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Jerusalem-born youth wants ´Israel´ on passport (THE GLOBE AND MAIL) Canadian Press 01/27/05 Page A15)Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050127/TORBRIEFS27-3/TPNational/?query=israel GLOBE AND MAIL GLOBE AND MAIL Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 a statement.

"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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