Livni: Bibi Says I'm Weak – Because I'm a Woman

Tzipi Livni continues to play the gender card, and to discuss Netanyahu's 'confident and masculine voice'.

Gil Ronen ,

MK Tzipi Livni
MK Tzipi Livni
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

MK Tzipi Livni, who joined the Labor party recently and plans to head the government in a rotation deal if elected, played the gender card again Saturday.

In a live interview event in Netanya, Livni said that among the reasons for Binyamin Netanyahu's portrayal of her as a weak leader, is the fact that she is a woman.

"When facing a woman, it is easy to say that she will not be able to answer the phone at 3 a.m.,” she explained. “I know exactly who is weak and who is strong. Power and strength is not delivering fiery speeches in a confident and masculine voice.”

Livni added that Operation Protective Edge could have ended successfully and enabled Israel to enlist the support of the world, if Netanyahu had not “hesitated and stuttered.”

Livni took aim at Netanyahu's "masculine voice" last week, too, when she said that "the answer to the question, who will take care of security, is not a matter of a masculine voice [...] but a true matter of standing strong against pressure, the ability to reach the right diplomatic decisions and to enlist the world to our interests.”

A recurring theme

Livni has a long record of gender-baiting statements during election season. In an interview during the 2009 election season, she said that men work inefficiently to tally up extra hours at work, thus creating a gender pay gap. "Women don't work inefficiently and tally up extra hours, while men are inefficient, they have time, and a lot of extra hours. They make more money, and I fought to change that.”

She agreed with an interviewer that Operation Cast Lead had made the public mood and discourse more military and “male”, thus hurting her chances of winning the election. “I am paying a political price that I knew I would pay,” she said. “There is a problem of chauvinism... I am happy that at the end of the operation the nation of Israel is happy and the Israel Defense Force is proud and the self confidence is back. But I know that because of the social stigmas I pay a price for all of that.”

While Livni has derided the importance of a “deep masculine voice” for leadership, her own party co-chief MK Yitzhak Herzog has been taking voice, speech and intonation lessons to try and put some more oomph in his somewhat chirpy delivery style.

In the past, Herzog discussed the Israeli media's depiction of him as a weak figure, saying the portrayal is "because I'm thin, and I don't have a low voice, and I have a baby face."