The US Supreme Court is about to decide Monday in the Zivitofsky vs. Hillary Clinton case, that involves a demand by a US citizen to have his birthplace denoted as “Jerusalem, Israel” on his passport.
His passport says “born in Jerusalem” but his parents want “Israel” added to the place of birth, putting them at odds with the State Department.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, but most of the international community refuses to recognize it as such.
Shortly before Menachem’s birth in 2002, lawmakers passed new provisions urging the president to take steps to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to have their place of birth listed as Israel.
However, when then-president George W. Bush signed the law in 2002, he said he wouldn’t follow it because it “interferes with the president’s constitutional authority to conduct the nation’s foreign affairs.”
In 2002, president George W. Bush signed the bill declaring Israel as Jerusalemites’ nationality into law, but he added a signed statement condemning it as unacceptable interference in the president’s powers to conduct foreign policy.
In March 2012, the top court ruled that the Zivotofsky suit was legally admissible, without pronouncing on the underlying issue.
After the case was thrown out twice – most recently, in June, 2013 – the Court will decide this time whether the president alone has the authority to say who Jerusalem belongs to, in the eyes of the United States.
The Obama administration argued at a hearing in November 2011 that to list Israel as the country of birth would be tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the country.