I HAVE a meeting to attend tomorrow but have been wondering whether to send my daughter instead. She’s a lot younger than me and a good deal more attractive. Well, it seems to work for Donald Trump.
On this morning’s front pages, you will see widespread reports on the situation in Israel. Many of the papers are drawn to the contrast between Ivanka Trump attending the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem and the killing of more than 50 Palestinian protesters, and the injuring of some 2,000 more, by the Israeli military.
Pictures are used to contract the glossy Ivanka with the bloody scenes on the border between Gaza and Israel, including the front page of the Guardian here…
“Dozens die as US opens new Jerusalem embassy” is the main headline in the Times, here…
Commentators often take sides in this long-running conflict, based on whether they are pro- or anti-Israel. Not sure I know enough about that to be certain, but here’s something on which anyone should be certain: using the military to shoot and kill unarmed protesters is a step no democratic government should ever take.
The Palestinians had marched to the border to make a point about a return to their ancestral homes. The problems in that part of the world are deeply intractable, but it is hard not to conclude that Israel has most of the power – including a stockpile of the nuclear weapons it swears Iran must never be allowed to have.
Moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been US policy for years, although previous presidents have stepped away from enacting that decision, fearing the inflammatory consequences.
Trump doesn’t give a fat fig for inflammatory consequences and seems to have decided long ago that the Israelis are the ‘good guys’. For that he is showered with praise by the Israeli government – just what a deeply vain man likes to hear, leading to further backing for Israel, and no consideration for Palestinian claims to part of Jerusalem.
I don’t wish to dig deeper into this as it would be wrong to pretend certainty about the situation: anyway, too much certainty is the cause of many problems, isn’t it?
But let’s be certain about two things:
One: soldiers shooting unarmed civilian protesters – or soldiers told by their generals that stone-throwing protesters are dangerous terrorists – is just not something any civilised country should countenance.
Two: Trump sending Ivanka in his place reminds us just what a weird world we now live in. The US president dispatches his unelected daughter to do his job: how peculiar is that? Trump sending his daughter close to a bloody dispute caused by his decision to open the embassy is ever odder. He should have been there himself, as his decision partly led to the violence. Or maybe he thought it all looked a bit dangerous, so he’d send his daughter instead.
On second thoughts, I’d better go myself tomorrow as getting your daughter to do your work just isn’t the way a man should behave.