Sunday, December 28, 2008

Haaretz Columnist Claims Begin Didn't Have A Sense of Humor

The common denominator between Israel's past leaders and those currently vying for the country's leadership is the absence of a sense of humor. This is okay when it comes to Ehud Barak, since, according to the logic of his clever election campaign, every negative quality of his is supposed to somehow strengthen his leadership ability. Thus, the slogan, "Humorless. A Leader," should join the rest soon. But his predecessors in Labor and its precursors were, apparently, also filled with excessive self-importance and solemnity. (They say that Levi Eshkol used to tell jokes, but in Yiddish.) Can anyone remember a joke that David Ben-Gurion told? How about Golda Meir or Moshe Sharett? Yitzhak Rabin? No, on all counts. Shimon Peres tries and is successful on occasion.

In Likud, the situation isn't much better. Humor doesn't seem to go with the whole glory-of-Betar thing at all, or with Menachem Begin in particular. Yitzhak Shamir may have looked funny, but a sense of humor was as alien to him as compassion.

Source: Neri Livneh
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