Donald’s Dilemma

The  English dictionary defines dilemma as “a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones; an argument forcing an opponent to choose either of two unfavorable alternatives”.

That is where the American president, Donald Trump, now finds himself following his retreat from the 2015 agreement with Iran.

In brief, Trump won and America lost.

It lost the confidence of its traditional allies, the United Kingdom, France and Germany as well as the major powers of Russia and China. It lost the trust of all nations who can no longer be assured that the United States will adhere to terms of agreements made in future.

This is especially true of the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea, presently hanging on a cliff regarding conversations with South Korea and the United States.

A nation that breaks its word is a nation not to be trusted. A nation’s word is considered sacred.

International monitors, on several inspection occasions, have verified that Iran is adhering to its agreement of 2015. Trump calls it “the worst deal in history” and maybe it was. But the deal was made and signed by the United States under President Obama and the ruling authorities in Iran.

I am not a diplomat nor an authority on international agreements but I do regret Trump’s retreat from the 2015 agreement. He says that it is not a treaty, only an agreement, and agreements can be broken if one or more parties to it so decide.

I think that Trump’s “brave” decision (which most Israelis cheer) has left America bereft of strong alliances with friendly European nations.

It could have been possible for him to keep basic terms of the agreement while insisting on changes in some of the terms. But he went all the way, with little regard for the eventual outcomes of his decision.

To be fair, President Trump usually keeps his promises. He promised, in his campaign speeches, to move the American Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and in five more days it will become an historic reality.  He promised in his campaign to tear up the 2015 agreement with Iran and he kept his promise.

By adding new and stronger sanctions on Iran it only weakens the Iranian civil population and causes them more suffering.  Iranian currency is at its lowest rate. Food prices have increased and many staple foods are not in the markets.

Trump undoubtedly thinks that increased shortages will inspire the Iranian people to protest and to overthrow the regime. This is not the 1917 Russian revolution in which an armed population could march on the czar’s palace demanding his abdication.   Iranians, unarmed, face only the unrestrained arms and might of the Revolutionary Guards. The regime will suffer very little. The Iranian people will suffer much.

In order to demonstrate its might and power in the region, Iran will continue to wreak havoc in Syria with the help of the Lebanese Hezbollah.  And our borders, both north and south, will suffer the damages of Iranian terror.

Bomb shelters have now been opened throughout our country. Fear and panic of an imminent Iranian attack has caused increased tension and trauma among Israeli citizens

And while our government continues to assure us that we will be prepared to strike Iran if they make moves to attack us, how many of us must die from the first Iranian attack?

Donald’s dilemma has turned into a dilemma for all of us. Who can prophesy the outcome?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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