The ministers on Sunday morning decided to respect the 17 Tammuz Fast Day and refrain from eating during the weekly cabinet meeting, all but one that is. It appears that no one bothered telling Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the decision even though a memo was posted for cabinet ministers. One assumes the minister did not see the memo.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Cabinet Secretary Ovad Yechezkel gave the order to refrain from placing food and drink on the table, as is customary during government meetings. The two explained the move as a showing of respect for religious cabinet ministers, adding anyone who cannot abide by the decision were permitted to leave the room for a bite and then return.
Apparently the foreign minister was not informed of the decision and while IDF Chief of Intelligence Major-General Amos Yadlin was briefing ministers, Livni entered holding a plate full of food. She sat down in her seat and began enjoying her meal. Olmert interrupted the senior officer, turning to inform Livni of the order of the day due to the fast, explaining “we are not permitting food or drink to respect our religious colleagues.”
Livni was in the midst of chewing when the prime minister made his remarks, with some ministers explaining she was actually caught as she was swallowing, perhaps a proverbial bone in the throat. She turned to her aide, Alon Bar, asking that he remove the remainder of her food.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)