Born in Jerusalem. Period.
The Supreme Court decision invalidating a law that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to identify Israel as their place of birth exposed a disturbing truth about our foreign policy [“A single voice on foreign borders,” front page, June 9]. Regardless of whether one believes, as the court majority held, that the law infringed on the president’s power to grant foreign recognition, the truth is that presidents of both parties have been in thrall to the State Department’s policy to limit as much as possible the footprint of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East. Official policy is to not recognize even West Jerusalem as part of Israel.
Against the backdrop of a region in utter chaos, we are asked to accept the absurd notion that listing Israel on the passport of a Jerusalem-born American will undermine the peace process.
Stuart Endick, Burke
As an American Jew, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision that only the president can decide foreign recognition, striking down the attempt by Congress to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on passports.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in his dissent that the court’s decision was “based on the mere possibility that observers overseas might misperceive the significance of the birthplace designation.” This comment reveals his inability to consider the real-world outcome of what he would have had the court decide.
Chief Justice Roberts and some of his colleagues appear to think that their beliefs about the effects of their decisions are based on their understanding of the real world, when in fact they are nothing more than their own beliefs. Saying it doesn’t make it so.
David M. Zwerdling, Silver Spring