Supreme Court to Review Jerusalem Birthplace Law


JERUSALEM, Israel -- The U.S. Supreme Court will again review a 2002 lower court ruling that prohibits American Jews born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their place of birth on their passports.

The ruling reflects long-standing U.S. policy refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital, both before and after the 1967 Six-Day War, when Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty.

Israelis call Jerusalem the "eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish state," but the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, as the capital of its future state.

The Supreme Court review is based on a petition by the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky, an American Jewish child born in Jerusalem, who were not permitted to list Israel as their son's country of birth on his U.S. passport. Had Zivotofsky, now 11, been born in Tel Aviv, U.S. law would allow him to list Israel as his place of birth.

The court will review the case this fall and reportedly publicize its decision by June 2015. Zivotofksy's attorney, Nathan Lewin, had hoped his client's passport would be changed before his Bar Mitzvah in the fall of 2015.

Successive American presidents have refused to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite a congressional mandate to move the capital. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and now President Obama exercise a biannual waiver citing security concerns.

Officially, the U.S. says Jerusalem's fate would be determined in a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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