U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports and other consular documents, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday, in a nod to Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
On Wednesday, Politico quoted an administration official who confirmed the decision to allow Jerusalem-born U.S. passport holders to add “Israel” to their birthplaces, which reverses decades of policy under Republican and Democratic presidents.
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Jerusalem-born Americans began seeking to change to their passports almost immediately after Congress passed a law in 1995 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but the State Department until now has not allowed the change. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration’s right to disallow the inclusion of “Israel” in a case that was decided according to precedents granting the executive branch preeminence in determining foreign policy.
Allowing Israel as a designated birthplace for those born in Jerusalem is consistent with President Donald Trump’s 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his moving of the U.S. embassy there the following year.