What a week it has been for Jerusalem. The President of the United States arrived, transformed the King David Hotel into his (and his entourage’s) home away from home, and then began a series of meetings and visits – to the official residences of President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, to the Jerusalem Convention Center, to Mount Herzl, Yad Vashem, and to the grave of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. All of these sites are in Jerusalem. But are they in Israel?
According to the U.S. State Department they are not. The State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as being in Israel and says that the city’s status must be determined in future peace negotiations.
My father, Nathan Lewin, and I were in court this week – the day before President Obama arrived in the Middle East – on a case that concerns this very issue. The case is Zivotofsky v. Secretary of State, and it involves the right of a Jerusalem-born American citizen to self-identify as born in “Israel” on his or her U.S. passport and birth certificate.Details