Monday, January 23, 2017

The Trump Administration and Israel

I believe Trump's presidency will pose a serious problem for Israel. Trump claims that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is uniquely qualified to make peace in the Middle East. But son-in-law Kushner should not be in the administration at all; it is illegal for Trump to have his son-in-law in the White House, salary or not. It is against the nepotism law, but the administration claims not. It seems they never break any law. But I also see Kushner as having absolutely no qualification for his "job." What he can offer as a peacemaker is beyond me. Probably beyond him as well. Does he think Harvard gave him the tools for such a task? I am also concerned about Trump's choice for Ambassador to Israel; Friedman is a radical choice---to the right of Netanyahu (as if Netanyahu isn't bad enough). Although many people did not realize it, Obama was very good for Israel and made sure more aid went to Israel than ever before, and that in included making sure they had the ability to ward off rocket attacks. The fact that he and Netanyahu didn't get along is something else. I think Obama has a problem getting along with someone as stupid as Netanyahu, who after all is something of an embarrassment to Israel. We must recall that Israel has a parliamentary system, and Netanyahu has managed to get into office and stay in office by aligning himself with the religious and the ultra-religious. And now it is difficult to get him out. But consider that Obama got along just fine with Shimon Peres and even gave him a special honor. But Peres was no dummy and was the last of the original pioneer leaders. The last great prime minister was Rabin. Netanyahu is a joke compared to the great Rabin. The problem is that it’s a terrible joke¾on Israel. Trump pretends to get along with Israel and to care about the country, but the truth is that Trump cares for nothing and no one outside his own personal circle (aside from Russia, making the idea of blackmail seem not at all far-fetched). It looks to be a frightening and difficult four years ahead (if Trump survives to complete those four years). Other than impeachment and assassination, he does look like a walking heart attack. Who knows? We can hope, can't we?