Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky of Jerusalem, just 3
years old, emerged victorious last week in his battle with the U.S.
administration – a small and perhaps temporary victory, but sweet
nevertheless. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld his arguments and
decided to send his case back to the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia, so that "both sides may develop a more complete
record relating to these and other subjects of dispute." The two
parties are the child (and his parents, Ari and Naomi) and U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
All said, the ruling is a
technical one: Zivotofsky has an argument worthy of deliberation, the
judges decided. Via his parents, Zivotofsky is making a simple request:
He wants his U.S. passport to record him as born in "Israel," and not,
as the U.S. Consulate decided, in "Jerusalem."
The U.S. administration, as a matter of policy, is
not willing to confirm that U.S. citizens who were born in Jerusalem
were indeed born in Israel because, as was argued by the state’s
representative in court, the issue is "the subject of profound dispute"
and Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the city has never been decided.