Best columns: International
How Trump dominated our president
So now we know exactly what was said during the famous January phone call between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump, said Elisa Alanís. The Washington Post published a full transcript of the conversation last week, and most of the coverage has focused on how whiny and self-obsessed Trump sounds, moaning that Peña Nieto must stop saying that Mexico won’t pay for his border wall because it’s hurting Trump in the press. But what’s most shocking to Mexicans is Peña Nieto’s “utter failure to condemn” the building of the wall in the first place. Trump made the financing of the wall, and how it would be publicized, the focus of the conversation. Peña Nieto never once explains to the “racist” American leader that the barrier is a “horrible idea.” Peña Nieto did have a few good moments, managing to sound patronizing when he accepted Trump’s flattery and pointing out that much of Mexico’s drug violence stems from the illegal trafficking of guns and money from the U.S. But we won’t forget that when Mexican journalists covered the partial leak of the call months ago, the government denied everything, saying that reports of a tense conversation were totally false. “Manipulating the media and falsely smearing journalists”: In some ways, Peña Nieto is just like Trump.
A princeling embarrassing the country
The eldest son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “out of control,” said Uri Misgav. Yair Netanyahu’s “fits of rage” are now the talk of Israel. First a neighbor revealed that the 26-yearold didn’t pick up after his dog and gave her the bird when she complained about it. Then Yair flipped out and wrote a vulgar rant on Facebook in response to a critical post from the think tank Molad, which noted that he doesn’t work and lives lavishly in the official presidential residence at taxpayer expense. Yair wrote that Molad would do better to investigate the alleged crimes of Omri Sharon, son of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; implied that the son of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was gay or treasonous or both; and topped it off with emojis of a raised middle finger and a smiling pile of poo. The temper tantrum has left him vulnerable to multiple defamation suits. Some may argue that the media should leave Yair alone, because he’s not an elected official. But “his parents, the imperial couple,” have been trying for years to portray Yair “as the natural heir to the throne,” pushing him into official meetings and hauling him along on diplomatic trips. An effective leader “would have called his son to order.” Netanyahu, though, inflicts him on the country. ■