The issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons will not go away

If there’s a silver lining to the murderous gas clound unleashed by the Butcher of Damascus on 21 August this year, it is the fact that the spotlight is now firmly on Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

As Victor Gilinsky and Henry D. Sokolski say in an ope-ed in the New York Times,

… President Obama’s effort to uphold international norms against weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East will entangle the United States in a diplomatic and strategic maze that is about much more than Syria’s chemical arsenal…

An obstacle of America’s own making has long prevented comprehensive negotiations over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. While the world endlessly discusses Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the likelihood that it will succeed in developing an atomic arsenal, hardly anyone in the United States ever mentions Israel’s nuclear weapons…

What sustains this pretense is the myth that America is locked into covering up Israeli nuclear bombs because of a 1969 agreement between President Richard M. Nixon and Israel’s prime minister, Golda Meir. For Mr Nixon, it was mainly about gaining Israeli support in the Cold War. He and Mrs Meir understood the need to discourage the Soviets from providing their Arab allies with nuclear weapons. A declared Israeli nuclear arsenal would have led to pressure for Moscow to do so. But such Cold War reasons for America to stay mum evaporated decades ago. Everyone knows the Israelis have nuclear bombs. Today, the main effect of the ambiguity is to prevent serious regional arms-control negotiations…

If Washington wants negotiations over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East to work – or even just to avoid making America appear ridiculous – Mr Obama should begin by being candid. He cannot expect the countries participating in a conference to take America seriously if the White House continues to pretend that we don’t know whether Israel has nuclear weapons…

In other words, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the Butcher of Damascus does indeed shed his chemical weapons, why not Israel too?

Must we wait for the apartheid Zionist regime to use its weapons of mass destruction before forcing it to disarm?

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