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The JC Leader:: Only relative...and get the message

The Jewish Chronicle Leader column, August 25, 2017

    Jared Kushner with Benjamin Netanyahu (Credit: Twitter/@IsraeliPM)

    Only relative

    It is, of course, perfectly sensible for delegations from the White House to visit Israel, just as it is sensible for them to visit any other ally.

    And they are equally at liberty to follow the same path trodden by previous such delegations, speaking to the PA, Jordan, the Saudis and any other player who might be able to work towards a regional settlement of some sort. Only a fool would not wish them — in this case, Jared Kushner and two colleagues — well.

    But only a fool would think that they — this group in particular — stand even a remote chance of achieving anything in the least bit worthwhile. Indeed, for all the hot air that has emanated from President Trump since his election, perhaps the most bizarre waste of oxygen has been his claim that his business background makes him well placed to broker some sort of deal in the area.

    As if, that is, the problems of the Middle East might have been solved generations ago had someone thought to use a decent contract lawyer.

    Mr Trump was at least elected as President and his office gives him status and clout. Mr Kushner has nothing to offer beyond being son-in-law of the President. While in some Arab countries that is enough, in reality Mr Kushner is not so much out of his depth as regarded on all sides as almost entirely irrelevant.

    Get the message

    So ubiquitous is it today that it is easy to forget that Twitter is barely more than a decade old. It has many wonderful positives; but it has also given voice to some of the vilest forms of hatred, of which antisemitism is one of the most regular.

    The CPS’s confirmation this week that it will treat online hate as equivalent to offline offences reflects that. It is to be hoped that the threat of prosecution will itself help clean up social media.

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