Archive for Friday, December 8, 2006

Israel still won’t admit nuclear weapons

December 8, 2006

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— Israel held firm Thursday to its policy of not admitting it possesses nuclear weapons, in the face of an acknowledgment from the incoming U.S. Defense Secretary that Israel has the bomb.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate, Robert Gates explained Iran's motivation to acquire nuclear weapons.

"They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf," he told the Senate committee.

Although Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear weapons arsenal, it has stuck to its policy of ambiguity on the subject, insisting against all the evidence that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.

Government spokeswoman Miri Eisin told The Associated Press "there is no direct Israeli comment" on Gates' remarks. Experts played down the importance of the comments.

Retired Israeli Gen. Shlomo Brom, who was once in charge of strategic planning for the military, said Israel was no longer trying to convince anyone that it has no nuclear arsenal.

He said similar statements came out of Washington during the first Gulf War in 1991 and did not lead to a change in Israeli policy.

"This is nothing really new," he told the AP. "It doesn't change anything."

Israel Radio gave the story prominence Thursday morning, and one of Israel's three television stations ran a report about the United States' traditional cooperation in the ambiguity policy on its evening newscast.

Analyst Yossi Alpher said Israel's ambiguity allows Israel's neighbors "to assume that even if Israel had nuclear weapons, this was not a threat to them."

But he said Israel could acknowledge having the weapons if Iran acquires an atomic bomb.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"Analyst Yossi Alpher said Israel's ambiguity allows Israel's neighbors "to assume that even if Israel had nuclear weapons, this was not a threat to them.""

WTF?

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

I think we've all known for many years that the US has helped Israel build a nuclear arsenal. The question in my mind is how large is it?

Why does the US continue to pursue a separate foreign policy standard for Israel?

Great question here scenebooster. Unfortunately there is not really a short answer, although several books have been written on the subject. The easiest way to answer that is this.

Israel is our only natural friend in the region, a region that we have long sought to influence. History certainly plays a very important aspect, traditionally our leaders of been Christian, who obviously share a deep past with Jews. There is a strong belief among more radical Christian sects (such as "W") that Israel will play a key role during the "end days", and therefore it must be protected. There is also the fact that after WWII the US had a principle hand in forming the nation of Israel. Certainly without the financial and military backing of the US, there is no way the state of Israel could have been established in its current place. Since the inception of the Israeli state the US has been its silent partner, especially in providing it with weapons during its many years of warfare. The US does this for the return favor of heavy influence in the all important region in the Middle East.

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

Domestically the American Jews have always played a very critical role in the industry of the US. They are arguable the most powerful group in America if taken on a per capita basis. Today the industry they most dominate is that of the powerful mass media. Overwhelmingly the majority of media outlets and publications are run by members of the American Jewish community, even companies like Time/Warner, who are headed by genteel Ted Turner, are managed almost entirely by Jews. Why do I stress the media? Because this dominance of the media makes them an Extremely Powerful Lobby, perhaps the strongest. This is why you very seldom, if ever, hear negative comments about Israel's foreign policy from the major media. This has also caused for a tremendous taboo to be placed on anyone in America who attempts to question the policy of Israel. Just like pre-Iraq war they would call those who dissent "terrorists", anyone who objects to Israel's foreign policy is called "anti-Semitic".

This relationship is extremely critical for the US to remain a strategic heavy weight in the Middle East. Israel is in a sense the extended arm of America in the region. This fact was brought to light in the recent war in Lebanon. The US gave weapons and millions of dollars to Israel, while Iran and Syria did the same for Hezbollah. Each side sponsoring their own "terrorists" to carry out their agenda. In recent years, especially since 9/11 it seems that Israel has gotten very good at playing the US like a puppet instead of vice versa. They have become excellent at convincing the US of that their agendas are the best course of action.

This relationship between US and Israel is probably the most interesting of all of our alliances.......

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

The creation of Israel as a "base" for US interests was part of a two-part strategy. The other part was the close alliance with the House of Saud royal family in Saudi Arabia, propping them up as rulers there in exchange for access to their oil. The Bush family has been very central to this, and that's why the Bushes and the House of Saud are almost "kin".

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely bozo, like I said there are extensive books written on the history of this alliance.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

"Israel still won't admit nuclear weapons"

What does that even mean? Do they not let them in the door without ID's? Are conventional weapons still admitted without question?

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

Agreed 75x55, I should have said the US and European allies.

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

75x55, I don't exactly disagree with what your saying, but I think perhaps you are down playing how big of a role the US has had in arming Israel, especially in the last few decades.

France was very critical in the establishment of Israel, but since then they have reduced their support.

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

ok, good point 75x55.

btw, there is a evangelical telethon on t.v right now selling video tapes for "Hero Israel Festivals" that celebrate the "chosen" people (Jews); they mention the importance of winning the current "religious wars"... very interesting stuff.

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