Jerusalem-born youth wants ´Israel´ on passport (THE GLOBE AND MAIL) Canadian Press 01/27/05 Page A15)
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B´nai Brith Canada launched a lawsuit yesterday against the federal
government´s passport policy, accusing it of discrimination when it
comes to passports of Canadian citizens born in Jerusalem.
The Jewish human rights group maintains those citizens should be
allowed to have Jerusalem, Israel, noted in their passports as their
place of birth -- not just Jerusalem -- and has requested a judicial
review of Ottawa´s policy.
The application was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old Toronto
resident, but B´nai Brith officials said many other people have had
trouble crossing border points because of incomplete passports. "The
client maintains that he should have the right to have his country of
birth displayed in his passport as do all other passport holders,"
Frank Dimant, B´nai Brith Canada´s executive vice-president, said in
"To withhold this entitlement from him is to deny him the same
fundamental rights and freedoms as other Canadians."
Foreign Affairs spokesman Sébastien Théberge said the issue is
complicated because of the political climate in the Middle East. "The
government of Canada, at this time, is not considering changing its
policy on the inscription of Jerusalem as place of birth in Canadian
passports," Mr. Théberge said in an e-mail to Canadian Press.
"Canada considers that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only
as part of a general settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Consequently, neither ´Jerusalem, Israel´ nor ´Jerusalem, Palestine´
may be inscribed as place of birth in Canadian passports." CP
(© 2005 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. 01/27/05)
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