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Born recently in Jerusalem, this tiny apolitical person has just arrived in Baltimore from Israel with his proud parents, a journey that required him to have an American passport. All went smoothly at the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem until I asked the woman processing the forms why there was no country listed after "Jerusalem" on the passport application.

In 1948, President Harry Truman, ignoring strong objections from the State Department, enabled the United States of America to become one of the first countries to recognize Israel. Jerusalem has always been Israel's capital. All U.S. embassies are situated in the host country's self-designated capital city, with the lone exception of Israel.

Even though Israel won all of Jerusalem in the 1967 war, even though no Israeli government nor popular referendum would ever allow another city to be designated its capital, even though the Arab- Palestinian peace process countenances no other place for that purpose - in the view of the State Department, Jerusalem remains no man's land.