Jerusalem-born US Citizens May List Israel as Birth Country, Pompeo Says
By VOA News October 29, 2020
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday that U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as their country of birth on their passports.
Historically, U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem have only been allowed to list the city as their country of birth on U.S. passports, as the city's status is tied to Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations.
In 2017, the Trump administration formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy and went against an international consensus that the status of the city should be decided in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, who both claim the capital city.
Subsequently, the U.S. has since moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The administration's decision follows a 2015 Supreme Court case that determined the executive branch has the sole authority to grant recognition of sovereign states.
The announcement, which comes just days before the highly anticipated U.S. presidential election, is viewed by some as the administration's appeal to Jewish voters, evangelical Christians and other staunch supporters of Israel.
Moreover, the new policy comes a day after the administration listed restrictions for U.S. investments with Israel on research, technology and science projects that take place in the West Bank, an illegally settled territory, according to international law.
Simultaneously, Trump has cut off aid to the Palestinians, shut down their offices in Washington and downplayed talks of a two-state solution.
Most recently, the administration has assisted to persuade Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel.
In a press memo released from the U.S. Department of State, Pompeo urged Palestinians to "come to the table and negotiate" a lasting peace agreement between the two parties.
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