When Nisan and Gilan Gertz stepped off the plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport with their children last August, they were seven of almost 4,000 North Americans to make aliyah in 2009 — the largest number to do so in a single year since 1983.
While support for Israel in the United States is near an all-time high, the partisan divide in backing Israel’s approach to its conflict with the Palestinians is becoming more apparent.
When senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh died in Dubai in mid-January, it was a year and one day since a loose de facto cease-fire had taken hold between Israel and Hamas with the end of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.
As the Obama administration struggles to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a two-state solution remains the final goal, supported by governments in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Washington and Moscow. It enjoys at least lip service from everyone from Benjamin Netanyahu on the right to Noam Chomsky on the left.30
While the U.S. Senate is full of Jews (13 at last count), it boasts no alumni of the world of Jewish politics. That could change. According to recent reports, billionaire real estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman, a prominent Jewish communal figure and veteran of the Jewish political scene, is considering a run for Senate in New York.3
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