Orthodox Union Critiques Federal Court Ruling in Jerusalem Passport Case


For Immediate Release                                                                   Contact: Roslyn Singer
July 23, 2013                                                                                      212-613-8227

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, critiqued the ruling of a federal court which upheld the State Department’s refusal to list “Israel” as the country of birth for Americans born in Jerusalem on their United States passports.

The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that Congress, in passing a 2002 law mandating the listing of “Israel” should Americans born in Jerusalem request it, impinged on the Executive branch’s foreign policy prerogative, stating the request to list Israel “runs headlong into a carefully calibrated and longstanding Executive branch policy of neutrality toward Jerusalem.”

Nathan Diament, executive director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement in connection with the ruling:

“The Orthodox Union has long advocated for the principle that the holy city of Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish People.  In this case, this principle is buttressed by the factual reality that Israel has made the modern city of Jerusalem its political capital.  This fact has been recognized again and again by the United States Congress and duly enacted laws, even as such recognition has been practically unrecognized by the Executive Branch.  The practice of the State Department to refuse compliance with the law is wrong and we will support the appeal of this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.”