Dear Friend of Jerusalem,
Last week, we reported that the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Zivitofsky v. Clinton. Today, One Jerusalem had the privilege of hosting the world renowned legal team of Nathan and Alyza Lewin (Lewin & Lewin) to discuss the case and lay out some of the arguments made in their brief presented to the court. Listen to the exclusive Audio Interview.
The case involves a law passed by Congress that requires the State Department to write "Israel" as the place of birth on the passports of all US citizens born in Jerusalem, a law the State Department refuses to enforce. The State Department will only write "Jerusalem." The Lewin's argue several points:
- The State Department policy is discriminatory because it allows those who are anti-Israel to remove the word "Israel" from their passport but does not allow those who are pro-Israel to add it. The law passed by Congress aims to correct that policy.
- Congress has been legislating on issues related to passports since the mid 1800's,
- US citizens born in other places can self identify by listing unrecognized sovereigns ons as their place of birth on their passports (Gaza, West Bank) but does not allow those born in Jerusalem to self identify as being born in Israel.
- The state Department does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country (it recognizes instead the People's Republic of China) but allows those US citizens born in Taiwan to write Taiwan on their passports if they desire.
- Other agencies if the US government identify Jerusalem as part of Israel without it changing US policy.
The most upsetting part of the State Department's claims are that enforcing this law passed by the US Congress would upset the Arab world. As our friend Anne Lieberman of Boker Tov Boulder so aptly put it - "Are we to accept that the State Department is more considerate of the view of the Arab World over that of the US Congress?!!"
Upsetting the Palestinians and the Arab world should not be justification for failing to impose a law passed by the US Congress and signed by the President. What do you think? Post your Comment here.
Allen Roth & David Goder