Supreme Court decision strengthening President Obama’s authority on foreign policy issues will also be passed along to his successor, and therefore, we can expect Jerusalem to be a hot issue in the upcoming 2016 election campaign. Every candidate will have to take a stand on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American Embassy to the Israeli equivalent of Washington, DC or Paris or London.

But promises on this issue have been made by candidates before, only to be broken later. Just ask former President George W. Bush.

Will the next American president truly stand with Israel and its eternal capital?

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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