Barry to go after Israel's nukes?
President Obama's efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons threaten to expose and derail a 40-year-old secret U.S. agreement to shield Israel's nuclear weapons from international scrutiny, former and current U.S. and Israeli officials and nuclear specialists say.
The issue will likely come to a head when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mr. Obama on May 18 in Washington. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to seek assurances from Mr. Obama that he will uphold the U.S. commitment and will not trade Israeli nuclear concessions for Iranian ones.
Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, speaking Tuesday at a U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Israel should join the treaty, which would require Israel to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.
"Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, ... remains a fundamental objective of the United States," Ms. Gottemoeller told the meeting, according to Reuters.
She declined to say, however, whether the Obama administration would press Israel to join the treaty.
A senior White House official said the administration considered the nuclear programs of Israel and Iran to be unrelated "apples and oranges."
Asked by The Washington Times whether the administration would press Israel to join the NPT, the official said, "We support universal adherence to the NPT. [It] remains a long-term goal."
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Avner Cohen, author of "Israel and the Bomb" and the leading expert outside the Israeli government on the history of Israel's nuclear program, said Mr. Obama's "upcoming meeting with Netanyahu, due to the impending discussions with Iran, will be a platform for Israel to ask for reassurances that old understandings on the nuclear issue are still valid."
For the past 40 years, Israel and the U.S. have kept quiet about an Israeli nuclear arsenal that is now estimated at 80 to 200 weapons. Israel has promised not to test nuclear weapons while the U.S. has not pressed Israel to sign the nuclear NPT, which permits only five countries - the U.S., France, Britain, China and Russia - to have nuclear arms.
The U.S. also has opposed most regional calls for a "nuclear-free Middle East." The accord was forged at a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Nixon on Sept. 25, 1969, according to recently released documents, but remains so secret that there is no explicit record of it. Mr. Cohen has referred to the deal as "don't ask, don't tell," because it commits both the U.S. and Israel never to acknowledge in public Israels nuclear arsenal.
We hope when Barry meets Netanyahu that the latter tells him to get stuffed if he's asked to come clean, and disarm. We don't care what Iran "promises" because their promises are about as worthless as the North Korean's. I mean, let's face facts here. Iran has been enriching uranium for how long now? Three years, or something like that? They have over 4000 centrifuges online, and churning out enriched uranium that could very well be used as the fissionable material in a nuke.
And Barry thinks that he can talk down the Iranians from their goal. He thinks that if he offers up Israel on a silver platter that Iran will back down. But we know Netanyahu isn't going to give into any demands for disarmament that will come from Barry. They're going to tell him to get stuffed. With Iran close to creating a nuke, Israel is not going to leave itself open to attack without the capability of striking back in like kind.
Are we surprised by this? Not at all. Barry recently reiterated his desire to see a nuclear-free world. That's a nice dream to have, but it isn't ever going to happen. We won't give up ours, and Congress should signal to Barry they're not going along with that idea. And the reason for their refusal to go along with Barry's idea of a nuclear free world is that the rest of the world isn't going to get rid of theirs. Even if we told Iran "Give us your word you we stop your nuclear program" and they say yes, Iran will continue on it's merry way.
This is something the administration really needs to get through it's thick skull. It's stupid to even contemplate asking Israel to disarm, or come under the auspice of the NPT. Israel has a right to have it's nukes for protection, and that should be the end of that discussion. There is only one nation to have ever used a nuclear weapon and that's the US. No one else has ever used one, but plenty of nations have them. We will never use a nuke as a first-strike weapon, and that also goes for Israel. They have never entertained the preemptive use of nuclear weapons, or in an initial salvo. The apply pressure to Israel is only going to weaken our relations with them, and that won't sit well with Israelis or Americans.