Dimona: where Israel develops, constructs and presumably stores many of its atomic and thermonuclear weapons.
It is beyond belief that during this manufactured crisis of Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, no one mentions that Israel is a major nuclear-weapons state with both fission and fusion triggered weapons. Here we have on September 16, 2012 the Israeli prime minister appearing on supposedly an objective programme on NBC’s “Meet the Press” advocating war against Iran if it crosses a red line of presumably producing HEU (highly-enriched uranium). He stated Iran is in the red zone and is six months away from having the properties to make a nuclear weapon. He engaged in highly disparaging and insulting ad hominems directed against an ancient and highly cultivated nation. He equated its leaders to embassy invaders, to fanatics and used similar deprecating language that was used against the Jewish national identity in the 1930s and 1940s. Similar code names, similar verbal prejudice. He indicated that Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon is an existential threat to the world and that the US should basically give a warning, followed presumably by bombing and destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. No other leader is openly advocating war against another nation and yet Israel is treated with great deference and obsequiousness despite its immoral and illegal threat to destroy an autonomous nation state.
At no time did David Gregory simply ask the prime minister: “If your nation has nuclear weapons, why would not Iran, if they are indeed pursuing such a capacity, be contained?” Nor did he simply ask this question: “Do you have nuclear weapons, Mr Netanyahu, and if you possess them, why is the proliferation of these weapons an immediate threat to Israel?” The prime minister would say Israel does not confirm or deny it possesses such weapons or that it does not discuss such intelligence. Of course it has and several statements over the years by senior Israeli officials have confirmed that. Yet if it is asking American blood to be shed over Iran, then it needs to be held fully accountable to its allegations that it would be defenceless and subject to annihilation if Iran developed a nuclear-weapons capability.
Former journalist Helen Thomas tried unsuccessfully to get President Obama to answer a question concerning Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons several years ago but the power of Israel over American domestic and foreign policy is so great, that the press won’t explore this vital and essential question as the beating of the war drums intensifies.
They do and every official and expert in the area of nuclear proliferation knows this. Yet the silence is deafening: Israel, a nuclear power, pretends that its own possession of such weapons is irrelevant in constraining Iran’s strategic doctrine in the event it becomes a nuclear-weapons state. Iran’s leaders and in particular Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have maintained nuclear weapons are evil and have issued a fatwa against their development.
Why should the United States initiate a war at such a perilous time in the Middle East and attack a nation that does not have nuclear weapons and yet the status of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is not subject to scrutiny, not to mention I.A.E.A. safeguards. Their relevance to a possible containment of a nuclear Iran short of war should not lay beyond the realm of public inquiry.
The Obama administration of course knows that Israel has between 150-300 warheads and that Iran would never engage in a bolt from the blue, a premeditated, preemptive nuclear first-strike attack for fear of a second-strike retaliation and the destruction of their homeland. Check your primers: it’s called deterrence!
Who will ask the question to Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu?