The Supreme Court’s “Passport Case”

Israelis have long claimed Jerusalem to be the capital city.

Israelis have long claimed Jerusalem to be the capital city.
Image source: The Electronic Intifada

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are all aware of the ongoing conflict over at the Gaza strip. The issue has divided citizens on where they should be siding. Some argue that Israel’s actions are war crimes whereas others think the initiative by Israel is a good thing as it keeps extremism at bay.

However, one issue which somehow bugs me and others is the case on Israeli passports. What exactly is it all about and why is it making waves in the Supreme Court? Well, for starters, the U.S. administration refuses to place “Israel” on the passports of American citizens who were born in Jerusalem as it does not recognize the city to be part of Israel.

Before we move on, we have to take into consideration that “Israel” may be stamped on the passports of eligible citizens. While I don’t claim to be an expert on foreign affairs, I’d like to voice my opinion on such matter.

The refusal to place “Israel” on passports of U.S. citizens who were born in Jerusalem has long been imposed and is a standing policy. Instead, “Jerusalem” appears on passports without stating the home country.

Israel considers Jerusalem its capital and many of those with the city listed on their passports believe the country should be listed as well. However, I do understand that changing the policy could cause problems, especially between diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine.

On the other hand, while some qualified citizens who were born in Jerusalem may place “Israel” on their passports, others could not actually have “Palestine” listed down. Perhaps this is because according to the Paulet–Newcombe Agreement and British Mandate for Palestine, the area can be considered a geographical region, while Israel is seen as a country, thus asserting being an Israeli as a nationality, which is a requirement for a passport? Who knows!

For another thing, some Palestinians assert that special privileges are given to Americans born in Israel and not in Palestine.

Add to that, it is disputed by the international community if whether or not Jerusalem is part of Israel, which Israel believes it is—and there has been a move by the United Nations for Jerusalem to be recognized internationally.

The issue is much more complicated than it is and a conclusion is simply not possible for now. How about you? What do you think?


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