Photo Credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo Ambassador David Friedman at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, March 21, 2019.

The Trump administration is expected to announce Thursday that US passports of Americans born in the Israeli capital will be able to state “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of their birth.

The policy, reported Wednesday by Politico, is the latest of a steady list of pro-Israel actions by President Donald Trump that will remind his Zionist and evangelical supporters why they must make sure to get to the polls and vote in the lead-up to Election Day.

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Up to this point, American citizens who were born in Jerusalem fell into a no-man’s-land when it came to stating a country of birth on their passports. One US administration after another proved unwilling to take on the issue of deciding the status of Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority is determined to place the capital of its hoped-for future state in Jerusalem, and its equally unwilling to come to the negotiating table for direct talks with Israel.

Until the Trump administration, all US governments ruled that until a final status was negotiated directly between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem had no status. Americans born in Jerusalem were allowed only to list the city, and not the country of birth.

The Trump Middle East Peace Plan states the final borders of Jerusalem should be decided by the two sides with direct negotiations, but places support behind a Palestinian Authority capital in the Arab neighborhoods surrounding Jerusalem currently separated by an Israeli security barrier.

According to a report by The Hill, “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 new policy follows Wednesday’s announcement that restrictions for US investment with Israel were officially lifted this week by the US government, enabling investment in new research, technology and science projects to move forward in Judea and Samaria.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.