The US Supreme Court is to hear the case of Menachem Zivotofsky, a 9-year-old boy whose parents want his passport to show that he was born in Israel. The problem is that since the boy was born in Jerusalem, the family’s wishes are contradicted by official US policy regarding the official status of that city.
When a US citizen is born abroad, the country where the birth occurred is included on that person’s passport. But because of the disputed nature of Jerusalem, US policy is to list Jerusalem rather than Israel in such cases. Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, but the US and many other nations choose not to recognise this for fear of causing anger in the Arab world.
The Menachem Zivotofsky has the potential to cause significant tension. Supporters of the family say that the boy is caught up in a political wrangle that has nothing to do with him, while others argue that US policy can’t be changed to suit the desires of one group of people without a thorough examination of the potential ramifications first.