Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat criticized yesterday’s US Supreme Court ruling that Israel cannot figure as “place of birth” in the passports of Jerusalem-born Americans.
The ruling abolished a 2002 Congressional law requiring the US government to place “Jerusalem, Israel” in the passports of US citizens born in Jerusalem, on the grounds that it undermined the US claim to neutrality in the conflict over the status of Jerusalem, and thus in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general.
While in keeping with recent US diplomatic policy, which seeks to uphold US neutrality in the region, the ruling nevertheless struck a raw nerve in Israel, which looks to the US for diplomatic support on the issue of the status of Jerusalem.
That sensitivity was reflected in the official response to the ruling issued by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
“Just as Washington is the capital of the United States, London the capital of England and Paris the capital of France, so Jerusalem was and always will be the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people,” Barkat said in a statement released to the press.
“In these days in particular, when anti-Semitism is trying to raise its head and BDS supports the positions of Hamas, which endanger world peace and deny Israel’s existence, we expect the United States to support the State of Israel and to recognize Jerusalem as its capital,” the statement read.
Barkat concluded his statement with a personal appeal to US President Barack Obama to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Ben Niran – Tazpit News Agency