Yeshiva University announced Monday that Israeli diplomat and political figure Danny Ayalon has been appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University for the spring 2014 semester. Ambassador Ayalon will teach on both the Wilf Campus at Yeshiva College and the Israel Henry Beren Campus at Stern College for Women, and will participate in public lectures and events.
As you may recall, Danny Ayalon was the key prosecution witness in the case against former and just reinstated Foreign Minister and Israel Beiteinu strong man Avigdor Lieberman. It went like this: initially, when questioned about Lieberman’s getting personally involved in appointing Israel’s ambassador to Minsk Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, Ayalon had no recollection of such meddling.
Then came that fateful ride to the party gathering, when, in the car, boss Lieberman told underling Ayalon that he was out, off the list, nothing, nada, gone, no Knesset seat for you, mostly because the lanky deputy Foreign Minister was getting too big and famous, in a party where only one man gets to do that.
It was right after that fateful ride, when Ayalon saw his career evaporating like so much pollution from a BMW exhaust pipe, that a miracle of modern science occurred, and the formerly forgetful and uncertain deputy started remembering big time. Lieberman? You mean that Lieberman – oh, sure, he meddled. Meddled, meddled, meddled, the whole day long, especially about the ambassador to Minsk.
But a panel of three Magistrate judges saw right through that—yet another miracle, if you ask me—and found Lieberman not guilty as the driven snow on a Jerusalem frosty morning in February.
And so, absent much to do in the home country, Ayalon got a job teaching at YU, where America’s future diplomats usually don’t come from.
“Ambassador Ayalon will surely bring to his professorial role at Yeshiva the same commitment to the State of Israel, to integrity, to thoughtful discourse and careful analysis of the geopolitical world, that he brought so successfully to his assignments in the foreign service and foreign ministry,” said YU President Richard M. Joel.
Yes, let’s see, did Dean Joel include in the careful analysis thing that time when Ayalon fixed up a low chair for the Turkish ambassador to Israel, so that the latter be humiliated in his office like a school child? It probably wasn’t the only reason the Turks want us dead right now, but it soitenly didn’t help. So, if you’re attending one of the visiting professor’s classes this semester and the question of careful analysis comes up – ask about the chair.
And, naturally, ask about the sudden flash of memory about Minsk – should go nicely with the integrity, what the dean was saying. Because, for the right reason, Professor Ayalon will integrity the daylights out of anyone.
And ask, how can you not, about the little scandal back in 2005, at the Israeli embassy in Washington, when Danny’s wife Ann, a self proclaimed convert from an evangelical family, who’s been accused of still being pretty evangelical, was accused of using embassy money to hire help for their daughter’s bat-mitzvah. And the embassy’s social secretary was used to manage the guest list.
“I am honored to join the distinguished faculty of Yeshiva University, led by President Richard Joel,” Ayalon said to the guy writing the YU press release, probably via email. “This institution is exceptional in its support of the State of Israel and in spreading knowledge and education that have always made it a center of excellence. I look forward to a fruitful, insightful and stimulating dialogue with our students.”
Hey, if I could afford it, I’d be there every lecture with a heap of questions, on integrity and careful analysis. Are you kidding me? The man is a treasure trove.
About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.
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