Or of what else could the Charedim possibly afraid?

The Syrian state press has described her as a “Mossad beauty.” A Palestinian cartoonist compared her to the Mona Lisa. One Canadian report called her “naturally blonde with eyes as blue as the Mediterranean.”

Yet Tzipi Livni, asked by Israel’s president on Monday to form a government following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s resignation, remains largely faceless when it comes to her country’s powerful ultra-Orthodox Jews, or haredim.

Citing concerns for feminine modesty, the ultra-Orthodox refuse to publish images of women in their newspapers — a core source of information as the reclusive community generally shuns the television, Internet and most radio stations.

That poses a unique challenge for Livni, the 50-year-old foreign minister, as she tries to piece together a governing coalition and campaigns for support among ultra-Orthodox who make up an estimated 8-15 percent of Israel’s population.

“There’s no doubt that we have our work cut out for us when it comes to the haredim,” Avraham Kroizer, one of Livni’s strategic consultants, told Reuters. [Full article]

To add my two Eurocents: anybody who has got improper thoughts at the view of a fully and decently dressed woman has got improper thoughts anyway and only needs someone else to blame. Lustmolch anybody?

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  • I’m not chareidi and being a female, I can look, but my wish is that if enough MK’s ignore her, she’ll just fade away.

  • There may be a parallel with Sarah Palin. Many folks seem unable to deal with a woman politician who projects sexuality (however decorously) or can be viewed in a sexual way. Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher didn’t have to deal with this potential complication.

    In the US, lefty opponents of Palin in the entertainment industry (see, e.g., Tina Fey) have taken up that most reactionary of gender stereotypes: a good-looking woman has to be an airhead. We’ve got a long way to go in fully including women in politics and government.

  • The NY Times reports that Pakistan’s president told Palin she’s “gorgeous” and when the official photographer asked them to keep shaking hands while he took additional photos, he continued to embarrass her by flirtatiously commenting that he was happy to maintain the handshake, AKA body contact.

  • Well, I think Tina Fey is kida hot.

    Does that mean she’s stupid?

  • Isn’t Tina Fey the sexiest woman in America, according to America’s lesbians? I’ll have to look for the link.

  • Livni is over 50, married and a mother of two. That should be enough to keep improper thoughts of charedim away…but maybe not…I was reading about this subject on another blog, and I guess they didnt show pictures of Golda Meir either, but they did write her name on the newspapers. She was over 70 by the time she got to Prime Minister, maybe Livni has to wait a few decades.