Brazil is set to join the US in prohibiting the designation “Jerusalem, Israel” from appearing on its passports as a birthplace listing. Although the news came out only recently, Brazilian officials claim the decision was made prior to the US ruling.
In June, the US Supreme Court offered its final ruling against the Zivotofsky family, who wanted to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as their son’s birthplace on his American passport. The US government permits only “Jerusalem” with no country to be listed.
Now, in an unrelated move, Brazilian citizens born in Jerusalem, roughly 60 individuals, must have their passports reissued, and existing passports will become invalid at the end of this year. According to officials at the Brazilian embassy in Tel Aviv, who spoke to JTA, implementation of the ruling has been pending for some time already, but was only made public last week.
Floriano Passero, a Brazilian-Jewish opposition lawmaker who opposed the ruling, called it “unfair” in a statement quoted by JTA, saying it was unrealistic and would encourage “bias against Israel.”
“Regardless of the path to peace between the two peoples, Jerusalem certainly will remain an inseparable part of Israel and a citizen born in Jerusalem has every right to display their country of birth: Israel,” Passero wrote.
About 15,000 Israelis hold Brazilian citizenship, of whom an estimated 60 have “Jerusalem, Israel” listed in their current passports.
Meanwhile, back in June, Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Maria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul garnered unwanted attention when it came out the dean had requested a list of Israeli students and lecturers. Jose Fernando Schlosser justified the move by saying a number of organizations, such as the teacher’s union, the student association and the Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian People had asked for the information.