White House corrects itself after transcript puts Jerusalem in Israel

The White House was forced to correct itself Friday after sending out a transcript that listed Jerusalem as part of Israel, contradicting official U.S. policy.

The mix-up came in a transcript of President Barack Obama's eulogy at the funeral for former Israeli President Shimon Peres. The funeral took place at Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, in Jerusalem.

The White House press office transcript of the remarks initially listed the location as “Jerusalem, Israel.” But Friday evening the White House corrected itself listing simply “Jerusalem” and crossing out “Israel” on the location.

Israel's government considers a united Jerusalem to be its capital, while the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of their future state.

Mount Herzl is on the western end of the city.

U.S. policy refuses to recognize any nation's sovereignty over Jerusalem until Israelis and Palestinians resolve the city's status through negotiations.

Although Israel's parliament, high court and government offices are in Jerusalem, the American Embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, as are the vast majority of embassies in Israel.

The tortured nature of a U.S. policy that tries to avoid taking a position about a heavily populated city has occasionally caused the U.S. headaches.

Government officials have occasionally had to correct public statements in which they unwittingly lumped Jerusalem in with the country that surrounds it. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans born in Jerusalem can't list Israel as their birthplace on their passports, despite legislation Congress passed in 2002 allowing Americans to list Jerusalem in passports and calling for the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.

Minor corrections to White House transcripts are not uncommon, and the mistake in the eulogy transcript appeared to be a clerical oversight. The White House declined to comment on the error, but pointed to a statement reiterating official U.S. policy that Jerusalem's status should be addressed in a way that respects both Israeli and Palestinian rights.

"We believe that through good-faith direct negotiations, the parties should mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its unique religious status for people around the world," the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.