UN General Assembly Demands Israel Mothball its Nuclear Arsenal

By Juan Cole | —

The United Nations General Assembly (where all 193 countries in the world get a vote) has almost unanimously demanded that Israel give up its nuclear weapons and cooperate with making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. The only dissenters were Israel and the United States, along with three small South Pacific islands that always vote with the US, presumably in order to receive foreign aid. Some 161 countries voted for the measure.

The US complained that the resolution singled out one country for opprobrium but this allegation is frankly dishonest.

First of all, you can’t complain about singling out a country that is alone in flouting UNGA directives on nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a stockpile of nuclear warheads (several hundred). No other country in the region has so much as a proven military nuclear program. (Iran, often accused of wanting a nuclear bomb, has never been found by inspectors to have miiitarized its civilian enrichment program, and former Israel defense minister Ehud Barak admitted it publicly). Egypt brought the resolution because it is made insecure by Israel’s bombs. Current Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman once suggested blowing up the Aswan Dam and washing all Egyptians into the Mediterranean. With crazy people like that in the Israeli government, Egypt is right to be concerned about them having their finger on the nuclear trigger.

Saying Israel has been ‘singled out’ here is like saying Federal prosecutors ‘singled out’ fraudster Bernie Madoff for prosecution over his investment pyramid scam. Rather, they just prosecuted the one major financier known to have committed billions of dollars in fraud. It wasn’t like there were a lot of Bernie Madoffs, though there certainly were a lot of other kinds of shenanigans on Wall Street.

Moreover, it was a busy UNGA session, and if anyone bothered actually to look at their votes that day, you would find the UNGA also reprimanded Syria for having chemical weapons (though most of these have been destroyed via Russian mediation) and also asked Pakistan and India to give up their nukes.

So actually Israel wasn’t singled out at all, but is just in the same category in this regard (having weapons of mass destruction) as Syria, Pakistan and India.

Israel’s nuclear arsenal was acquired with British, French and American connivance, and some of the components for it were illegally smuggled out of the US by Zionist secret agents.

Tel Aviv’s stockpile of nuclear bombs has been a deeply destabilizing factor in the Middle East. Its existence certainly impelled Iraq to try to develop its own nuclear bomb (though it never got very far). Since Iraq’s attempt in this regard was made the basis for the Bush administration to launch its 2003 war on Iraq and to occupy the country, it is not too much to conclude that Israel’s nuclear weapons are indirectly what mired the US in a fruitless 8-year war in the Middle East.

Iran is suffering from very severe international and American economic sanctions, which amount to a financial blockade (a kind of declaration of war) on the country, devastating its middle class. The reason for this attempt to de-industrialize Iran and make its people povery-stricken is the unproven allegation that Iran is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its additional protocol.

But Iran’s supreme theocrat has given numerous oral fatwas against making, stockpiling or deploying nuclear weapons, and UN inspectors have been allowed into Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities and never found any evidence of attempted weaponization.

So Israelis are allowed to get rich and given sweetheart trade deals with the US (they even still get direct civilian aid, which is to say they are Welfare Queens on a massive scale), even though they have actually done what Iran is only vaguely suspected of maybe one day wanting to do. They don’t suffer sanctions the way the Iranians do, over the imaginary Iranian nukes, while they have real ones!

The unfair policies of the US in this regard has driven the arms race in the Middle East. Israel is a serial violator of its neighbors’ sovereignty and keeps launching wars on them, confident in the advantage its nuclear stockpile gives it. I am against nuclear proliferation, but anyone could understand why Iraq felt like it needed a nuclear counter weight to Israel. Those Iranian hawks who want a nuclear bomb want it in some important part because they know of Israel’s stockpile.

There will never be any real stability in the Middle East until Israel complies with the UNGA resolution. Apologists who point out that the Middle East has lots of problems not caused by Israel are being dishonest. The point is that Israeli policies themselves do cause a lot of problems.


Related video added by Juan Cole

The BBC Film That Exposed Israel’s Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons (FULL Documentary)

25 Responses

  1. Oh dear!
    Whatever is the U.S. to do?
    They are members of the non-proliferation treaty and now one of the major reasons to retain Israel as an asset–that of building a sidestore of up to 400 nuclear warheads outside the treaty–is about to disappear right out from under.

  2. The full UN General Assembly meeting is here.

    link to un.org

    I just spent a while doing a ‘find’ on ‘Israel’ to see exactly how and with which others it voted one each of the many issues debated and found it cumulatively highly illuminating, well worth the few minutes it takes.

  3. Thanks for saying this. It should be obvious, it should be well known to all Americans, but it is the truth that is merely whispered, implied, or simply ignored in American society.

  4. Okay, Okay, this is the fair thing to do and it’d be the single best step that could be taken toward sorting out things in the region, were it only plausible to see it happen. But in the real world this statement is nothing more than a gesture to highlight Israel’s hypocrisy.

    Whatever other pieces of hasbara come out of Israel, the reality is that they have dug themselves so deeply into a hole that the nuclear trump card really is their only insurance, such as it is. Give up the nukes and they really would be sunk. This speaks to the dearth of genuine support and true legitimacy they have bothered to develop with their neighbors. e.g., nil.

