Published on 22 July 2015

Iran nuclear pact: Tale of the scorpion and the frog

“We are both dying because of you! Although you thought I was logical, you should have seen that I was still a scorpion!!”

By Chaim Shacham, Consul General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico, published in the Miami Herald, july 20, 2015 
Few residents of the Middle East are unfamiliar with the story of the scorpion and the frog. It was first referred to in the Talmud (Nedarim 41a), the seminal ancient Jewish legal text compiled in the fourth century.
In it, a scorpion desiring to cross a river meets a hungry frog. Unable to swim, the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across the river on his back. In return the scorpion promised the frog that he would provide him with the food he needs from the plentiful hunting ground on the other side. The frog, however, is wary. “If you sting me during the crossing, I will surely drown.” The scorpion then answers the frog with perfect logic: “But if you drown, my dear frog, I will also drown.”
The reassured frog then agrees to allow the scorpion onto his back and he begins the swim. Halfway through the crossing, the scorpion stings the frog, paralyzing him, and the two begin to sink. With his last breaths the stunned frog cried out to the scorpion “Why did you sting me!?” The scorpion angrily retorted “We are both dying because of you! Although you thought I was logical, you should have seen that I was still a scorpion!!”
This parable comes to mind when Israelis assess the nuclear deal just reached with Iran. The Iranian regime is the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world, is on a march of conquest in the Middle East, officially denies the Holocaust, flagrantly violates the human rights of its own citizens, is directly involved in the murder of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, and vows to annihilate the one and only Jewish state. When Iran tries to build nuclear weapons, it must be stopped.
From Israel’s perspective, the negotiations between the world powers and Iran, meant to prevent a Tehran from gaining nuclear weapons have not achieved their vital objective. Quite the opposite, they appear to have paved the path to Iranian nuclear proliferation. Close examination of the agreement with Iran reveals just how dangerous it is:
▪ Iran can now choose between two paths to the bomb, one through violating the agreement and the second, through respecting it. Violating the terms would require overcoming the limited inspection mechanism, which is plausible, since Iran has done this in the past. While respecting the terms would allow Iran to have an unlimited ability to enrich uranium with full international legitimacy after about 10 years. For Iran, waiting a decade to effortlessly achieve its long-standing nuclear goals is not very long at all... Read more.