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What if Israel signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

What I fear will is one of Shavit’s more depressing conclusions: Dimona’s nuclear weapons success “that allowed Israel to flourish . . . will become the biggest threat facing Israel. It might turn the lives of Israelis into a nightmare.”

Atomic-Bomb-Smflag-IsraelIsrael should consider signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, The Age, 21 June 15 Walter PincusWhat if Israel suddenly changed course and announced it was prepared to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and work toward establishment of a Middle East nuclear-free zone?

I’m not saying this is in the works. Far from it. As negotiations between the United States and five other world powers, known as the P5+1, and Iran head toward some sort of conclusion, it’s apparent that no matter what any agreement contains, there will be a fight in the United States about its merits. And if the agreement survives, the years ahead inevitably will see allegations from all sorts of quarters that one side or the other has violated its terms.

This seemed like an opportune moment to ponder the “what if?” question, which was also triggered by re-reading a section from Israeli columnist Ari Shavit’s 2013 book, My Promised Land, The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.

Shavit briefly described the history of Israel’s nuclear program, tracing it back to the beginnings of the newly created state. Citing both the Holocaust and the siege mentality from being surrounded by threatening Arab armies, the Israeli government in the 1950s, led by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, felt “moral justification regarding the right to acquire a nuclear option,” Shavit wrote……….

The threat to Israel that generated its bomb – overwhelming Arab armies – no longer exists. The Israel Defense Forces have far more conventional capability than the nation’s neighbours put together, including Iran.

So the best way to remove the Iran nuclear threat is to create a Middle East Nuclear Free Zone. It has been on the UN agenda since the 1960s and the subject of several General Assembly resolutions promoted initially by Egypt and Iran.

It has regularly been discussed at IAEA general conferences that review the NPT every five years. At the 2010 conference, the United States, Russia and Britain agreed to hold a regional conference in 2012 to discuss such a zone. It was postponed, according to a US government announcement, because of a lack of agreement among participants on “acceptable conditions” for the conference. Behind the scenes, it was reported that Israel had not agreed to attend and Iran, while saying it would appear, added that it would not engage with Israelis should they show up.

In September 2013, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, appeared before the UN General Assembly and called on Israel to join the NPT “without any further delay”. Sadly, it has not and will not happen. What I fear will is one of Shavit’s more depressing conclusions: Dimona’s nuclear weapons success “that allowed Israel to flourish . . . will become the biggest threat facing Israel. It might turn the lives of Israelis into a nightmare.” http://www.theage.com.au/comment/israel-should-consider-signing-the-nuclear-nonproliferation-treaty-20150620-ghqzr7

June 21, 2015 - Posted by | Israel, weapons and war

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