A “source close to the transition” has told the New York Post that Trump’s close advisors would like to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the inauguration. What an awesome idea!
If at all possible, Bibi should go.
Not only should he go, but he should sit in a seat on the Capitol’s West Front (I’m no protocol expert, but I believe this could be arranged), where the cameras can see him. He should sit where the cameras can frame him and President Obama sitting just close enough to be aware of each other’s presence. Nothing would be more galling to Obama in his last moments in office.
Given that there’s a dearth of ex-presidents who will be attending the ceremony (latest reports are that only Jimmy Carter will be there, leaving two Bushes and a Clinton as a scratch), having one of America’s closest allies, and Obama’s nemesis, at the event would be a fitting symbol of the rise of Western values over the American apology crowd.
It would be apropos of a warning to those who believe that further appeasement to terrorists is the path to some kind of ersatz peace where acceptable losses are the new normal. It would presage a bold step like moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, which Congress resolved to do during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Trump told CNN in March that he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem “very quickly.” Then he clarified, saying “fairly quickly.” Last week [in November], his advisor Walid Phares seemed to hint at flexibility, saying Trump would “create consensus at home” before moving the embassy.
The best way to gauge consensus would be to invite Bibi to the inauguration, and publicly make him the first foreign head of state to officially visit President Trump at the White House.
Netanyahu tweeted a thank you to Trump. But no official word has come that the Israeli PM has been invited, or that he will attend.
תודה על תמיכתך הנשיא הנבחר טראמפ! 🇺🇸🇮🇱
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 1, 2017
There could be a problem, however. Netanyahu is now officially being questioned in a wide net of corruption investigations. The whispering and gossip may keep him home, especially with his own attorney general running the investigation.
But it would be really, really great if Bibi could come.