Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has been rattling his saber a lot lately over the possibility of Iran gaining access to nuclear weapons. There has been a lot of talk about Israel attacking Iran because of concern that Iran could obtain nuclear weapons; I have written about this thoroughly … most recently HERE. Israel is wholeheartedly against Iran having access to nuclear weapons …. and they’ll go to war and practically do anything to stop it. Except – there is apparently one thing they are unwilling to do … sit down at a conference with her neighbors to discuss and negotiate a nuclear free middle east.
Haaretz has the story HERE:
Israel expressed its strong opposition on Wednesday to an Arab initiative, supported by the Obama administration, to hold a conference that would debate the possibility of a nuclear-free Middle East.
The conference would take place in Helsinki toward the end of 2012, or early in 2013. Brig.Gen. (Res.) Shaul Horev, director of the Israeli Nuclear Energy Committee, who reports directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately trashed the idea.
President Barack Obama had promised to promote the move at the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Horev expressed Israeli opposition at the 56th general convention of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, saying that the idea of a nuclear arms-free Middle East, which been met with reservations by Israel, was now even less possible, due to the “volatile and hostile situation” in the area.
972Mag adds to this HERE:
Israel won’t sign a nonproliferation treaty, because that would mean giving up its military edge in the Middle East. Obama’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee suggests that the U.S. will ensure that Israel remains the regional powerhouse.
This question has arisen before, in 2010, when Netanyahu and Obama were already in office. The U.S. supported the initiative; Israel, of course, rejected it.
What’s changed since then? Little to nothing. If anything, Israel has only become more defiant. Last year, Obama called for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on 1967 borders. But 2011 saw Israel increase settlements in the West Bank.
For me, where it gets really interesting is that the U.S. initially wanted Israel to sign the nonproliferation treaty, back in the late 1960s, and Israel wouldn’t. This is a reminder that the six decades of friendship Obama spoke of [in March] weren’t always so friendly. Some argue that Israel’s refusal to sign this treaty may have given Iran the incentive to go nuclear. It’s similar, perhaps, to how Israel had a hand in creating Hamas. Israel wanted a rival to Fatah; instead, it got, as The Wall Street Journal says, “unintended and often perilous consequences.”
Netanyahu would attack Iran unilaterally (with American support) in an instant but he’s unwilling to sit down at a table to negotiate a nuclear free middle east. Why you ask? Because Israel has nuclear weapons; they’re the only country in the middle east with nuclear weapons. The Israeli policy on nuclear weapons can be summed up like this:
We plan on keeping nuclear weapons but it is irresponsible and dangerous for anyone else in the area to have them too.
Does that make sense to you? It makes sense if you’re only interested in what’s right for Israel and not other countries. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed by the United States in 1968 and ratified in 1970; every other country in the world has signed this agreement except for India, Pakistan and Israel (North Korea withdrew). According to the state department website – President Obama has described this treaty this way HERE:
“Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament; countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them; and all countries can access peaceful nuclear energy.”
Israelis may be afraid of a potential Iranian nuclear power but Iranians are afraid of an existing Israeli power … one that has publicly called for the removal of the Iranian government. Both governments are hawkish and both leaders of those countries are dickish. Netanyahu’s approach to the demilitarization of nuclear weapons in Israel is the same approach being used by the Iranian leaders.
Fareed Zakaria asked a very important question in March of this year. He asked, “If nuclear deterrents don’t work, why does Israel have nukes?”
Fareed Zakaria takes down the intellectual rationalization behind a war with Iran based on their country looking to gain nuclear weapons. He said HERE:
Obama explained that a nuclear Iran would be a problem like India and Pakistan with their nuclear weapons. But India and Pakistan went to war three times in 30 years before they had nuclear weapons. Since they went nuclear, they have actually been restrained and have not fought a full-scale war in 40 years.
It’s actually a case that shows the stabilizing, not destabilizing, effects of nuclear deterrence.
If Israel genuinely believes that deterrence doesn’t work in the Middle East, why does it have a large nuclear arsenal if not to deter its enemies?
Iran’s weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists, says the President. But would a country that has labored for decades to pursue a nuclear program and suffered huge sanctions and costs to do so then turn around and give away the fruits of its efforts to a gang of militants? This kind of reasoning is part of the view that the Iranians are mad, messianic people bent on committing mass suicide.
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