The Man Who Can't Say Yes

Why did Yitzhak Shamir appoint David Levy as Israel's Foreign Minister? Because Levy can't say yes to Secretary of State James Baker's peace plan -- he does not speak English. That gag is a sample of many Israelis' reaction to Levy. His fastidious appearance and emotional style of speaking have spawned so many jokes that at least one collection has been published. "One of his problems is that people don't take him seriously," says former Cabinet Secretary Aryeh Naor.

From now on, they had better. Levy, 52, an immigrant from Morocco and former construction worker who has never earned a college...

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