US Supreme Court continues to back delegitimization of Jerusalem as Israel's capitol
The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Congress to require that some U.S. passports recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, giving wide berth to the president’s constitutional authority to recognize foreign nations.They've insulted the Congress members who worked hard to draft the calls, just like Bush did originally. And there's more than enough Israelis who're let down too:
By a 6-3 vote, the court on Monday ruled Congress overstepped its bounds with a law allowing U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to be identified with Israel as their birthplace. The law ran contrary to the State Department’s long-standing practice of using Jerusalem in such instances.
Although passports of Americans born overseas typically list the relevant country as the birthplace, the U.S. sometimes inscribes a city name when sovereignty is in dispute, as with Jerusalem. The official U.S. position is that the city’s ultimate status should be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, whose authorities aspire to make it the capital of a future state.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said both Congress and the executive branch have responsibility for foreign affairs, but that the president has the power “solely” on recognition of foreign sovereign nations. “Congress cannot command the president to contradict an earlier recognition determination in the issuance of passports,” Justice Kennedy wrote.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold a long-standing State Department policy to list only the word "Jerusalem" without "Israel" on passports of U.S. citizens born here has left many Jewish American-Israelis feeling frustrated.And it is. I want the Zivotovskys to appeal again, and they presumably will, and I hope Congress will appeal this decision too.
The ruling, which confirms that the president — not Congress — has the ultimate authority to dictate foreign policy, is viewed here as a denial that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
Update: the NY Observer says the court's decision is shameful. Jerusalem's mayor has responded by calling on Obama to recognize the city as Israel's capitol. More news here.