Friday, February 04, 2005

I kind of like Israeli informality and directness but I'll never really master it.

Yesterday a few associates and I met with a particular government minister (PGM). On the agenda was the route of the security fence in our neck of the woods and the withdrawal plan. (My neighbors, My Obiter Dicta and Treppenwitz, might be amused/alarmed to hear that a fence will likely be snaking through their backyards, if not their living rooms, some time soon.) Anyway, things were breezing along in a "frank and candid" but civil way until YD piped up.

To set the stage I should mention that PGM is on record as opposing the withdrawal but voted for it under threat of dismissal by Sharon. YD is a woman who is raising her grandchildren because their parents were murdered by terrorists. And the people in the room were all people whose goodwill PGM is dependent on. PGM was in middle of doing a song and dance about how much he agrees with us but he had to vote the way he did to be more effective from within bla bla bla.

YD just looked at him and said the following: We know your heart is with us. We know your head is with us. But your voting finger is not with us. We don't respect people who don't have the courage of their convictions. If you're cowed, you're not leadership material. If you won't do what you know is right, we will see to it that you have no political future.

Just like that. PGM was reduced to sputtering. I was cringing. But you know what? YD knows how business is done here and I'm just an American-raised wuss. There were no hard feelings. We'll meet again next week.

2 Comments:

Blogger B2 said...

Wow -- good for YD. My wife and I lived in J'lem for a year some time ago, and I was always shocked and warmed by the directness of those who lived around us. It's like Jewishness to the nth degree.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Ben Mavet said...

And I've been back in the US for over two years, and still miss the Israeli mentality (though, like Ben, I don't think I'll ever really get it)...

7:05 PM  

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