Deb Reich
It's not the people... it's the paradigm.

Dear Ivanka: a daughter’s dilemma

Dear Ms. Trump Kushner,

Where are you?

Do you love your dad?

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Your dad is visibly losing it, in the most public way imaginable. This is increasingly obvious at his televised rallies. His rambling incoherence is humiliating him in front of local audiences and on the world stage via the media.

For some time now, your dad has evidently been experiencing a rapid cognitive decline. He needs help. Even apart from his legal troubles, his situation will only get worse. Are you going to wait until his half-incoherent rants turn into 100% gibberish on stage before you speak up? Will you continue by your inaction to cooperate in a process that could end in his having a very public and humiliating breakdown while in office? And what about the country? Don’t all Americans, however they vote, deserve better?

Obviously, a blog on this (Israeli) newspaper is unlikely to be part of your usual daily media consumption, but maybe someone will show this to you… I hope so. Because what happens to your dad is of course not just an American issue; it affects literally the whole world.

In addition to which, as you doubtless know, this week we mark the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Observant Jews go to synagogue to hear the Ten Commandments (including the fifth: Honor your father and your mother). Also, the people listen to a reading of the Book of Ruth, prominently featuring a Moabite woman who married an Israelite. Ruth was perhaps the most famous convert to Judaism – at least until you married your husband Jared. Another tradition on Shavuot is to stay up late and study about issues of importance. So, this seems like a good time for someone to write and urge you to rethink your dad’s situation and your current dilemma as his daughter.

Why would you remain silent?

Why would you remain silent, given these very serious circumstances? Who will intervene to save your dad from himself and rescue the country from this cruel farce, if you do not? Everyone else who might make a difference is either too intimidated or too self-interested to step up. What about you?

You could issue a public statement urging the Republican party not to nominate him this summer. You could urge his various enablers to stop trying to ride his coattails back into power in Washington and begin trying to get him some relevant help and treatment. An orderly retreat from public life would at least help to guard his basic human dignity and prevent further humiliation.

What a terribly sad spectacle.

If on the other hand you have old and private scores to settle with your dad, given his frequently inappropriate behavior toward you, then maybe your nonintervention now is a form of revenge.

That might be even sadder.

Either way, I wish you strength for the tough road ahead.


Deb Reich

(writing as an American-Israeli who can empathize with a daughter’s dilemma)

About the Author
A native New Yorker, by profession a writer, editor, and translator, my passion after nearly forty years in Israel/Palestine is to explore how we might craft a better shared future by discarding the paradigm of enemies – an obsolete social design, now highly toxic. Read more in my book, No More Enemies, available on my website or from online booksellers.
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