While Trump’s Saudi visit was full of speechifying, pomp and circumstance; including receptions in gilded palaces and dinner feasts, the Israeli leg of his journey appears more like an old Mac Sennett Keystone Kops movie. It’s been a minor fiasco from first to last. Even before he arrived Netanyahu’s cronies were attempting to compel Trump to include the prime minister in a visit to the Kotel, which would’ve produced days worth of hasbara for Brand Israel (but likely incited riots throughout the Muslim world). Then Trump rejected making his major speech on Masada when told he couldn’t ascend in a gold-plated cable car (not really–when told he couldn’t land atop the fortress in a helicopter, he rejected the plebeian cable car route reserved for tourists and other hoi polloi).
Sometimes Bibi Netanyahu’s cabinet resembles less a national governing council and more a class of wayward ten year-olds being scolded repeatedly for their antics and misbehavior. The teacher, er prime minister expected his boys (as most of them are) to join in the welcome of Trump at Ben Gurion. But when told only the VIP Israelis would actually get to shake Trump’s hand, the junior officials skipped out on the festivities. When Bibi heard about these shenanigans, he gave the lads a stern talking-to: they must dress up in their Sunday best and line up properly and smile nicely for Uncle Donald–or else.
None of this stopped the most louche of Israeli MKs, Oren Hazan, from insinuating himself into the welcome party uninvited. He managed to crash the reception line, grab Trump and brusquely tell him he was now going to do a selfie with “the Israeli Trump.” The result is a truly grotesque image of a flustered looking Trump (and Donald Trump never looks flustered in front of a camera!) with Hazan flashing his pearly white incisors for the camera. Click on the Facebook photo below and take a look at Trump’s strained face as Hazan fiddles with his smartphone…
Though this seems a small matter compared to the outrageousness of Hazan crashing a presidential welcome line, Hazan has little understanding of colloquial English. In his Facebook post he thanks Trump and adds: “It was a pleasure.” A man with a shred of manners would understand that when you’ve asked someone for a favor it is the other person who says “My pleasure” to assent to doing it for you. And he only says this if he offers the favor willingly. Clearly, Trump didn’t do so willingly and was definitely not in the mood to tell Hazan it was “his pleasure.” What he’s done is the equivalent of asking someone for a favor and then, after they do it, telling them: “the pleasure was all mine!” That’s the height of gaucherie.
That didn’t stop Hazan from proclaiming the moment a “historic” one for himself and Trump[!]. Clearly, whatever megalomaniac Kool-Aid Trump drinks, Hazan shares the same taste for spirits.
Netanyahu, standing only a step a way, attempted to intervene and push Hazan aside. But he was not to be denied. And so the deed was done and posterity will record that America’s leading moral degenerate president suffered a selfie with Israel’s leading moral degenerate MK (and that’s saying a lot because there are so many prominent Israelis to fit the bill).
As AFP reports about Hazan’s sordid past:
Hazan was suspended in 2015 from his position as deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament after a televised report accusing him of involvement in pimping and drugs.
He was also suspended for one month from any parliamentary activity in December 2015 after “insulting” behaviour towards a colleague with a disability.
Here’s a fuller account of his exploits.
This selfie incident was only an embarrassment to those who have no sense of irony. Because Trump and Hazan are bosom buddies. They are both sexual predators with a taste for the social circuit. Both are starved for recognition, their lives representing a case of arrested development.
Israelis claim embarrassment at Hazan and his antics. But he is a perfect avatar of the rampant, crude, grasping nature of Israeli society. To add another anecdote: As she welcomed the Trumps for dinner in the prime minister’s residence, Sara Netanyahu, acting like an eastern European balehboosteh, apologized that it wasn’t quite up to the standards of Mar-a-Lago. But she did add brightly: “But at least we could get the walls painted for you!” Imagine a prime minister’s wife acknowledging publicly, even proudly that she exploited a foreign dignitary’s visit to inveigle the state to repaint her walls??
Nor is Trump much better. The cost of his 28-hour stay in the Holy Land? $100-million. And he ain’t payin’ it for sure. You and I are.
The wonder is that Trump believes (or so he says) that doing a peace deal with these moral pygmies will be easy. Far easier to imagine the whole lot of them wrestling in a mud bath. And that would be far more fun to watch, as well.
H/t to Ronnie Barkan for video.