August 9, 2004

by Reb Yudel
YKH profiles Tzipi Livni

Just today, a friend was lamenting that Yossi wasn't writing profiles anymore. Well, it looks like we'll have to lament that they're hidden behind the New Republic registration system (or in your public library) because his latest piece, Hadrera Dispatch: Tough Love seems to be a profile. Read the opening paragraph and judge from yourself:
They have all come to hear Immigrant Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni, one of the Likud's rising stars, defend Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan. It's not an easy crowd to convince. A majority of Likud members in Hadera, one of the Israeli towns hardest hit by terrorism, voted against Sharon in the recent party referendum on withdrawal. Livni is here to tell them why Sharon is proceeding with his plan even though he lost the vote and why they, as loyal Likudniks, should support him. But, if anyone can convince Likudniks that uprooting settlements and withdrawing under terrorist fire isn't a self-betrayal, it's Livni. In a party increasingly dominated by opportunists rather than ideologues, Livni is one of the few Likud leaders who can still recite from memory passages from the writings of Revisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the Likud's ideological mentor. Her family credentials define Likud aristocracy: Her father, Eitan, was operations chief for the underground Irgun; in the right-wing Betar youth movement, they still sing a hymn about an Irgun heroine named Little Sarah--Livni's mother. In fact, Livni possesses the Revisionist bona fides that Sharon, who grew up in the Labor movement, lacks.
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