Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jerusalem is Not on the State Department's Map

Israel National News has reported that a US Court Hears Passport Case on Jerusalem as Capital

The details:-

A United States court is hearing an appeal by an American family living in Jerusalem that the State Department be required to allow their son's passport to list Jerusalem as part of Israel. The American government has refused to do so because it argues that the post-1967 areas of the city are disputed under international law.

Lawyers for Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky told the federal court in Washington, D.C. that the a 2003 law signed by American President George W. Bush states that American citizens born in Jerusalem can demand that "Israel" be stamped next to the city's name. The State Department has maintained that the law is "advisory."...

The family's son Menachem was born in Jerusalem's Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital shortly after the law was signed.

“This is not about where the capital is, it’s about our legal rights,” Brooklyn-born Zivotofsky told the New York Jewish Week. He and his wife have lived in Israel since 1999 and he is a neuroscience professor at Bar-Ilan University.

...Zivotofsky said he is pursuing the case because “it’s philosophically important to us that western Jerusalem be treated as any other part of Israel. Their son Menachem was six-years-old when the State Department refused to stamp his passport with Jerusalem as being part of Israel

The NY Jewish Weeks adds:-

...the Lewins [Nat and Alyza], a father-daughter team who specialize in Jewish legal issues, argued that the law was mandatory, not advisory, and that the current practice discriminates against supporters of Israel.
“This is not about where the capital is, it’s about our legal rights,” said Ari Zivotofsky, 45, a Brooklyn native who teaches neuroscience at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan. The Zivotofskys have lived in Israel since 1999. Menachem is the only one of his four children born in Israel.

District Court Judge Gladys Kessler dismissed an initial complaint in 2003 because the designation had no bearing on the validity of the passport. But in February 2006, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision, only to have it dismissed by Kessler again in September 2007.

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