Even if Tzipi Livni fails to win the elections, she already achieved something. Livni gave a good fight and represented women honorably. Two days before the elections, after all the commentators already reviewed, summarized, and handed out government portfolios, suddenly everything is wide open. The race is tight, the rivals are sweating, the commentators are warning, the pollsters are presenting surprising results, and a moment of hope emerges.
Indeed, we shall be able to take pleasure in this moment a long time after the elections, and regardless of their outcome.
When Tzipi Livni volunteered to run for the premiership in Israel, the most difficult and responsible job in the world – a position usually reserved for men, preferably macho men, and preferably former generals – we followed her with baited breath, with guarded hope, and with great fears, as she maneuvered through the minefield of Israeli politics. Today, two days ahead of the elections, we can present an interim report and rule that Livni gave a good fight and revitalized us.
Even when she was hurled to the ground following the war, she courageously got up, dusted herself off, did not give up, and did not break. She continued to be focused and calm, while displaying humor, determination, and yes, sensitivity as well. Even when they referred to her as “the lady” and “blabbermouth” she did not blink, did not sweat, and did not desperately change her advisors. Her campaign was managed (by another woman, Dalia Itzik) quietly, effectively and in a to-the-point manner.
Even when some feminists slammed her, showing the kind of rudeness and pettiness that no man would dare adopt, while crudely trampling over the ultimate feminist dream – a female prime minister – and even when she got up in the morning and read “respectable newspapers” featuring articles by “respected journalists” that included quotes by “respectable” cowards about her being hollow – she did not get scared, did not smear, did not collapse, and did not panic. She did not become bitter and continued to convey a sense of optimism and persistence.
And while Knesset seats slated for Likud were shifting over to Lieberman’s party, Livni maintained her strength in the polls, with not even one Knesset seat shifting from Kadima to Labor, despite the generals’ efforts to turn her into a secretary.
Livni proved that she does not become alarmed or anxious, that she cannot be blackmailed or dwarfed, and mostly that she is not scare. She did not embarrass us with grotesque gestures such as moving to live in Sderot with her cigars, and she did not embarrass us when she sang our national anthem out of tune, because it conveyed charm, and honesty, and love for the country.
Even if she will not be elected prime minister in two days, Tzipi Livni represented us honorably and candidly, and for this she deserves our gratitude in advance and in retrospect – not only on behalf of women, but on behalf of the human, sane, and optimistic race.