If Mr. Trump has to choose between Israel and Russia, he will clearly choose Russia. He has never taken a serious stand against Russia. He has abandoned treaties and alliances on a whim. Europe and South Korea are only the most glaring examples. Russia may become the dominant force in Europe and China is already poised to dominate Asia. North Korea has been given a free hand with the retreat of the United States’ commitment to protect South Korea and the reunification of Korea under North Korean domination seems inevitable.
Likewise Russia is becoming the dominant force in the Mideast with the retreat of the United States from that region. Mr. Putin knows that Mr. Trump will not challenge him because among other issues, it would require that Mr. Trump admit that he made a mistake in trusting his “friend” Vladimir. There is also the persistent rumor that Putin “has something on Trump”.
Let me speculate a bit at this point. There are two people who could destroy the Trump presidency with a single statement. First: Melania Trump. Consider the consequences if she were to make a statement that she knew that Donald had had multiple affairs, some incestuous perhaps, maybe abusive. She is more popular than he is and enjoys a great deal of credibility. She would not have to offer proof because the statement need not be true, and it still would be devastating even if she offered no proof at all.
The second person, of course, is Vladimir Putin. His relationship with Trump has received many comments and much is speculated. While it has been suggested that Putin has “dirt” on Trump, perhaps tapes of prostitutes entertaining Donald or some such thing, nothing has emerged. This proposal does not stand close consideration. Sex scandals are swirling around this president and few seem to care. But consider for a moment the impact a simple statement by Putin that he did meddle in the 2016 election, did personally provide information to Trump (read “collusion” here), and did so in exchange for assurances from Mr. Trump that Russia would benefit when he became president. This need not be true, but again such a statement would be believed even without any proof being offered.
Is either statement likely? Probably not, but Mr. Trump is exceedingly vulnerable here. More vulnerable than any recent president and much of it is his own doing. He has few friends left and the list of enemies just waiting for such an opportunity is growing daily.
So now we return to the predicament that faces Israel. The United States is putting “America first” in a very real way. Review North Korea, which is being told to take its time denuclearizing; NATO, which is being told it is no longer to expect backing from the United States; and then consider the treatment of our allies such as Canada, Mexico, and on the list goes. Can Israel expect anything different? This administration is showing no inclination to seriously interfere with Russian attacks in Syria, no interference beyond statements that Mr. Putin is ignoring. Such statements appear to be merely political posturing. I fear that soon the United States will have no commitments in the area and Israel will be left to deal with Putin and his allies, Iran and Syria, alone. Putin has not been particularly friendly toward Israel in the past.
Addendum: I posted this less than 24 hours ago stating that Israel should be cautious because Mr. Trump is preparing to betray this country as he has done with other US allies It was reported today that President Trump stated, in a conference with President Netanyahu, that Israel had to “do something that will be good for the other side … I took probably the biggest chip off the table,” Trump said. “Deals have to be good for both parties … Israel got the first chip and it’s a big one.” What he is saying of course is that Israel will have to make a “big” sacrifice.