Canadian policy stipulates that neither "Jerusalem, Israel" nor "Jerusalem, Palestine" can be inscribed in passports as place of birth.


Only Costa Rica and El Salvador recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while the rest of the world considers Tel Aviv to be the capital.


The passport issue was brought to light when Canadian citizens who had both the city and the country listed tried to renew their passports with the same information and were told they could only list Jerusalem, and not Israel.


The move has prompted a group of Canadian citizens who were born in Jerusalem to launch a lawsuit against the government, saying disallowing "Jerusalem, Israel" as their place of birth is discriminatory.


Modifications
 
 

Dan Kingsbury, spokesman for Passport Canada, said returned passports will be modified, leaving Jerusalem as the sole location of birth.

 

"It goes against the government of Canada's Middle East policy, and essentially, the government of Canada considers that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as per the general settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict"

Dan Kingsbury,
spokesman for Passport Canada

"It goes against the government of Canada's Middle East policy, and essentially, the government of Canada considers that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as per the general settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict," he said.

Resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly, which denoted the original 1947 partition plan of Palestine, said Jerusalem was Corpus Separatum – a separate body. 

 

While the UN has never ceased to officially regard Jerusalem as a separate body, both the US and Britain, among others, consider that its status has to be resolved by the parties to the dispute.