Monday, May 2, 2011

Under the Radar: Important Supreme Court Case

With our attention riveted on the emerging details of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, it's important to note a very significant case coming before the Supreme Court.  At issue: can an American born in Jerusalem list Israel as his place of birth in his passport?

This is a big deal.  As the report notes:
While Israel has declared Jerusalem its capital, the United States has joined a majority of nations in refraining from recognizing that status for the holy city that Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

Menachem [a young American] was born shortly after then president George W. Bush signed a lengthy foreign affairs bill with a measure that "directs the secretary of state to identify a United States citizen born in Jerusalem upon the citizen's request, as born in 'Israel' on a passport or a consular report of birth abroad."

But in ratifying the treaty, Bush also cautioned that the directive "impermissibly interferes" with the president's authority to direct and formulate US foreign policy.

In urging the court to decline to take up the case, the State Department noted that "the status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive and long-standing disputes in the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Any US action to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "would critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process, to bring an end to violence in Israel and the occupied territories and to achieve progress in the Roadmap" for peace, it added.

Let's hope that the Supremes don't change the policy.

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