There is a whole bunch of stuff going on in the Russian Jewish (and Jewish) community at large that I could get flack for writing about.
First of all, on the East Coast, it’s getting warmer outside. However, the ground has not warmed up enough to wear light clothing. This has led Russian mothers everywhere to proclaim, “DON’T GO OUTSIDE NAKED.” This means not wearing short skirts or capri pants if it is less than 70 degrees outside because, if you are a girl, and the wind blows, you could chill your ovaries and never have children. Doubly so if you sit on cold surfaces. This is the way Russian weather works. No questions. If you don’t believe me, ask Marinka. Or the You Know You’re a Nice Russian Girl group on Facebook. Or any other Russian you know. We are suffering right now, waiting breathlessly for the augurers to tell us when the ground to sun ratio has reached a sufficient level to be able to pull out something that cuts off above the ankle.
The other big thing is that Avigdor Lieberman is on tour in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, and The Czech Rebpulic) as one of his first acts as new foreign minister. The other, is, apparently, getting grilled once more on fraud suspicion. As soon as I found out about this, I knew I had to write about it. I immediately envisioned Madonna as Eva Peron, going on her Rainbow Tour, hoping to dazzle European dignitaries into thinking that Argentina was awesome in the 1940s and that she had an important stake in the government. Unfortunately, she was called a whore in Italy. As she was going to the Vatican.
Lieberman is doing the same thing. However, because he is often speaks his mind (instead of being politically glib), he has, so far not been well-received in Europe, the Middle East, or pretty much anywhere except Russian news channels. Some of these truths include having Arabs that are Israeli citizens sign loyalty oaths to the state; opposing the creation of a viable Palestinian state; and, on occasion, threatening to bomb the Aswan dam. None of this is alarming in that this is the sort of talk you would hear around many a Brooklyn-area dinner table.
However, it looks like this tour is evidently one for him to get his feelers out and to create concrete ties with European nations that, pretty much, hate Israel. He’s starting with Italy, the country closest to Israel politically. If even they are cautioning him to be careful in what he says, it will be interesting to see how he is received in France and Germany. So, this move is not only one to establish his legitimacy in the new government, but a chance to make some amends with more liberal factions, both in Israel and abroad. On the one hand, I’m extremely proud that he represents us Russian-speaking Jews as a sizeable minority in our own country. He is also unyieldingly honest about his views, which represent his constituency extremely well, even though they anger the opposition. On the other, he told the Egyptian president to go to Hell. So, good luck to Avigdor on the Old Continent. Here’s hoping he’s received better than Evita.