Oct. 31 (UPI) — The first U.S. passport with the designation of Jerusalem, Israel, as the birthplace was issued Friday to Menachem Zivotofsky, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said.
Zivotofsky’s parents Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky first applied for the designation for their son 18 years ago.
“A great honor to present the very first passport issued to an American citizen born in Jerusalem with the place of birth designated as ‘Israel’ to Menachem Zivotofsky, who first applied 18 years ago and litigated twice before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Friedman said on Twitter.
The younger Zivotofsky said he was honored to be the first person to be given the designation.
“I am honored to receive this passport as a representative of the many American citizens who were born in Israel, who can now have their official government documents reflect the fact that they were born in Israel,” Zivotofsky said. “I want to thank my parents who started this process, long before I understood anything.”
Hanan Ashrawi, a spokeswoman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the passport issuance was another attempt to “erase” the Palestinians, calling it “a falsification of the city’s history and identity.”
“The U.S. administration is using all tools at its disposal to erase Palestine, physically, politically, culturally and figuratively,” Ashrawi said in a statement. “This includes the administration’s so-called plan to formalize permanent apartheid and its campaign of Arab normalization through bribes, blackmail and intimidation.”
The Zivotofskys filed a legal appeal to the Supreme Court after their initial effort to get their son’s birthplace listed at Jerusalem, Israel, was rejected. The court ruled that Congress exceeded its authority.