Trump to let US passports say citizens born in Jerusalem are from Israel: report

Trump to let US passports say citizens born in Jerusalem are from Israel: report
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The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to announce that Americans born in Jerusalem will be able to include Israel on their U.S. passports as their country of birth.

The forthcoming policy change, reported by Politico on Wednesday and expected to be announced as early as Thursday, is the latest in a growing list of moves by President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE to appeal to Jewish voters and bolster support among evangelicals in the lead-up to Election Day.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem are only allowed to list the city as their country of birth on American passports because its status is considered contested until a final settlement is negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, who seek a capital for a future, independent state in east Jerusalem.

Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 2017 and his administration has stated it is against dividing the city for a future capital of a Palestinian state.

While the administration said in its January peace plan that it believes the final borders of Jerusalem should be decided between direct negotiations, it puts its support behind a Palestinian capital in the Arab neighborhoods surrounding Jerusalem currently separated by an Israeli security barrier.

Trump’s move to allow American passport holders to list Jerusalem, Israel, as their city and country of birth follows a decision by the Supreme Court in 2015 that says the executive branch has the power to grant recognition of sovereign states.

The court ruling was a victory for the Obama administration that, at the time, was upholding a policy recognizing no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The new policy on passports is expected to draw praise from pro-Israel Christian and Evangelical groups and Republican Jewish supporters. The move follows the Wednesday announcement that the Trump administration has lifted restrictions for U.S. investment with Israel on research, technology and science projects that take place in West Bank settlements considered illegal under international law.

The administration last year reversed a State Department policy and said it no longer views Israeli settlements as “inconsistent with international law.”

Trump has also touted his move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as flying in the face of critics who said it would cause widespread violence and uprising in the Middle East. 

The president promoted his recent brokering of ties between Israel and Arab- and Muslim-majority nations, like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, as signifying the changing dynamics of the Middle East, where Arab nations have historically shunned public recognition of Israel absent a negotiated solution with the Palestinians.

Trump’s latest action is another blow to Palestine’s national aspirations. Trump cut off funding for the Palestinians in 2018, closed their consulate in Washington and ended the operations of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that communicated with Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. 

While Trump had unveiled a prospective plan for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, it was widely criticized as creating a disconnected Palestinian state encircled by an Israeli security barrier.