The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned back a demand from Congress that Americans born in Jerusalem be allowed to have their passports changed to reflect Israel as their birthplace, heeding a warning from the State Department "a simple passport alteration could 'provoke uproar throughout the Arab and Muslim world,'" USA Today reports.
It's the latest skirmish in a fight that has been going on since 1948 when Israel was recognized as a nation.
The justices denied a challenge brought by the parents of a 12-year-old whose case had been in the courts for a decade. A majority of the justices refused to allow the Jerusalem reference to birthplaces in passports.
It's far from the first time that an argument has erupted over Jerusalem and its designations.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority of the 6-3 decision that declared the congressional plan unconstitutional.
"The power to recognize or decline to recognize a foreign state and its territorial bounds resides in the president alone," Kennedy wrote. "Recognition is an act with immediate and powerful significance for international relations, so the president's position must be clear. Congress cannot require him to contradict his own statement regarding a determination of formal recognition."
The court cited President Jimmy Carter's recognition of the People's Republic of China in 1979.
But Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and John Roberts said they would have approved the plan to let Americans born in Jerusalem list Israel as their place of birth on their passports.
Wrote Roberts, "Today's decision is a first. Never before has this court accepted a president's direct defiance of an act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs."
Both Israelis and Palestinians want Jerusalem as their capital. USA Today said the issue arose when Congress in 2002 allowed citizens born in Jerusalem to designate Israel as their home country.
President George W. Bush declined to follow that, and President Obama followed in his footsteps.
Kennedy wrote in the dispute raised by the family of Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, "The nation must have a single policy regarding which governments are legitimate in the eyes of the United States and which are not."
WND reported recently that a Boston University professor had a Common Core-compliant lesson plan that has students divide the city of Jerusalem.
Professor Carl Hobert's "Whose Jerusalem?" project has been lauded by those at the pinnacle of the education establishment as an important work that will, in the words of Boston University School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman, "help students acquire the skills they need" in conflict resolution "to be successful in the 21st century."
In Britain, the advertising watchdog banned a tourism ad that suggested the Old City of Jerusalem was part of Israel.
And just two years ago, the White House released what it said was a map of Israel. The only problem was that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights were missing.
An Obama administration video highlighting the president's plans for his Mideast trip depicted Jerusalem, the Golan and the West Bank – also known as Judea and Samaria – as non-Israeli territory.
The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the discrepancies, noted the video showed the Golan Heights as part of Syria; Jerusalem is depicted as part of the West Bank; and northern Israel is shown as part of Lebanon.
WND had reported in August 2012 when the White House refused to name the capital of Israel – not once, but twice – as the two most senior White House correspondents cornered Obama's press secretary, doggedly questioning him on whether the Obama administration considered Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to be the capital of the Jewish state.
Even Google Earth previously divided the city of Jerusalem and placed the Temple Mount within Palestinian territory.
When the issue arose in textbooks, WND the governor of Tennessee was asked to investigate what appeared to be the teaching of "religious dogmas of one religion," Islam, in his state.