Americans for Peace Now backs U.S. in passport case


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now filed a brief supporting the Obama administration in its arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court against registering Jerusalem-born Americans as having been born in Israel.

"This case represents a direct challenge to more than six decades of United States foreign policy on one of the most sensitive foreign policy questions facing the United States — recognition of sovereignty in Jerusalem," APN said in its friend-of-the-court brief.

APN is the only Jewish group to back the government in the case of Zivotofsky v. Clinton, which will be heard this Supreme Court term.

The case involves 9-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky, whose American-Israeli parents, Ari and Naomi, want the birth country on his passport listed as Israel. They cite a law passed by Congress in 2002.

The George W. Bush and Obama administrations have ignored the law and the State Department manual allows that the passports of American citizens born in Jerusalem must say "Jerusalem" as the place of birth and not include Israel, reflecting official U.S. government policy regarding the unresolved status of Jerusalem.

Eleven Jewish groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the plaintiffs.

The American Jewish Committee has opted not to weigh in, in part because it does not regard the Supreme Court as the appropriate forum to decide foreign policy.

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