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1 Nyet  Apr 20, 2015 1:42:01am
This week, in an interview with German TV at his Jerusalem residence, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: “Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they [Iran] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?” The common denominator of both comments: confirmation of Israel’s presumed nuclear capabilities. Olmert’s statement - which violated Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity - caused quite a stir in local diplomatic and defense circles. But he was not the first Israeli leader to make such a “slip of the tongue.” In December 1974, president Ephraim Katzir said that Israel had “nuclear potential.” In 1981, after the destruction of Iraq’s Osirak reactor, former defense and foreign minister Moshe Dayan told The New York Times: “We do have the capacity to produce nuclear weapons.” In 1998, at a press conference in Jordan, then foreign minister Shimon Peres said that Israel had “built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima but an Oslo.”

2 Great White Snark  Apr 20, 2015 8:25:06am

And we see where nuclear non proliferation first went awry. Not absolute. Not even consistent. Depends on circumstances and all that. Just one little problem-Non proliferation is a life or death issue for millions of people. At risk of angering some of my jewish friends I must admit this is where the world first failed to make non proliferation stick. This is where it first became far more problematic to insist.

Moving forward nothing less than universal inspection regimes has any moral authority. Nothing less than surprise inspections and monitors will be effective. The US should start this with inspections of our nuclear weapon manufacturing and storage facilities. We did it for the Soviets we can do it for the IAEA.

3 CuriousLurker  Apr 20, 2015 11:28:07am

re: #2 Great White Snark

Agreed, I know Israel’s nuclear capabilities have been an open secret for a long time, but I think that’s wrong to exempt them. No one should be exempt from inspections, the U.S. included. I’m simply not willing to assume eternal nobility of intentions where any country is concerned—countries are run by humans, and humans are subject to all manner of temptations & weaknesses, both physical & mental. As you said, there are too many lives at stake. No country should be allowed to have a policy of “opacity”.

BTW, I just added a bunch of links as an update if you want to seek more info.

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