Friday, August 12, 2011
By Patrick Goodenough
(CNSNews.com) – The Obama White House, in removing one word from a photo caption on its Web site this week, has drawn fresh attention to two consecutive administrations’ tussles with Congress over whether American citizens born in Jerusalem should have the word “Israel” appear on their U.S. passports.
The move comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in the fall in a case to determine whether the executive or legislative branch is empowered to decide the matter.
A 2002 law directed the secretary of state to allow the word “Israel” to appear on passports of those Jerusalem-born citizens who request it, but President Bush in a “signing statement” overrode the requirement, arguing that it “impermissibly interferes with the president’s constitutional authority to conduct the nation’s foreign affairs.”
Jerusalem is one of the most intractable issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Obama State Department, like its predecessors, does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over any part of the city and says its future status remains to be determined in a negotiated peace settlement.
On Tuesday, the State Department issued a brief statement reiterating government policy that “U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem may not have ‘Israel’ listed in their passports as their place of birth.”
That afternoon, Weekly Standard deputy online editor Daniel Halper posted a photograph from the White House Web site depicting a 2010 meeting between Vice President Joseph Biden and Israeli President Shimon Peres. The caption said the encounter took place in “Jerusalem, Israel.”
Some two hours later, Halper noted that the caption had been edited to remove the word “Israel.”
“The point of posting the photo was to show that, although the State Department refuses to say that Jerusalem is in Israel, even the White House website acknowledges this elementary truth,” he wrote.
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On the surface, the focus of the article seems to be about removing Israel from passport records. However, I believe the ultimate intention is to remove Jerusalem as an Israeli city. Of course, that would fit rather nicely with the Palestinian's goal of establishing a state with Jerusalem as its capital. The USA's White House is giving all indications of supporting that effort.
There is also another effort with much support that is attempting to internationalize Jerusalem, and securing it using an international peace keeping force.
Oh, how foolish are they who would go against God's chosen people and His chosen land!