Je suis Khizr and Ghazala Khan

A president, a prime minister, or whatever the chief of the Executive Branch in your country is called, who mocks the bereaved parents of a fallen soldier denies himself or herself the moral authority to authorize the sending of any soldiers into a conflict zone.

In fact, a privileged knave of this ilk leaves himself or herself with no moral authority to deal with any issue which could possibly mobilize anyone considered as belonging to one of the broad range security forces.

Donald Trump’s reported response to Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who died fighting in Iraq was, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” Trump said. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

I don’t even want to go into the territory of misogyny and “subliminally” tagging a family of Pakistani Americans as second class citizens. If you’ve got eyes that see and ears that hear, make up your own mind.

As for Khan’s charge, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Trump in an ABC interview reportedly pointed to the sacrifices he has made as a businessman: “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs,” Trump said.

This is an abominable insult to any parent anywhere in the world whose son or daughter is fulfilling their perceived national duty and serving in their country’s armed forces. Anyone who has been in the situation where their son or daughter is stationed in a combat zone, irrespective of who they vote for in elections and in compulsive denial of every directive of their amygdala and the rest of the limbic system to get them and their kids as far away as possible from this mess that someone else has created, will know exactly what I mean. Here in Israel we know the feeling all too well and all too often.

A president or whatever you want to call the chief of the Executive Branch, who claims that, his privations as a businessman are in some way equivalent to the sacrifice of bereaved parents of a fallen soldier denies himself or herself the moral authority to authorize anything mobilizing soldiers, policemen, firefighters or any member of any of the security forces in any shape or form. He leaves himself or herself with no moral authority to deal with any issue beyond the purely domestic in the narrowest sense of the word.

What is more, in lieu of the almost symbiotic relationship between Israel and the US in managing what are perceived to be largely mutual interests in the Middle East, the above-mentioned president would lack the moral authority to use his influence in foreign policy in as much as it may lead to sending the sons or daughters of allies into combat zones. And any public figure equating their privations as a businessman to the sacrifices and fretfulness of combat soldiers and then of their families, has no moral authority to meddle in anything which may directly or indirectly impinge on the safety of our sons and daughters in uniform, whether in the US security forces or in the IDF or the security forces of any other American ally.

About the Author
Aged in oak and astringent, I was born and raised in Australia and made Aliya in 1984. Due to "divine intervention" I was gainfully employed as a lawyer within the security forces; accounting for more than 20 years of tectonic shift. Raised in the 60's of the anti-war moratoriums and maturing in post Rabin Israel I have developed an eye for detail and capacity for romantic dilettantism.
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