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US passports must show 'Jerusalem' not 'Israel', Supreme Court says

June 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

American Supreme Court yesterday struck down part of a federal statute that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to record their place of birth as “Israel” on their passport, American media reported.

This discussion is considered a resounding victory for US President Barack Obama, who the court said is the only authority able to recognise who controls Jerusalem.

“The president has the exclusive power to grant formal recognition to a foreign sovereign,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. “Congress cannot command the president to contradict an earlier recognition determination in the issuance of passports.”

He continued: “As a result, the petitioner, Menachem Zivotofsky, an American citizen who was born in Jerusalem in 2002, will only have the city [Jerusalem] of his birth listed on his passport.”

PLO official Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that this decision is in keeping with the UN Security Council’s decisions regarding Palestine, as well as the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in 2012.

“This also proves that Israel is an occupation state that occupies East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” he said.

When American President Harry Truman formally recognised Israel as a country in 1948, he did not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem.

The situation was not changed after the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza Strip and other Arab areas in 1967.