top of page

Breaking News: Israel to be Listed on US Passports for Jerusalem-born Citizens

One of the craziest situations we have dealt with in the theater of the absurd - also known as Middle Eastern politics - is the refusal of the world to recognize Jerusalem as not only being Israel's capital, but being a part of Israel at all. This goes back to the days of the 1947 UN partition plan which called for a Jewish and Arab state in the lands of the about to be abandoned British Mandate of Palestine, but also for an international zone compromising Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Of course neither the British nor the UN ever tried to create this international zone and the plan was rejected by the Arab countries, as well as by the Palestinian Arabs who began attacking the Jewish locals the very next day. Thus began Israel's War of Independence.

Out of all this grew an insane US policy to not list in US passports any American citizens born in Jerusalem as being a part of Israel. It says Jerusalem for both the city and the country. Even if someone is born in the western part of the city (i.e. not over the green line in areas acquired in the 1967 Six-Day War) as it would not even recognize that as being part of Israel [note: I'm not sure if a child born in Bethlehem or East Jerusalem can have Palestine or Palestinian Authority written on their passports, but I imagine in the case of Bethlehem at least that would be so]. I am also fairly confident - though I have not done the research on this, that Jerusalem is the only - or one of the only - cases like this around the world, despite the numerous territories which are disputed between various countries and groups.

A few years back, a family actually took the US government to court over this, but the court ruled that the president has the prerogative to decide what will be recognized and written on passports (the case ended up being about various separation of powers in US government).

Well, now the President has decided. And apparently the announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. While many people thought this would be be a foregone conclusion after he moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it has taken several years (and perhaps an upcoming election) to make this change. What all this means is that my twin daughters - as well as about 50,000 other Israeli-Americans - can finally have the name of the country of their birth written on their US passport.

For more on this story, click here:

Note: This actually comes on the heels of the last year's US recognition of the Golan Heights as being part of Israel, so that anyone born on the Golan would have Israel on their passport and not "Syrian territory." Of course since there are only about 20,000 Israeli citizens living there (only a handful of whom are US citizens as well) - and no hospitals - the amount of people this would affect is minimal.

46 views0 comments


bottom of page