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The U.S. passport of an Americans born on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights must state the birthplace as Syria, according to U.S. State Department. policy.

The JewishPress.com raised several questions with the U.S. Embassy following the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled against Congress being able to overturn Executive Branch policy concerning the stated birthplace of an American born in Jerusalem.

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The policy was and continues to be that the birthplace on the passport is “Jerusalem,” without a country, regardless of whether he was born in “West” Jerusalem or in the rest of the city that was reunited in the war.

But what would happen if there were a hospital on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and an American birth were registered there?

It may not even be a theoretical question in the near future. The NRG website reported last week that Druze in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights want to establish and maintain a hospital to treat their brethren wounded on the Syrian side of the border.

Regardless, this is American policy, updated in 2008 and stated under the bureaucratic section “M 1360 APPENDIX D  BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS

(CT:CON-254)”:

  1. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory [bold-face added} and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

  1. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA [capital letters appear in the original text].

Perhaps the State Department is not aware of it, but there are questions whether Syria even exists today. There is a “Syrian government” that controls a shrinking part of the country.

The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a good portion of Syria. Rebels control a healthy (or unhealthy) part. Al Qaeda also has claims.

But for now, Syria is Syria, including the Golan Heights, even if Israel annexed the strategic area 34 years ago, and even if half the population of the Golan Heights is Jewish.

Policy is policy, and if an American wants to test the unreal reality, it is only a matter of time before there really will be a need for a hospital there. By that time, perhaps Syria not longer will exist.  Since Foggy Bottom cannot possibly come up with the conclusion that the Golan Heights is in Israel, it would have to accept facts on the ground across the border. Perhaps an American born will see his passport stating, “Golan Heights, Islamic State.”

Who knows? Anything is possible with the State Department, anything except Jerusalem being recognized as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights being considered part of the Jewish country.

The State Department regulations offer some other fascinating tidbits.

What if you were an American born before 1948, before Israel became an independent country, but in parts of Jerusalem that were only reunited in 1967? For example, let’s say you were an American born in 1947 in the Old City, which at that time was the home of Misgav Ladach Hospital.

Guess what would be written on the passport?

The policy states:

For persons born before May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

“Palestine” was what all of the British Mandate was called, but the Palestinian Authority has adopted the name, which is on many of its official documents and which its schools teach means all of the Land of Israel. “All” means “all,” including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.

There is a lesson here about the formulation of American policy. Once it is established, it is written in stone, and even a Congressional act cannot change it. This is what was learned from the Supreme Court decision that said that the Congressional Act in 1998 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean that the State Department has to agree to it.

The State Department formulated its policy long ago that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria. No negotiations, No compromise. No nothing. It is Syria, period, and if tomorrow it is the Islamic State, we’ll see.

The other side of the policy is that Judea, Gaza, Samaria and “eastern, southern and northern” Jerusalem “are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

The folks at the State Department cannot be that stupid to realize that there will be no negotiations. It must know there is no one with whom to negotiate. It must know that in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, there is nothing to negotiate except what color ink Israel uses to sign over the store, while the Palestinian Authority uses invisible ink.

Now we know why the Obama administration is so stubbornly fixed on the “peace process.’ It knows it has no chance, but policy is policy.

The State Department stated ages ago that the final status of the “territories” will be decided by negotiations, and that’s that. The world may change, but policy is a different story, especially if a change might help Israel.

The State Department decided way back when that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and that is why an American born there would have a passport stating “Golan Heights, Syria.”

And what if an American were born in the State Department? Is that part of the United States or is it territory occupied by policy-makers who cannot see past yesterday?

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

61 COMMENTS

  1. This actually shows that the USA state department is living in a virtual world not the real world as constituted today. No surprise because Barak Obama also does not realize Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and Iraq and is no longer Iraq as carved up by the Sykes-Picot accord in 1920.

  2. Proof Golan is historically Israels. Brilliant article
    http://xrl.us/bmfrf
    The Golan Hights – Historical Rights and Legitimacy .
    MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2008

    The Golan is where the tribes of Dan and Menashe settled, and Israeli kings ranging from Saul to Herod ruled there. The Golan saw consecutive Jewish settlement for 800 years; 300 Jewish communities from the time of the Mishna and Talmud were discovered there, along with the remnants of 27 synagogues. Later, 1,000 years of desolation followed, until the Jews returned. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Turks came in control of the area and remained so until the end of
    World War I.

