Pro-Israel US lawmakers are calling on US President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stop punishing US citizens born in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The request came days after a US Supreme Court decision to strike down a law allowing Jerusalem-born American’s to write “Israel” as their birthplace on their passports.
In a landmark 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court justices sided with the Obama administration in Zivotovsky v. Kerry, ruling that the congressional law infringed on the president’s power to set foreign policy.
Lawmakers belonging to the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus (CIAC) criticized the decision and lambasted the president’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital.
“The sad and unfortunate truth is that this president has done all he can to diminish the standing since he walked into office,” stated Rep. Ted Franks (R-AZ), co-chairman of the CIAC and who introduced the Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel Act.
Due to the fact that Obama “refuses to reflect the unified American voice that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, Congress has been placed in the very uncomfortable position of having to confirm to the world who our allies are,” Franks added.
The Arizona lawmaker explained that the goal of the congressional law was to hold Obama to previous statements he’s made that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Franks criticized the president for misleading the American people on his true support for an undivided Jerusalem. He called on the White House to take a “noble act of courage and justice that comports who we are as Americans” and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) said the Obama administration is punishing American citizens born in Jerusalem.
“Americans born in Jerusalem should be able to list their birthplace as Israel on their passport. It is that simple,” he said. “Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel and historic homeland of the Jewish people.”
The Supreme Court’s “ruling doesn’t change the fact that it is wrong for this or any administration to punish U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem this way.”
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Rep. Eliot Engle (D-NY), co-chairman of the CIAC and co-sponsor of the Jerusalem passport law, said the Supreme Court decision is “very, very wrong.”
Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) called for a separation of politics from heritage. “The ability to claim one’s Israel heritage shouldn’t be blocked for political reasons, especially when referencing that heritage is simply an option, not a mandate,” he said.