Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Federation Responds to Federal Court Decision Barring Israel from Jerusalem-Born U.S. Citizens’ Passports

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided to bar Jerusalem-born Americans from listing Israel as their country of birth, drawing heavy criticism from many Jewish organizations. The case was brought to the federal court of appeals by Ari and Naomi Zivotosfsky, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of their son Menachem, demanding the enforcement of a 2002 law designed to allow United States citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel officially listed on their passport. In response, JFNA Board of Trustees Chair Michael Siegal issued the following statement on behalf of the Jewish Federations:

The court’s decision to nullify a law enacted by Congress allowing American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace is a real disappointment. We believe, as Congress does, that Americans born in Jerusalem should have the choice to declare their birthplace as the State of Israel. The United States position on the status of Jerusalem has long been at odds with the strong views of the Jewish community but we hope and believe that this law – which leaves 50,000 Americans without an official birth country – will be reinstated by the Supreme Court and enforced by the State Department. 

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