J Street Welcomes Decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry

June 9, 2015

J Street welcomes the Supreme Court decision Monday related to the status of Jerusalem and American policy that US citizens born there may not list a country of birth on their passports.

J Street recognizes the importance of Jerusalem to so many people, but as supporters of Israel, we do in particular feel the deep connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people throughout history. That's why we believe that there must be a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that establishes the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the Arab neighborhoods as the capital of a new Palestinian state.

This case, however, was not about the status of Jerusalem. It was about the separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government, and the exclusive authority of the Executive to grant recognition to states and their boundaries.

Since the founding of the state of Israel, the United States has, along with the rest of the world, held that the final status of Jerusalem will only be settled when a full resolution of the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflict is reached.

In the 2002 legislation allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to designate Israel as their country of birth, Congress over-stepped its constitutional authority in an effort to score political points with constituents. The Supreme Court has correctly reminded the legislature to pay less attention to defining international boundaries and more attention to the constitutional limits of its own power.