Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Audacity | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The international community lacks merit, honesty, objectivity and credibility, when it focuses its attention on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, and yet turns a blind eye to the alarming situation that is Israel’s well-established nuclear activity. This issue must be a cause for concern, considering the fact that Israel has a dangerous record in occupying the lands of others, and in unlawfully assaulting the property of neighbouring and non-neighbouring states, in a flagrant violation of international laws and conventions.

This situation seems to concern even some of the Israelis themselves. In a highly significant book entitled “The Worst-Kept Secret “, Israeli philosopher Avner Cohen writes about the need for Israel to declare its nuclear program to the world, and subject it to laws, treaties, conventions and international observation. This is because Cohen believes that the “secrecy” surrounding Israel’s nuclear program has long been a pretext for various non-democratic practices inside Israel, and amongst the Israelis themselves. The authority that presides over the nuclear program is more secretive and dangerous than Mossad, and it is not governed by any local law. This is the price that the Israelis have to pay, according to Cohen. The population of Israel is completely ignorant about their nuclear program, and only hear of their reactors in the Najaf desert. Yet they are aware that their country is in possession of over 600 warheads, which can be launched from aircrafts, missiles, and submarines. However, all this news is being circulated through secret channels.

Today Israel is the world’s sixth largest nuclear power, but its nuclear activity is illegitimate and clandestine. Therefore, it is not subject to the same agreements or conventions that other countries have signed. Israel launched its nuclear program in the 1960s, in close collaboration with South Africa, which was considered both a rogue and racist state at the time. Both states carried out joint nuclear experiments. In 1967, Israel sought to intimidate the Arabs by carrying out limited nuclear test bombings, to demonstrate its power, but this plan was retracted at the last moment. Some Israelis have provided their own version of events at that time. They say that an Israeli aircraft, with a nuclear warhead onboard, was flying above Cairo during the 1973 war. The plan was to bomb Egypt if it advanced further into Israel.

US President Nixon once attempted to force Israel to sign nuclear conventions, but Israel rejected this attempt. Subsequently, the influential Israeli Lobby in the U.S. managed to conclude a significant deal, according to which Israel would not sign the convention, whilst in return it would refrain from carrying out nuclear experiments, or openly declaring its nuclear program.

However, Israel did not refrain from its nuclear activity. In fact, it sought to dramatically upgrade its technical potential, and eliminate the slightest leaks of information. These efforts sought to avoid a recurrence of the incident when an Israeli nuclear scientist, Mordakhai Fanono, leaked extremely important information about Israel’s program to the outside world. Israel was also successful in destroying the Iraqi nuclear reactor in a well-known military assault, and the state is also the prime suspect regarding the recent destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor in Deir el-Zor. Israel is responsible for the assassinations of numerous Arab nuclear scientists, especially Egyptians, most notably Yahya al-Mashad, who was assassinated amid suspicious intelligence circumstances.

The information leaked about Israel’s nuclear program is nothing new, but it is a source of constant condemnation for the international community. The international community tends to ignore this already established nuclear programme, undertaken by an aggressive and occupying country, without internationally recognized borders, and in violation of international conventions, treaties and resolutions. This is audacity par excellence.