Thursday, January 27, 2005

Canada sued over Israel passport policy

Why exactly is West Jerusalem considered not Israel but the rest of the areas between the 1947 partition line and the Green Line is?

The Canadian government is being sued for listing Jerusalem as the birthplace of a Toronto teenager instead of Israel, the Toronto Star said Thursday.

Eliyahu Yehoshua Veffer, 17, was born in West Jerusalem, and is angry with the Canadian government's stance on the embattled region.

There are 28 Jerusalems in the world, Veffer said. I'm from the one in Israel. I want the government to recognize that.

Under current passport regulations, Canadians born in Jerusalem cannot list Israel as their place of birth because of its ongoing classification as a disputed territory. That policy has been in effect since Israel was formed in 1948.

Veffer's lawyer, David Matas, also the legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, filed the initial application Wednesday for the review in a Winnipeg federal court, where Matas lives.

My client wants his country of birth on his passport, Matas said. Everybody else in the world can have it, but the government is denying him the right to do it. It's discriminatory.