    The Golan belongs to Israel because it is the estate of the Jews forefathers and not only by the power of occupation in a defensive war against an aggressor, like America in Texas and Poland and former German territories.

    Syria controlled the Golan for only 21 years, half the period it has been under Israeli rule. Almost half of its territory has been purchased by Rothschild and later robbed by the Syrian government. Jews settled in the Golan as early as 1886 (long before the Syrian Arab Republic existed) but they were expelled, massacred, or fled because of malaria.

    In 1886, the Jewish B'nei Yehuda society of Safed purchased a plot of land four kilometers north of the present-day religious moshav of Keshet, but the community, named Ramataniya, failed one year later. In 1887, the society purchased lands between the modern-day Bene Yehuda and Kibbutz Ein Gev. This community survived until 1920, when two of its last members were murdered in the anti-Jewish riots which erupted in the spring of that year. In 1891, Baron Rothschild purchased approximately 18,000 acres (73 km²) of land in the Hauran, about 15 km east of modern Ramat Hamagshimim. Immigrants of the First Aliyah (1881–1903) established five small communities on this land, but were forced to leave by the Ottomans in 1898. The lands were farmed until 1947 by the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA) and the Jewish Colonization Association, when they were seized by the Syrian army.

    According to the Agreement of San Remo,(April 1920) The mandate for Palestine comprises an area incorporating what is now the entire state of Israel, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. The mandate specifically states that a national homeland for the Jewish people should be established in Palestine, but that the rights of non-Jews should be protected. In 1923, Britain ceded the Golan Heights (1,176 square kilometers of the Palestine Mandate) to the French Mandate of Syria, in spite of the specifications of the San Remo agreements and the Mandate for Palestine which was conferred on Britain in 1922 by The League of Nations. Jews were also barred from living there. Jewish settlers on the Golan Heights were forced to abandon their homes and relocate inside the westerb area of the British Mandate.

    Claims that the Golan is Syrian land has no geographic or historical basis. All theese evens should be known before we talk about strategy and security.

    And the situation today?

    A poll found that 48% of the public said they would refuse an order to evacuate the Golan. This strengthen the Golan loyalists, and it appears to undermine Israel's right to hand over parts of the country to other states.

    With the exception of Stalinist Russia, states only expelled the populations of enemies defeated in war, rather than their own citizens. And just like depriving a person of his rights and freedoms is forbidden, "cleansing" the Golan off Jews would not only be a national sin, but also a crime against humanity, which allows for the right to resist. Should Golan leaders not internalize this, the Gush Katif tragedy shall repeat.

  3. The Golan belongs to Israel Period.
    Syria controlled the Golan for only 21 years from 48 to 67, half the period it has been under Israeli rule. Almost half of the Golan had been purchased by Rothschild in the late 1800s and later robbed by the Syrian government in 1946.
    All Jews were expelled from the Golan by terrorist Syria in 1946.
    The Golan Heights was part of the British Mandate borders of 1917 that was supposed to go to Israel. The British gave the Golan to France in 1922 and France gave it to Syria in 1946.
    The Golan was never part of Syria before 1946.
    The Golan Has Been Jewish for Centuries. These rotten Arab colonialists have stolen lands from Kurds, Berbers, Copts, Babylonians, Chaldeans and they want to steal Jewish lands as well. The Golan was part of ancient and modern Israel for centuries, while it was under Syrian occupation for a mere 21 years!! The archaeology of the Golan is proof that the Golan is Jewish. I personally helped dig up a Talmudic era synagogue in Katzrin which is now has a visitor centre. The only Arab land is (Saudi) Arabia. The Arabs can go back there!!
    The Golan is where the tribes of Dan and Menashe settled, and Israeli kings ranging from Saul to Herod ruled there. The Golan saw consecutive Jewish settlement for 800 years; 300 Jewish communities from the time of the Mishna and Talmudwere discovered there, along with the remnants of 27 synagogues. Later, 1,000 years of desolation followed, until the Jews returned. The Golan belongs to Israel because it is the estate of their forefathers.

