**A Post by Shifra**
Honestly, I was not planning to do this. I mean, your wife, Mooch, has a staff of, what, 26 people? So, I figured you must have an entire army of people to help you out. But after that ridiculous interview you gave to Israel’s Channel 2 last week, I thought you could use a few pointers.
First of all, you wished you could “wear a mustache in Tel Aviv” ? Seriously, who writes your material? Because two words come to mind: Fire Them! And, if you just made that up on the spot, I gotta tell you: You cannot do Stand Up. You cannot even do Sit Down. Please, take your teleprompter WITH you, and just r-e-a-d the w-o-r-d-s. That is what you are best at. Reading scripts. And, btw, although Jews have nothing against mustaches, it is in Iraq where all the men have mustaches. (Yes, I know, Israel and Iraq start with the same letter. But this is not Sesame Street. Please pay attention.)
Besides not being funny, you blew an opportunity to say some very impressive things.
For example, you might have said, “You know, I really wish I could get up at dawn, before the desert heat gets too intense, and hike the mountain trail to the top of Masada, where the Jews fought so valiantly against the Roman oppressors in 73 A.D.”
Or, you might’ve said, “I would love to wade into the Jordan River at the spot where Jesus was baptized.” That would have been quite a h/t to the Judeo-Christian framework on which our country was founded.
Oh, that reminds me: When you give your speech to the Israeli students, please do not rehash your Cairo speech, or tell them that the U.S. is not a Christian country. Maybe the Egyptian students liked that, but, trust me, this will not go over well with the Israelis. They will think you are a Dumb B@stard.
When you land in Israel, they will roll out the red carpet for you. Literally. To paraphrase your esteemed VP, this is a huge **expletive deleted** deal for Israel. The whole country is buzzing with anticipation of your arrival.
But, you need to keep in mind that it is not you they are honoring – it is the American people that they are honoring. Israelis really love “Ah-meh-reeka;” But you? Not so much.
I know you think the last election gave you a mandate. Well, the only man-date you really got was a few weeks ago with Tiger Woods on the golf course.
When it comes to Israel, Americans’ sympathy for Israel is at a twenty-two year high, and most Americans do not want the U.S to lead peace talks.
And a recent poll indicates that most Israelis do not trust you.
So, you would do the world a favor by listening more and talking less.
At first, I was surprised that you will not be visiting the Western (“Wailing”) Wall in Jerusalem. But, maybe this was not such a bad decision after all. I mean, that stunt you pulled on your last visit was very lame; writing a personal prayer on a piece of paper, as is customary for many people, and then placing the folded paper in a crack of the wall. You made a big show of this, and then the paper just happened to fall out (wink, wink) and one of your aides picked it up and read it to the press. Whose stupid idea was that? And, asking God for humility? Really!? Thanks for a good laugh.
I will tell you about another American politician who visited the Western Wall. Mitt Romney went to Israel last summer, accompanied by his wife, Ann. And they went to the Western Wall on a Jewish fast day, Tish’a B’Av, the national day of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans, two thousand years ago. And when Ann Romney learned about the solemnity and traditions of the day, she showed up at the Wall wearing slippers rather than leather shoes, as is the custom on that day of mourning. This was something that was not expected of her, but she said she wanted to show her solidarity with Israel. I don’t remember the time I was so moved by a politician’s attempt to connect with the Jewish people. It felt so sweet, and so sincere. It breaks my heart that she will not be our FLOTUS.
But here is my point to you: There is a thin line between authenticity and pandering. And, if you do not understand this, then, as Katy Jurado says in High Noon: “I cannot ‘splain it to you.”
One more thing: You are arriving in Israel a few days before Passover. You will be staying at the King David Hotel (very fancy-shmancy place; my husband and I met in Jerusalem, and our first date was at the bar at the King David. They make a killer daiquiri, btw). But the hotel kitchen has already been prepared for the special Passover diet.
So, I hope you like matzah ball soup. And, enjoy your matzah brei.