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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Israel's Bomb

Sunday's Washington Post includes a story about Israel's alleged possession of nuclear capabilities. The article purports to recount some of the history behind Israel's development of a nuclear bomb. After recounting the history, the authors go on to say:

Over time, the tentative Nixon-Meir understanding became the foundation for a remarkable U.S.-Israeli deal, accompanied by a tacit but strict code of behavior to which both nations closely adhered. Even during its darkest hours in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel was cautious not to make any public display of its nuclear capability.

Yet set against contemporary values of transparency and accountability, the Nixon-Meir deal of 1969 now stands as a striking and burdensome anomaly. Israel's nuclear posture is inconsistent with the tenets of a modern liberal democracy. The deal is also burdensome for the United States, provoking claims about double standards in U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy.

It is especially striking to compare the Nixon administration's stance toward Israel in 1969 with the way Washington is trying to accommodate India in 2006. As problematic as the proposed nuclear pact with New Delhi is, it at least represents an effort to deal openly with the issue.

Unlike the case of Iran today -- where a nation is publicly violating its NPT obligations and where the United States and the international community are acting in the open -- the White House in 1969 addressed the Israeli weapons program in a highly secretive fashion. That kind of deal-making would be impossible now.

Without open acknowledgment of Israel's nuclear status, such ideas as a nuclear-free Middle East, or even the inclusion of Israel in an updated NPT regime, cannot be discussed properly. It is time for a new deal to replace the Nixon-Meir understandings of 1969, with Israel telling the truth and finally normalizing its nuclear affairs.

But at The American Thinker, the editors put things in a different - and more correct - perspective:

This is the standard leftist line. By suppressing history, it conjures up a moral equivalence between attackers and defenders, between free societies and what Sharansky has aptly dubbed Fear Societies. Fear Societies do not represent their people, but brutalize them. They lack popular legitimacy and therefore moral authority. Today’s Iran is a Fear Society that has killed tens of thousands of its own people to give the Mullahs dictatorial control. Israel is both a free society and one that has its back against the wall, time after time.


Well, picture this: We live in a dangerous world in which two people each have a gun they could aim at us. Both guns are lethal. But one gun is held by a man named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been threatening to kill us with it, along with millions of civilians in Israel. His strategic aim is to control the Persian Gulf and the oil that keeps the industrialized world alive. When he gets nukes, he will become the hegemon of Middle Eastern oil.

The second person is Golda Meir. She has a gun, too, but she has different values and aims. She has no interest in killing Ahmadinejad. She harbors no design on neighboring countries. Her gun is for self-defense only. Nobody doubts that Israel would use its nuclear weapons only as a last resort, and only in self-defense.

The American Thinker got it right. Bombs don't kill people. People kill people.


At 8:27 AM, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I enjoyed this.


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