The Amazing Mr. Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman, who is taking a temporary leave of absence from driving Israel into the sea while he settles his legal affairs, has done it again. According to Lahav Harkov in the Jerusalem Post, he has managed to insult three of the most important women in Israeli politics -- at the same time!

"I see the attack of these three veibers attacking me, Tzipi Livni, [Labor leader] Shelly Yacimovich and [Meretz leader] Zehava Gal-On - the Polish group," Liberman quipped, before correcting himself: "Actually, Zehava in Lithuanian, not Polish." Liberman is big fan of Yiddish, enjoys attending plays in the language, and seems to be trying to teach it to Israelis one scandal at a time.

Nearly two years after introducing the Yiddish word feinshmeckers - literally gourmet, but used to mean a snob or a priss - to the Israeli vernacular by using it to describe Likud's more liberal wing, Liberman now brought in veibers, which literally means wives, but has a negative connotation in Yiddish meaning chatterboxes or gossipers.

The good news for Lieberman is that veibers does not mean "wenches," as some reports have it. Remember, Lieberman has served for several years now as foreign minister of the sovereign state of Israel. The position was once filled by Abba Eban, by the way. And now look.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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