Egypt: Israel’s Nukes Destabilizing to Region (Wikileaks)

Whenever any US official says that Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program is destabilizing the Middle East by posing a proliferation problem, I wince. A civilian enrichment program is not a proliferation issue, since only the construction of a nuclear warhead would violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The NPT explicitly allows countries to close the fuel cycle for the production of reactor fuel. Iran is not known to be in violation of the NPT in this regard; i.e. there is no evidence that Tehran has a nuclear weapons program.

I have on several occasions pointed out that it is Israel’s nuclear arsenal, the only stock of nuclear warheads in the Middle East, that drives other countries to attempt to proliferate, since they are thratened by Israel’s stockpile.

Whenever I make this fairly obvious observation, I always get some propaganda comments from the Israel lobby folks, denying the assertion and asking for proof. It is a silly exercise– they are just trying to muddy the waters, as propagandists will do.

But since they ask, here is the smoking gun:

Late last January, Major General Mohammad al-Assar, Assistant to the Minister of Defense, met with a visiting US official (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dr. Colin Kahl) and

‘ He [al-Assar] reiterated the fact that Israel possesses unconventional weapons and sophisticated conventional weapons, which creates a regional imbalance and contributes to instability.’

Since Israel’s stockpile would create instability and impel others to bomb-making only if those others perceive Tel Aviv’s activities as aggressive, this cable is unquestionable proof that Israel’s nuclear stockpile inspires neighbors with fear and trepidation, and impels them to try to get a nuclear bomb themselves: You’re hearing the private counsels and concerns of a high Egyptian official, not public rhetoric.

President Obama’s plan for a nuclear free zone in the Middle East is useless unless the Israeli arsenal is dismantled.

13 Responses

  1. With all due respect, Israel is the destablizing factor in the Middle East for many reasons. Because they have nuclear weapons and the questioned backing of the US, Israel runs roughshod over its neighbors without fear. Israel dominates the region brutally and destructively. This forces the region to step up their game and push back.

    • And our Congress people will not even go near this. Senator Carl Levin and Diane Feinstein were just beating the bad bad bad Iran drums during a Start Treaty Press conference
      link to

      Feinstein mentioned the NIE report on Iran but did not mention that there is absolutely no proof to back up their endlessly repeated claims that Iran is after nuclear weapons?

  2. I read with interest the Italian prime minister’s comments about Israel serioulsy considering useing nuclear weapons to halt Iran’s nuclear energy program.

    Here is a country, Israel, that screams Iran is a threat to world peace…if they, Iran, had a nuclear weapon. Then Israel turns around and threatens to nuke Iran.


    This is the same insanity used by Bush when he angrily said Iran was imposing it’s will on Iraqi politics…when we invaded the freeking country and overthrew a soverign government!

    • I always assumed that was a deliberate Israeli maneuver to test their control over foreign media – obviously total since they immediately returned to the old ‘alleged’ ‘rumored’ ‘unconfirmed’ BS.

  3. Again, the predictable indignation we all share at knowing a lack of even-handedness is at the bottom of the apparently intractable confict between Israel and its neighbors.

    Its a bed right-wing Israel has made, and actually insists on, observing the time and energy they have expended to develop the influence on the US to keep it so.

    Ergo, nothing will change until they do. Change, I do not feel, is consistent with the temperament of these characters. The intensity of the animosity THEY are fostering with their neighbors will continue to build until it is somehow resolved, and THAT is a metaphysical FACT they cannot con their way past.

    The point I’m trying to make, is that all this indignation is at best shouting into the wind of committed intransigence. Either they change, which is not going to happen, or something has to happen to shake their hold on power. Until there is a way to do that which is taken advantage of, public awareness and indignation amount to nothing more than ineffectual ‘bitchen.

  4. A recent report states that the USA has been transferring nuclear materials to Israel (2010 !) to augment Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Is there any way to verify this? Could be an anti-Israeli (and anti-USA) hoax. But this story, if true, belongs as a part of the present essay.

    Perhaps it is no more than this report of old transfers

  5. It is a silly excerise.

    Replying to the Israeli PR machine or hard core zionist is like trying to have a adult conversation with a child in his terrible twos. Lots of screaming, tantrum throwing and childish demands.

    Everyone knows you have nukes is the only reply needed…end of conversation.

  6. How many times do we have to hear that Israel’s nuclear, biological and chemical stockpiles make people in that region of the world very very nervous. Israel’s refusal to sign on to the Non Proliferation treaty over and over again tells it all

    Israel’s nuclear capabilities and threat
    link to

  7. And we are not supposed to talk about the US naval vessel “Liberty,” bombed, strafed and torpedoed by the Israeli military starting on June 8, 1967, killing 34 Americans and wounding 170 and nearly sinking the ship. link to Which was collecting electronic intelligence in international waters in the Med during the Six Days’ War. And which the spinners and obscurantists and propagandists have given the Swiftboat treatment to, so that hardly anyone remembers, or attaches any significance to, that much more real and actual provocation than the supposed “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” that was the casus belli for the whole Vietnam racket. Or remembers Jonathan Pollard, link to, or some guy fortuitously named (renamed actually) Marc Rich. link to

    But then, Uncle Sam is one rich, noted and highly gullible “freier.” link to

    • Looking back at the Liberty, clearly Israel knew what they were doing, although it was probably considered a rash tactical decision even in their internal review.

      What was most important about the attack is the upshot: that they learned they could get away with practically anything with the US. They paid the families of the killed sailors $100K@, which especially in 1968 dollars is better than we pay third-worlders who get in the way of our military. Of course, that money came indirectly from US taxpayers, so it was, as they would say, merely regrettable. Again, not that they did regret it, given the lessons learned about US weakness, and how the attack allowed them to reposition their military from Egypt under cover of ceasefire to take the Golan.

  8. RE: “President Obama’s plan for a nuclear free zone in the Middle East is useless unless the Israeli arsenal is dismantled.” – Juan Cole
    SEE: Hypocrisy Gone Nuclear: Israel, Obama and the Bomb ~ By Conn Hallinan, Counterpunch, 12/15/10
    (excerpt)This past July, a nuclear-armed nation, in violation of an international treaty, clandestinely agreed to supply uranium to a known proliferator of nuclear weapons. China and North Korea? No, the United States and Israel.
    In a July 8 article entitled “Report: Secret Document Affirms U.S. Israeli Nuclear Partnership,” the Israeli daily Haaretz revealed that the Obama Administration will begin transferring nuclear fuel to Israel in order to build up Tel Aviv’s nuclear stockpile.
    There is profound irony in the fact that while the U.S. and some of its allies are threatening military action against Iran for enriching uranium, Washington is bypassing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while aiding Israel’s nuclear weapons program, the only country in the world that has actually helped another nation construct and test a nuclear device…
    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to

  9. I have wondered for a long time why Iran doesn’t make more of an issue about the Israelie nukes. They should tell us that they are willing to stop their nuclear weapons program (which they don’t admit to having) and allow verification inspections when Israel is willing to rid itself of nukes and submit to verification inspections.

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