On one side, a blatant, arrogant, ignorant man, filled with internal contradiction and lacking any values. On the other side, a cruel tyrant, who is responsible for the establishment of concentration camps, torture and executions of his own people.
A president of the world’s greatest power, a free and democratic country, and a totalitarian leader with a cult of personality in a closed and insignificant country, which has been upgraded to its current status only due to its possession of a weapon of mass destruction.
Some see the meeting at Singapore’s Capella Hotel as a historic meeting. That may be true, but only if it points to a trend. Because although we saw ourselves on the bright side of the moon on Tuesday, this trend could be reversed. Because how can one expect a trend from two unpredictable, unstable people, whose conduct is more influenced by ego, aggression and insanity than by rational thought?
But the size of Tuesday’s achievement is likely a result of our low expectations. After all, no one would have been surprised if Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un would have cancelled the meeting an hour before it was scheduled to begin. What could we have expected from the man who referred to the North Korean leader as “little rocket man” a short while ago, and on Tuesday already saw him as “a great personality”?
So Trump may deserve a citation for doing such a good job in scaring the North Korean leader that he agreed to meet with him, but there should have been a limit to the words of praise and flattery he showered one of the world’s most horrible leaders with. Imagine Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister in the post-World War II era, praising Adolf Hitler after their meeting and calling him “a great personality.”
But Trump turned the historic meeting into an ego trip. In light of the Korean leader’s introversion and withdrawnness, it seemed off key. He held as many as four press conferences, and his compliments for his Korean counterpart increased from one press conference to another.
His comments in one of the press conference, “Yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war” or “the past does not have to define our future,” made a great impression. But for Trump, it seems, not only does the past not define the future, neither does the present, and that explains his complete disregard for the resume of the man standing before him, who singlehandedly murdered his cousin and whose people still suffer from the most brutal violation of human rights.
On Tuesday, all those who ascribe to Trump great leadership mocked “the Left” for criticizing and condemning Trump’s win after the US presidential election and expressing concern over his leadership, and spoke about a historic day and about a breakthrough.
Here’s a question for this public: Where is Trump’s ardent fan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hasn’t stopped expressing his appreciation and even admiration for the American leader? Where is his leadership move? Like travelling to Ramallah, to meet with Mahmoud Abbas. Why is he refusing to ignore the hostility, the fights, the lies, the conflict and the distrust of the past, and to sit down with the Palestinian president, because “yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war”? And why has Netanyahu chosen to adopt Trump’s controversial traits, rather than what is perceived by him and by his camp as a leadership quality? And why aren’t all those who celebrated Trump’s election adopting his approach that peace is made with enemies?
If Kim was able overcome the suspiciou
sness and fears and distrust, Abbas can also give up his ambitions and make a step towards a better future. Because even if these two leaders are not the model we would like to see, and even if it doesn’t end the way the world hopes it will end, they succeeded on Tuesday in doing something that few people before them have done.