The government's move follows an application to Canada's Supreme Court by B’nai Brith of Canada against the government’s new policy regarding its passports and Jerusalem. Canada's new position is that "Israel" not be specificed as the country of birth for its citizens who were born in Jerusalem.

The court suit was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old Torontonian, who objected to the ban against noting Israel as his country of birth on his passport. The boy's lawyer argued that the new policy discriminated against his client, as many other citizens had received passports with such a classification.

The latest development is that scores of Canadian Jews have been told by Canadian Passport Office officials that they must surrender their passports showing "Jerusalem, Israel" as their birthplace.

“It appears that the Government has begun a concerted campaign to recall the passports as a direct result of the legal action now before the courts,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada. Instead, he said, “the appropriate ‘clean-up’ initiative would be to [allow his passport to read 'Israel'], thus putting the complainant in the same position as the many other Canadians already holding valid passports showing Jerusalem, Israel.”

In a similar move last September, a US court found that American consular offices need not register the birthplace of a Jerusalem-born American citizen as "Jerusalem, Israel," but merely as "Jerusalem."