The Amazing Mr. Lieberman

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/12/the-amazing-mr-lieberman/266325/