GENEVA (Jun. 26)
There are ties that bind even two countries that are officially in a state of war. They are sold in an elegant shop on Geneva’s fashionable Rue du Rhone.
Israel’s Ambassador to France, Ovadia Soffer, discovered this when on a visit here he went to the shop to purchase a tie. Immediately he was surrounded by Arab-speaking security men. The envoy says he thought to himself: “I have been recognized. My final hour has arrived.”
But such was not the case. The security men were guarding Riffat Assad, brother of President Hafez Assad of Syria who was in the shop with his wife. When Soffer picked a tie and handed it to the sales woman for wrapping, Mrs. Assad, looking over his shoulder, told the woman, “This model I would like for my husband, but in different colors.”