Israel’s first Arab Rhodes scholar has the chutzpah to love her country, and to try to change it

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Lian Najami, Israel’s first Arab Rhodes scholar, is the kind of person who can be optimistic about just about anything — including having a needle stuck in her spine.

As she waited in a Haifa hospital Wednesday morning for a lumbar puncture, Najami expressed hope that the procedure would finally put a name to her degenerative neurological disorder. After that, she said, anything was possible.

“Once we know what it is, we should be able to treat the symptoms better, and maybe one day we will find a cure,” she said in a telephone interview. “I’m…