Skip to comments.State Dept. Calls on Israel to “Foreswear” Nuclear Arms
Posted on 04/03/2005 9:48:32 AM PDT by Nachum
In a move that could curtail Israeli power in the Middle East, the US is calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and forego the use and stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Twice in the past two weeks, State Department officials have compared Israels status as a nuclear power with that of India and Pakistan, calling on all three nations to give up their nuclear arms.
The statements were made by two mid-level State Department Officials, ahead of the NPT Review Conference, scheduled to open in New York on May 2.
The purpose of the conference is to evaluate implementation of the NPT and determine its future course. The officials comments regarding Israels weapons capability were made, apparently, in order to put the issue of Israels nukes on the conferences agenda. The comments appeared to deviate from Bush Administration policy, which up to now, refrained from using terminology that confirms Israels status as a nuclear nation.
The most recent statement came from Jackie Wolcott Sanders, the presidents representative for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. In an essay titled How to Strengthen the NPT Sanders mentions Israel, along with India and Pakistan, within the context of enforcing universal NPT adherence, but adds that its not likely in the foreseeable future.
The Review Conference should reinforce the goal of universal NPT adherence and reaffirm that India, Israel and Pakistan may join the NPT only as non-nuclear-weapon states. Just as South Africa and Ukraine did in the early 1990s, these states would have to forswear nuclear weapons and accept IAEA safeguards on all nuclear activities to join the treaty. At the same time, we recognize that progress toward universal adherence is not likely in the foreseeable future, writes Sanders.
She adds, The United States continues to support the goals of the Middle East resolution adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, including the achievement of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.
Another statement, using similar language, was made by Mark Fitzpatrick, acting deputy assistant secretary for nuclear proliferation, on March 17, at a Meeting of the Organization of American States Committee on Hemispheric Security, in Washington, D.C. He also held the status of Israels nuclear armaments on a par with those of Pakistan and India:
The Conference should also reinforce the goal of universal NPT adherence and reaffirm that India, Israel and Pakistan may join the NPT only as non-nuclear-weapon states. Just as South Africa and Ukraine did in the early 1990s, these states should forswear nuclear weapons and accept IAEA safeguards on all nuclear activities.
Fitzpatricks comments regarding Israel were made just after proclaiming, Iran and North Korea must not be permitted to violate the NPT without consequences.
The statements of the two officials contrast with President Bushs own reference to the NPT in a speech he made on March 7 when he called for enforcing the treatys provisions on NPT members, which conveniently include both Iran and North Korea. Bush did not refer to his policy regarding non-member states, which include Israel, Pakistan, and India.
The U.S. State Department has often taken pro-Arab positions on the Arab-Israeli dispute over the years, and has been wary of projecting Israeli power in the Middle East.
Sometimes the departments positions ostensibly contradict those of the president. For example, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice recently declared in two separate newspaper interviews that President Bush did not make any guarantees to Israel regarding Israels right to retain certain settlement blocs as part of a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians. The president purported to make such promises to Israel in a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last spring, but the interpretation of Bushs statements have been the subject of much controversy, some of it spurred on by State Department officials.
Fat chance, suckers.
If I were Israel, I'd answer with Charlton Heston's line: "You can have my nukes when you take them from my cold, dead fingers". Let's face it, if Israel didn't have the nuclear edge, they'd be cold and dead by now anyway.
What are we doing?!!! Democracies do not attack their neighbors and Israel is a Democracy!
Israel get rid of the nukes, Iran getting rid of theirs because Israel is? There must be some Dem appeasers left at state.
Suicide by Israel? I don't think so!
Somehow I don't see Israel giving up it's Nukes. What is interesting is that none of these comments have come from Condi. But from others in the embedded bureaucracy of State. Hmmn... Perhaps some house cleaning is in order?
Words without meaning...you might as well ask Israel to deny the holocaust.
My thoughts exactly.
Maybe Sandy Burglar could stuff 'em all in his trousers, and they'd disappear.
Nothing like having friendly neighbors...
The State Department should be asked foreswear its long entrenched Arabists.
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
Adolf H. was chosen in democratic elections.
It's only proper that the US should be advocating non-proliferation and a nuclear free Middle East, it's the only consistent standpoint to take.
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