Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Israel's Bomb out of the Shadows

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth
Palestine Chronicle

"Israel faces unprecedented pressure to abandon its official policy of 'ambiguity' on its possession of nuclear weapons as the international community meets at the United Nations in New York this week to consider banning such arsenals from the Middle East.

Israel’s equivocal stance on its atomic status was shattered by reports on Monday that it offered to sell nuclear-armed Jericho missiles to South Africa’s apartheid regime back in 1975.

The revelations are deeply embarrassing to Israel given its long-standing opposition to signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, arguing instead that it is a “responsible power” that would never misuse nuclear weapons technologies if it acquired them.....

Mr Peres [Nobel Laureate!], who master-minded the nuclear programme, later formulated the policy of ambiguity, in which Israel asserts only that it will “not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East”.

That stance -- and a promise not to conduct nuclear tests -- was accepted by the US administration of Richard Nixon in 1969.

According to analysts, the agreement between Israel and the US was driven in part by concerns that Washington would not be able to give Israel foreign aid -- today worth billions of dollars -- if Israel declared itself a nuclear state but refused international supervision.

Nonetheless, revelations over the years have made it increasingly difficult for the international community to turn a blind eye to Israel’s arsenal....."

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