Photo: Gabi Menashe
Ariana Melamad
Photo: Gabi Menashe

Livni is right

As elections approach, ugly chauvinism of Israeli politics rears its head

What can we do? She’s right. On the one hand, we have the Likud’s “it’s too much for her” slogan. On the other hand, Barak declares that those who never carried arms cannot take decisions on security matters.


Eight days before the elections, the ugly chauvinism of Israeli politics rears its head with incredible chutzpa and hurls primitive insults at 50% of the voters – the female voters – and at the first and only woman who dared compete for the premiership around here. Golda Meir, to those who have forgot about it, was appointed to the post after Levi Eshkol passed away, and only later went to elections.


If Tzipi Livni is unfit for the job just because she is a woman, than according to the same logic Israel’s female voters also have no say in security matters. They should be obedient and focus on making coffee, if that’s not too much for them. They shall bear children and sacrifice them to the generals that take over the premiership. Then they shall watch with gloomy eyes how a generation after generation fights the same wars, with less success than it appears to the generals.


If those who did not bear arms cannot take decisions around here, and if women cannot take decisions, let’s just declare the establishment of the new Sparta, where life expectancy will be 20 at most and the glory of scarify will be the ultimate desire. Is this the kind of society we wish to live in? Or perhaps we can do it differently: Via civilian partnership. Yet partnership is made of equals: Equality between the genders, recognizing that people were born equal in terms of rights, but not equal in terms of their ability to bear arms.


However, the ugly chauvinism that we never had time to adequately fight and that we could never declare as having been eliminated will always be blind to equality. As if nothing has changed since the early 1970s, and as if there were no women prime ministers in the Western World and in the Third World. History will judge whether they excelled at the post or not. Yet the voters decided that they are fit for the job. Not despite the fact that they were women, but rather, because they were human beings.


The fact that Livni is a woman does not guarantee that she will excel in leading this nation. Her two rivals are men. Each one of them has already failed in the past. It is tempting to say that they failed because they are men, but we won’t go there. Tzipi Livni, her voters, and the voters of all other parties deserve a more enlightened and respectful elections discourse. In this discourse, the men have already failed.


פרסום ראשון: 02.02.09, 11:06
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