Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Tzipi Livni: Israel’s Proud Cream Puff

December 19, 2012 11:47 am 0 comments

Israel's cream puff. Photo: Isrealli.org.

Some leaders are cream puffs, but few are as proud of it as Tzipi Livni, who showed that she relishes  being identified with cream puffs.

Israel’s version of the “cream puff” is known as a “Kremm-Bow”—a chocolate-covered  piece of fluff that sits on a wafer. Kids and adults love them, and they have less than a 100 calories apiece. Empty calories, but fun.

So what does Tzipi Livni  the former foreign minister and former head of Kadima, formerly  the biggest party in Israel, have to do with real-life cream puffs?

Every Israeli has his/her way of eating the Kremm-Bow, and Livni has been starved for attention. So Livni went on TV to demonstrate her way of eating cream puffs.

“For me they are much too tall,” said Livni of the cream puff that is hard to fit in one’s mouth with one bite.

[Passing thought:  Israeli cartoonists always highlight Livni’s famously capped teeth which seem—like the Kremm Bow—to be a bit too big for Livni’s mouth.]

Israel TV Channel Ten, which is going out business because of mismanagement, devoted some of its news programs to Livni showing how she eats cream puffs. Think of it as air time meets air head.

For several minutes Livni gives the viewers a didactic disquisition on her way of meeting the challenge of fluff, as the camera zooms in to watch her technique. The former foreign minister, in a gesture of decisiveness, takes her hand and tamps down the Kremm-Bow. Firm surgical force.

Voila, now the cream puff is more manageable, though it messes up one’s fingers. Livni was so proud of her inventiveness. Channel Ten thought it news worthy. She got air time, and Channel Ten hoped to get ratings, but both will likely  not succeed.

Livni has often been deemed “Mrs. Clean” by backers, but detractors think she is a cream puff who failed as foreign minister in Ehud Olmert’s government that mishandled wars against Hamas and Hizballah that attacked Israel in 2006 and 2008.

The proudly puffy Livni was not able to put together a coalition when Olmert resigned nor even after her Kadima Party outpaced Likud 28-27 in Knesset seats in the 2008 election after “Mrs. Clean” won the Kadima primary battle under suspicious circumstances.

In a primary rematch this year, she lost (handily)  the reins of the Kadima Party to Shaul Mofaz, a former general who is almost as wishy-washy on the issues as Livni.

Livni left politics for a few weeks, but came back after feeling cravings for the action. She shopped for seven Kadima members to join her and bestow their campaign funds under Israel’s  laws that allocate public funding by existing seats.

Journalists called it Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Some polls say she will get between eight and nine seats in the elections. The smart money says she will get  less.

Americans who think that only Israelis have problems with air heads and air time should look a little harder in the mirror. President Barack Obama avoids  press conferences where he might have to answer a real question not scripted on his teleprompter. Still, the White House press  usually serves soft balls that look remarkably like Israeli Kremm-Bows.

Obama, like Livni, craves soft and easy air time. He has spent the last four years doing late-night entertainment shows like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, showing that Letterman knows the budget better than Obama or “slow-dancing” the news with Fallon. He loves to talk about his wife Michelle, not Libya.

Israel and America may still be the world two most inspirational democracies, but they now seem to have become dominated by cream puffs.

Where is Michelle Obama  to scare away all those empty calories?

Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of  Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by  Threshold/Simon and Schuster. A former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers and The Jerusalem Post, he was  Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and teaches at Bar Ilan University.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →