Friday, June 27, 2008

Would Orthodox Back Livni For PM?

She's got the kind of issues that Barack and Hillary know all about:

“Whenever approached to push for progress in women’s rights or rape law, she declined to get involved — even when she was minister of justice,” said Orit Kamir, Hebrew University professor of law and gender studies.

Livni’s gender neutrality “extends as far as it can for a woman, and she is smart enough to disguise her femininity,” Kamir said. This means appearing calm and passionless on political matters, avoiding makeup and jewelry, and dressing in dark, ultra-conventional trouser suits “that would not be out of place in London or New York, but which no other woman wears here.”

Yet there is one symptom of her gender that she cannot hide: her lack of experience in dealing with matters of security. Times have changed since Golda Meir overcame this problem; she was elected when Israelis were on a high, believing themselves incapable of facing defeat after the triumph of the Six Day War. Today they feel deeply threatened by Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran. “Then people sensed Israel was strong enough not to need a military leader. The same feeling of strength is not present today,” Jerusalem Post analyst Calev Ben-David told the Forward.

I don't know if it helps or hurts to look like Gerard Depardieu, as she does in the accompanying photo.