Report: Passports Can Soon Say “Jerusalem, Israel”

Cover of a U.S. biometric passport.

The Trump administration is expected announce as early as Thursday that the U.S. passports of Americans born in Yerushalayim can list Israel as the country of birth, Politico reported citing a U.S. official.

American passports have not used the phrase “Jerusalem, Israel” because the exact status of the city has long been disputed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until now, U.S. policy has been that the city’s borders and status are issues subject to a future final-status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Accordingly, U.S. passports have stated their bearers were born in “Jerusalem” without mentioning a country.

The passport question led to a 2015 Supreme Court case in which the majority ruled that the president, not Congress, has sole authority to bestow recognition on the city’s status. In December 2017, President Trump officially recognized Yerushalayim as the Israeli capital, and the U.S. subsequently moved its Embassy to there from Tel Aviv.

Last year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said changing the policy on the passports was under consideration.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has reportedly been a major advocate of the change to be announced in the coming days.

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