Donald Trump appears determined to cause controversy either for the sake of it or to prove to the public the lengths to which he will go to assert his power.
His administration was under fire last Saturday after it blocked the appointment of a former Palestinian prime minister to a senior UN role seemingly because he’s a Palestinian.
Salam Fayyad, a western-educated technocrat, won plaudits from Israeli leaders and from the Bush administration for his reform efforts in the late 2000s. The 65-year-old had been tipped to become the new UN special representative in Libya.
But Nikki Haley, the new US ambassador to the UN, objected to his appointment saying: ‘For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian authority’.
Dan Shapiro, Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel, called the decision ‘stunningly dumb’.
Martin Indyk, a former US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian issues, called it one ‘of the most anti-Israeli decisions Trump could have made’.
Such decisions will only show Trump to be more of a screwball president whose whims are unlikely to give his office the respect and aura it deserves. I simply dread what he will do next.