Friday, August 12, 2011

The Case For Jerusalem, Israel

Zivotofsky v. Clinton is a lawsuit I've written about before that directly deals with Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem as its capitol.

The plaintiffs are Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of nine-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Two month after his birth, they went to U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for a passport for their son and asked that his country of birth be listed as Israel. The embassy refused, citing State Department policy that such passports list only 'Jerusalem,' with no country added."

Congress had addressed this the year Menachem was born, passing legislatio in 2002 directing the State Department to list the country of origin as Israel on passports and birth certificates if a Jerusalem-born applicant requests it. President George W. Bush, in the midst of his love affair with a 'Palestinian' state signed the bill but included a signing statement is that he considered this an unconstitutional breech of the president's "power to recognize foreign sovereigns." Hence, the State Department views all of Jerusalem's status as 'disputed' something it does for no other country. Needless to say, the Obama Administration fully supports this interpretation given its attitude towards Israel in general.

After going through a lengthy legal process, this case is headed towards the US Supreme Court, who has agreed to hear the case.The Obama Administration is fighting it tooth and nail, even to the extent of scrubbing the official White House site of all references to Israel connected with Jerusalem, even down to the the photo captions.

While the major issue is the rights of the executive branch, it occurred to me that there's also another issue at stake here. Jerusalem is not the only 'disputed territory' where US citizens might be born, and it would be interesting to see what the State Department's practices are in those instances.

For instance, are US citizens born in Kashmir, Taiwan, Tibet, Nagorno-Karabakh,the Golan Heights, Prevlaka, Sarych, The Falklands or numerous other areas whose sovereignty is disputed between two or more countries subjected to the same restrictions as US citizens born in Jerusalem, Israel?

If, for instance, an American citizen born in Kashmir is allowed to have his or her birth certificate list them as born in Srinagar, India, it seems to me that we have a clear violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

This could get especially interesting in the case of the Golan.According to my information, Jerusalem in the only city in pre-1967 Israel that the US State Department treats this way. If an American citizen was allowed to list their birthplace as Katzrin,Israel in the Golan and the State Department allowed it, it has the effect of forcing the State Department to admit they are giving official US recognition to Israel's sovereignty over the Golan!

They'd hate that.

While it's true no one has a constitutional right to have a foreign country listed as his birth certificate, no one had a constitutional right to an abortion either for a long time. Roe V. Wade was based on the equal protection clause.

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But this seems reasonable enough to me that I communicated the substance of this to Nat Lewin, one of the attorneys for the Zivotofskys in the hope it might prove useful.

I certainly hope it is.

Jerusalem belongs to Israel,no Israeli government is going to ever divide the city again and it's about time that elemental fact is recognized and this quasi-apartheid against Jews in their own capitol stops.


please helps me write more gooder!

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

This is one the State Department and America need to stay out of. You make very interesting observations. Clearly in the cases you mention the State Department would allow the parents to choose how they wanted the birth certificate listed because they do not want the problems you refer to. Why the difference in Israel? Is it to appease major oil supplierss? I think this may at least partially explain it, however, it seems to me that it goes beyond this. There seems to be a fundamental hatred for Israel and Jews within the US goevernment bureacracy that goes far beyond any thing rational.

With all of the enormous problems America faces it seems strange that precious resources and energies would be wasted on this case. Clearly the prudent course of action in this matter for the American government would be to allow the child's birth certificate to be prepared according to parental wishes. To try and fight this is a waste of precious resources and it opens up all of the other problems you mention with equal protection.

If you and I recognize this, then I think the high powered attorneys do as well. If the case is heard fairly, then the parents win. I pray the case is not already rigged from the start.