Israel and Proliferation

Israel and Proliferation

Words like “flawed and hypocritical” get thrown around a lot in the Middle East, I feel like. One country calling another country hypocritical isn’t something surprising or even outrageous, so it isn’t a surprise to hear Israel reject a global anti-nuclear arms treaty as exactly that- flawed and hypocritical. The problem, though, is that this isn’t Middle East politics, it’s global. 189 countries have signed on to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Israel has been specifically singled out and called on to sign the treaty- they haven't yet. Essentially it allows U.N. inspectors to monitor nuclear plants and operations, which Israel does not want to happen…

"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation," said the Israeli government.

Israel joins India and Pakistan in refusing to sign the treaty, and continues to wrap a shroud of mystery around both their realities and their intentions with regard to their own nuclear arsenal. The U.S. said that the Middle East as a region could not and would not be declared WMD-free until there was an Arab-Israeli peace agreement and Iran stopped their enrichment program. So, that’s not happening anytime soon.

Israel said, “This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world."

Israel is no stranger to taking matters into their own hands when it comes to nuclear issues. In 1981 they bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq and again in 2007 they did the same to Syria. Israel is used to being the mysterious power in the region who has better weapons than the rest of the countries around them.

The Israeli government wrote: "The real problem with WMDs in the Middle East does not relate to Israel but to those countries that have signed the NPT and brazenly violated it: Iraq under Saddam, Libya, Syria and Iran."

Interesting that they will not even include themselves as part of the problem. They sound just like the United States, saying that they need to police the rest of the countries and that anyone who opposes them or doesn’t agree is an enemy of freedom and democracy. Often that seems to be true, but to hear Israel call the NPT hypocritical is interesting- because they don’t like to be told what to do and feel like they need to play by their own rules and their own rules alone, anything that doesn’t fit those rules is flawed and hypocritical? Does that really make sense?

What it makes is for a continued instability in the region, and continued tensions between Middle Eastern countries, especially around nuclear issues. All that said, I’m sure that the only reason Israel is still around is because they have taken the perspective that they are playing by their own rules, so while rejecting the NPT seems like a strange way to go for peace, it fits with their cowboy diplomacy.

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