Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he was born Jerusalem and is Israeli, in reference to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Jerusalem should not be recognized as part of Israel on American passports unless that decision is made by the president.
Rivlin made the remark in a meeting with Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey in Jerusalem.
“We are proud to have you as a friend. We salute and appreciate you, and your friendship will be well remembered. I am a seventh generation Jerusalemite, and even though I was born nine years before the State of Israel was established, I was born in Jerusalem, and I am Israeli,” Rivlin said.
In the meeting, Rivlin also addressed the Syrian civil war, which he said “is a very real threat to the citizens of Israel—Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike.”
Dempsey said he was in Israel “to gain a better understanding with our counterparts in the IDF, of the threats and security challenges, and of what we can do to address them.”
“While this is my sixth time here, my Israeli counterpart has been to America eight times. And at a staff level we are interacting constantly, and this kind of interaction is necessary for us to face the security challenges that face not only Israel but the United States. You have our deep commitment to continue to build on that relationship, but you don’t have to thank me, this is something we are honored to be part of,” Dempsey said.