The US decision to grant Americans born in Jerusalem the right to declare Israel as the country of their birth, was announced only on Thursday by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.It’s the latest in a series of moves the Trump administration has taken to reverse US policy on Jerusalem.It first announced in 2017 that it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This was followed by the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.But it was only on Thursday that this recognition filtered down into US policy, in a move that further solidified the US’s recognition that Jerusalem is part of Israel. Most countries have not taken this step because they hold that the status of all of Jerusalem, should be determined only upon resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The US has “always been keenly interested in Jerusalem going back to the time when the Pilgrim John Winthrop, before disembarking from his ship in Massachusetts Bay prayed that the God of Israel would help him build a new Jerusalem,” Friedman said at Friday’s small ceremony.Jewish ties to the city go back at least 3,000 years to when King David established Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel,” Friedman said.Congress recognized those ties when in 1995 it passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act that required the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.When no action was taken, Congress in 2002 passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which allowed for Israel to be registered as a place of birth on the passports of those born in Jerusalem upon request.Now, he explained, the Trump administration had corrected that injustice.The city of Jerusalem has always been deeply ingrained in “America’s DNA,” because the founders understood that “the word of God, came from this special place, Friedman said.PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi protested the US decision, explaining that the Palestinians rejected any link between Israel and the city of Jerusalem.She affirmed that while Palestinians hold that east Jerusalem, which is under Israeli sovereignty, is the future capital of their state, they do not recognize the connection between West Jerusalem and Israel.“The US State Department’s new decision to allow the labeling of Jerusalem as part of Israel in official US documents is a falsification of the city´s history and identity, in line with Israeli criminality and lawlessness.“By adopting this measure, the US administration is also retroactively recognizing other illegal Israeli actions, including the ethnic cleansing of West Jerusalem and the grand theft of Palestinian property,” Ashrawi added.“Jerusalem was, is, and will remain the heart of Palestine,” she said.
A great honor to present the very first passport issued to an American citizen born in Jerusalem with the place of birth designated as “Israel” to Menachem Zivotofsky, who first applied 18 years ago and litigated twice before the US Supreme Court.Mazal Tov! pic.twitter.com/IIoOkVP3jS— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) October 30, 2020