Despite the United States recognizing Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital in December and relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv in May, Americans born in Yerushalayim are still unable to list “Jerusalem, Israel” on U.S. passports.
“The president has made clear that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to final-status negotiations between the [Israelis and the Palestinians],” a State Department spokesperson told JNS. “We have not changed our practice regarding place of birth on passports or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad at this time.”
A group of 55 House Republicans sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump several weeks ago, urging him to instruct the State Department to permit American citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birth country on their passport.
“Despite the progress in moving the embassy, the State Department has not yet fully implemented the administration’s policy of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for purposes of registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem,” the letter stated.
Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressed concern to JNS over this development. “We strongly supported legislation that would enable U.S. citizens to declare Israel to be their place of birth should they so desire,” said AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann. “We encourage the administration to adopt this approach.”
Executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein stated that hopefully, this is just bureaucratic resistance that can be pushed aside to right any wrong. “It is disappointing that apparent bureaucratic, or worse, biased judgements are impeding the correction of this historic wrong,” he said. “It does prejudge anything regarding borders or boundaries to acknowledge the place of birth correctly. I hope higher authorities will intervene.”
Apparently, it is advertent bureaucratic resistance inside the State Department, according to Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum. JNS.ORG