The Corner

Tzipi Livni, Smelling Like a Rose

Have you been following the latest fun and games out of Harvard Law School? There are many accounts and treatments, but try here.

Tzipi Livni spoke at a forum. She is the Israeli politician who has been foreign minister, among other things. A student got up and said, “How is it that you are so smelly?” Apparently, the moderator and others were confused. “Oh, it’s regarding your odor,” the student said. He emphasized that his question was about “the odor of Tzipi Livni, very smelly.”

The student turned out to be one of these BDS types, of course. He apologized, saying he intended no anti-Semitism. The smelly, dirty Jew? Who ever heard of such a stereotype? Anyway, this is a very strange case.

Here, I wanted to say a word about Livni. Years ago, she gave one of the best Daniel-in-the-lions’-den performances I have ever witnessed. It was in 2008, at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. (These are the Davos people.) Livni was then foreign minister — and she was hammered by opponents of Israel, both Arab and Western. The worst were the Westerners: American and British. (They were showing off to the Arabs, of course.)

And Livni was cool, calm, and collected. She was also compassionate. She listened to these people, and their tirades, and their calumnies, with great patience. She explained the basic facts about Israel and the Middle East with amazing poise.

For my write-up of this episode, go here.

I myself am more of a Bibi man than a Tzipi man — but I thought, “There could not be a better spokesman for Israel on the world stage.” And if she handled those snarlers in Sharm El Sheikh, she could certainly handle that noxious brat at Harvard Law.

The things that Israelis have to put up with, as they go around the world.


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