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This Monday, 12-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky lost his longstanding battle. In a tensely awaited ruling, the Supreme Court affirmed the executive branch’s exclusive right to grant formal recognition to a foreign sovereign. For Menachem, this means his American passport will still list his place of birth as “Jerusalem” — but not “Israel.” For millions of Jews, it means a troubling refusal on the part of the American executive to recognize the eternal link between Jerusalem, the Holy Land, and its people.
He went through the Six Day War with Levi Eshkol, was like family to Yitzchak Rabin, saw Golda Meir at her weakest moment; he honored Menachem Begin, learned to appreciate Binyamin Netanyahu and to steer clear of Ehud Barak, saw what made Arik tick and adored Ehud Olmert. Photographer Moshe Milner has been at the side of Israeli prime ministers for half a century, his camera capturing their most fateful decisions and their human foibles.
His palaces were among the most magnificent in all of Europe, and kings and noblemen were his steady guests. But he, the wealthiest man in Germany, preferred to bestow his fortune on the yeshivos, talmidei chachamim, and impoverished souls of the generation. A century ago, everyone knew his name, but today, does anyone remember Baron Shimon Wolf Rothschild?