Philadelphia – May 8, 2017 – Over 50 U.S. Congressman have sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on the Trump administration to reverse a longstanding policy that prohibits Americans born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their birthplace on official American documents.
The letter called on President Trump to reverse the policy followed by his predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who claimed that recognizing Jerusalem as part of Israel interferes with Arab-Israeli diplomacy.
"We write to urge you to revise the State Department's policy regarding the birthplace designation on passports and consular reports of birth abroad for American citizens born in Jerusalem," the 52 lawmakers wrote.
The two leading signatories, Congressmen Ron DeSantis and Bill Johnson, also co-chair the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, launched last week. The caucus calls for a new U.S. approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the emphasis on Israel making "painful concessions" and instead putting the burden on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and stop the violence.
"Under the current policy, Americans born in Jerusalem have no country of birth listed on these documents; they are identified only as having been born in Jerusalem," the lawmakers wrote. "We ask that you change the policy to permit Jerusalem-born Americans to have 'Israel' listed as their birthplace."
"This is an important opportunity for the Executive to unite with Congress and speak with one voice regarding the birthplace designations on the passports of Americans born in Jerusalem," the letter states.
"By reversing this policy, the Trump Administration can take a small and easy step to demonstrate it understands the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict," said Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum.
The Middle East Forum is dedicated to promoting American interests in the Middle East and protecting the West from Middle Eastern threats. It does so through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.
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