First US passport listing ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ as place of birth issued

The U.S. ambassador handed out the first passport to bear ‘Israel’ instead of ‘Jerusalem’ under place of birth.

By World Israel News Staff

On Friday, Menachem Zivotofsky, 18, was the first American citizen born in Jerusalem to receive a U.S. passport listing Israel under place of birth after a rule change by the Trump administration.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman himself gave the passport to Zivotofsky.

“You have a nation of birth — the state of Israel,” Ambassador David Friedman told the young man.

Friedman tweeted a picture of a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in which he handed Zivotofsky his new passport.

“A great honor to present the very first passport issued to an American citizen born in Jerusalem with the place of birth designated as “Israel” to Menachem Zivotofsky, who first applied 18 years ago and litigated twice before the US Supreme Court. Mazal Tov!”

The change was announced last week. Until then, American citizens born in Jerusalem were unable to list their place of birth as Israel in their passports – instead, under place of birth, an American passport reads “Jerusalem.”

Zivotofsky was a fitting recipient for the very first passport to list ‘Israel’ instead of just the name of the capital. In 2015, his parents brought a suit challenging the State Department policy to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Zivotofskys’ suit called on the State Department to adjust its policy to fit the Foreign Relations Authorization Act passed by Congress in 2002.

The law stated that “for the issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.”

However, the Supreme Court decided against the Zivotofsky family, striking down the law and ruling that Congress had overstepped its authority.