If you were glued to the TV in anticipation of President Trump’s speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia a few days ago, you were probably let down a little, because it turns out the speech wasn’t at all about Islam. Sure, there were a few lines about countries in the Middle East needing to take the lead in combatting terrorism and “Islamicists” (one too many ‘s’ sounds), and to protect everyone, regardless of their faith or “ethnicitity” (one too many ‘t’ sounds). But the bulk of the speech was a geopolitical one, reinforcing US security and economic cooperation with its traditional allies and antagonism towards foes. Up next was Israel, where the president made time to get his hand slapped off by Melania, to make the Israeli ambassador to the US nearly face palm by suggesting Israel was not in the Middle East, and to trigger outrage with a bizarrely upbeat Holocaust memorial note (which many were quick to compare to President Obama’s solemn note). No time, however, was made for anything of substance on the Israeli-Palestinian peace track.

comments powered by Disqus