  4. The Golan belongs to Israel Period.

    Syria controlled the Golan for only 21 years from 48 to 67, half the period it has been under Israeli rule. Almost half of the Golan had been purchased by Rothschild in the late 1800s and later robbed by the Syrian government in 1946.
    All Jews were expelled from the Golan by terrorist Syria in 1946.

    The Golan Heights was part of the British Mandate borders of 1917 that was supposed to go to Israel. The British gave the Golan to France in 1922 and France gave it to Syria in 1946.

    The Golan was never part of Syria before 1946.

    The Golan Has Been Jewish for Centuries. These rotten Arab colonialists have stolen lands from Kurds, Berbers, Copts, Babylonians, Chaldeans and they want to steal Jewish lands as well.

    The Golan was part of ancient and modern Israel for centuries, while it was under Syrian occupation for a mere 21 years!! The archaeology of the Golan is proof that the Golan is Jewish. I personally helped dig up a Talmudic era synagogue in Katzrin which is now has a visitor centre. The only Arab land is (Saudi) Arabia. The Arabs can go back there!!

    The Golan is where the tribes of Dan and Menashe settled, and Israeli kings ranging from Saul to Herod ruled there. The Golan saw consecutive Jewish settlement for 800 years; 300 Jewish communities from the time of the Mishna and Talmud were discovered there, along with the remnants of 27 synagogues. Later, 1,000 years of desolation followed, until the Jews returned. The Golan belongs to Israel because it is the estate of their forefathers.

  5. I used to live on Kibbutz Afiq. This was a former Syrian military base where the Syrians bombed and shot at the Jewish farmers below near the Kineret (Sea of Galilee) from 1948 until 1967. This a vital plus beautiful area of Israel now. Afiq has a bed and breakfast offering for people wanting to visit and see the view I used to have regularly and see first hand why this area is so vital to Israel and its security.

  6. thing to do is deliver the child in a hosp in the galil; or you could drown your kid in administrative paperwork and airport security stops for the rest of his/her life

    Sometimes, you live with stupid, because there's no margin in fighting it

  7. Wow almost confusing ..the yolk is laid outside of the shell? Hope this explains what I want to say. Syria, as far as I am concerned is not even an issue and this should be settled before Obama leaves, surely his signature should over rule so called "policy"? Golan Heights belongs to Israel with Jerusalem as capital . Anyone born there should be added to Israel, the Jewish state and NOT Syriah which will eventually dissolve into some terrorist zone.

  8. This is such an excellent and informative article, containing how farfetched the real truth about this problem is shown in this article it is unbelieveable . Policy of some department over ruling Obama? I thought SA had a ridiculous government. This should be sorted before Obama leaves and more time is wasted!!!!

  9. This article just shows how much Obama and his liberal minions are antisemitic. This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard. Oh wait, he’s a muslim. That speaks for itself. He doesn’t have everyone fooled. The next President will reverse this idiotic policy.

  10. I dispute that Texas and California are part of the US. They belong to Mexico. If you don't believe it, then look how everything is translated into English, as all documents are in Spanish. There should be an international committee of most South American countries and the non-aligned countries to determine what reparations shall the US have to pay when it returns its occupied territory that it stole with its military. All non-Mexicans should be removed and resettled in the remainder of the colonies and the land returned to its proper owner, Mexico! Si. Viva La Revolucion!

  11. The US had administed the canal zone from 1903-1979, yet those who were born there during those years are American citizens. The US administers the commonwealth of Puerto Rico yet those born there are considered American citizens. Israel administers the Golan Hights and those born there after 1967 are Isreali citizens.

  12. While backwater california could possibly fall into this…unique statement…Texas waged a successful revolution against mexico, so any claim Mexico had on the territory was, via local military force, lost. If you want to be real technical via priority..France has more a claim over Texas than mexico does since France held territory there long before mexico existed.

  13. Now we see why Israel has always been dead set against US military intervention in Syria. If the US had occupied Syria the way it did Iraq, the US would have demanded that Israel evacuate the Golan forthwith. And as for those Syrian Druse who have taken Israeli citizenship? They would have to evacuate to Israel Proper too.

  14. Israel should retaliate by stating the place of birth of her citizens born in the States as, for example, "Wahington, D.C., Piscataway Nation." Also, Israel should move their embassy to NYC and constantly and exclusively reiterate that at the founding of the United States, NYC was established as their capital. IMHO.

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