MYWEEK

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

I WAS kinda hop­ing that things would be calm­ing down ahead of the sum­mer va­ca­tion – a nice wind-down fol­lowed by pho­tos of me with Michelle on the White House lawn ahead of a week or two chillin’ down at Camp David. Boy, was I wrong. There I am in the Oval Of­fice, feel­ing re­lieved that I don’t need to feign in­ter­est in soc­cer any more, when the whole Gaza thing pretty much blows the roof off, fol­lowed by MH17. Just as I’m won­der­ing what cri­sis we’re go­ing to lurch into next, there’s a knock on the door.

“Yeah, what is it?” “Ed’s here, sir?” “Ed who?” “Ed Miliband, the leader of the Bri­tish Op­po­si­tion. We have an hour sched­uled”.

Clearly I didn’t have an hour but I told them we’d do a 25 minute brush-by. He wanted to talk about Ukraine, Gaza, the world econ­omy, even Scot­land. “C’mon David,” I said. “We don’t have time for ev­ery­thing to­day. If you win the elec­tion, we can chew the fat – maybe have a big corned beef sand­wich at Katz’s Deli. I think it’s kosher there.”

“Er, ac­tu­ally it’s Ed. David’s my brother and I’m not re­ally kosher. Ba­con sand­wiches are more my thing, al­though I’ve been told not to eat them in pub­lic any more.”

“Oh yeah, sorry, of course it’s Ed. How is David, you guys hook­ing up later?” “No.” Awk­ward si­lence fol­lowed by an­other one when Ed men­tioned the Spe­cial Relationship. I had no idea what he was talk­ing about. I checked with my aides after the meet­ing and they said the US and and Eng­land used to have one of those way back when, but we don’t now.

That di­ver­sion over I was able to get back to work. Sec­re­tary of State Kerry re­ported back on what those Ha­mas clowns were say­ing. Ac­cord­ing to them, the rock­ets fired into Is­rael are ac­tu­ally be­ing launched by the Is­raelis against them­selves “to give Ha­mas a bad name”. He asked them about the tun­nels. Ap­par­ently these are “nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring”. He also said that Bibi wants to talk. My heart sank a lit­tle. Bibi al­ways seems like the kind of guy that I could get on with. But then about half an hour after ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion I re­alise he’s done a num­ber on me again.

Then of course there is Putin to deal with. I give him a quick call to see if we can’t re­solve a few mat­ters aris­ing from the shoot­ing down of the Malaysian air­liner. “Those crazy rebels have noth­ing to do with Moscow – they are mad. Please, please, no more sanc­tions, Rus­sian econ­omy is in a mess, I do any­thing you want, boss…. ev­ery­thing ex­cept ac­knowl­edge right to self de­ter­mi­na­tion of pi­rate Ukraine state. You get me? Any­way when all this mess is over you must come round to dacha, drink more vodka yes?”

On re­flec­tion, I think I’d pre­fer a ba­con sand­wich with Ed. *As imag­ined by Si­mon Round

We could chew the fat in Katz’s Deli, I told him

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