    • In the real world, Israel’s nukes are worthless for anything but committing suicide.

      Who is Israel going to nuke that would not cause Israel to (1) contaminate its own people, water and food sources, (2) have an economic meltdown in Israel when brutal sanctions were applied, or (3) cause it to be nuked in return?

      If Israel nukes one of the close countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, West bank or the Egyptian Sinai) , the very nature of nuclear air bursts means they will contaminate and probably kill some of their own population.

      If Israel nukes further out, they will either be hitting a country with nuclear bomb capability (UK, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan and possibly several others including Saudi Arabia) or will be contaminating a country with nuclear bomb capability (see above plus the USA).

      Yes, any nuclear weapon exploded in the ME or Europe will contaminate US food production within a week – you are going to really like that radioactive food.

      Then, there is the “slight” problem that current atmospheric models have shown that nuclear air bursts over as few as FIVE cities could easily trigger Nuclear Winter where most humans would have the “fun” choice of dying of radiation poisoning, freezing the death or starving to death.

      Israel can not ever use any of its nukes for the same reason the US, Russia and China can not use any of their nukes – it would be suicidal, and I do not believe that most Israelis are suicidal. no matter their past history (Masada).

      A note about Saudi Arabia – It has been verified that Saudi Arabia has purchased multiple Chinese DF-21 solid fuel (quick launch) medium range missiles with an accuracy of 30 meters. Supposedly the missiles are equipped with conventional HE warheads, BUT . . . it is possible to remove the conventional warheads and replace them with nuclear warheads (China does this). Then there are the un-verified (but very credible) reports that Saudi Arabia has paid AQ Khan of Pakistan to design and build nuclear warheads for the DF-21. Some of the reports indicate that at least one of the warheads is complete, but no one seems to know WHERE it is. It could very easily have been transported to Saudi Arabia without media knowledge. For these reason, I count Saudi Arabia as a nuclear nation. I find it ironic that Saudi Arabia simply used its wealth to BUY its way to being a nuclear nation whereas Iran still isn’t because they used their wealth to try to build the infrastructure internally.

      But the bottom line is no one (not even Israel) can actually use nukes without committing suicide. Nukes are the ultimate non-playable bluff.

      • If the Saudis acquire The Bomb (as it used to be called), it would be as likely for a deterrent against the US as Israel, since the US is the nation most likely to want to seize Saudi oil resources in the event of a global crisis. I’ve read before about elaborate sabotage mechanisms in place at Saudi oil installations, ready to be triggered in the event of an invasion or attack. Atomic weapons would be even more useful to forestall or negate such a move. But I’m sure it also will displease the Israelis, who have grown accustomed to holding a nuclear monopoly in the Mideast and want nothing more than to maintain this.

        • For a country to attack another country with nuclear weapons requires TWO things:

          – A functioning nuclear weapon.

          – The ability to deliver that weapon to the place you want to destroy.

          Saudi Arabia has medium missiles with a range of 1000 to 1500 miles, so while it can attack most of the middle east, it has no capability to attack the US.

          ICBMs must have a MINIMUM range of 3500 miles, with most having a range of over 6000 miles. Currently the US, Russia, China, India and Israel have ICBM capability (which begs the question: “who does Israel want to nuke in that 6500 mile radius from Israel?”

          Note that While Pakistan has nuclear weapons, they are no direct threat to Israel or the Mideast because they lack delivery capability. The maximum range of the best Pakistani missile is 1500 miles.

          Given the reality of technology dispersion, it is very doubtful Israel will be able to maintain its monopoly on nuclear weapons (in fact, my working assumption is they have already lost it and they are pretty sure of it – they are just paranoid about the wrong country).

      • Nuclear weapons may be counterproductive if used, but are likely to be used irrationally. The US and EU politicians and media are owned by Israel, and would not implement sanctions despite cancer deaths. Certainly the weapons should be condemned, and their component/design/entirety theft from the US prosecuted. But the US oligarchy will not do that, as they and their politicians fear the losses of bribes and business that might result.

      • I can’t believe your oft-repeated claim here that a mere 5 nuclear air-bursts would be sufficient to trigger nuclear winter – not when World War II saw two cities nuked and dozens laid waste by conventional bombing. Do you have a cite for it?

        As for it being suicidal for Israel to use nuclear weapons: I’d expect they wouldn’t think of using them unless they were either nuked themselves or suffering catastrophic defeat in a conventional war. The thinking would be “we’re all dead anyway – at least we’ll take the Muslim bastards with us.”

        • Here is one link to a recent set of simulations of climate effects of nuclear holocaust and much smaller “regional conflicts,” as if the fallout (in all senses) could be somehow limited to a “region:” “Regional nuclear war would have global reach — Even a limited exchange would have severe atmospheric impacts,” link to www2.ucar.edu So maybe 50 (India-Pak, say) or maybe 5. How much is “enough?”

        • There are several differences between the bombs on Japan and what could happen today.

          – The japan bombs were very small by today’s standards. The newer bombs create far more destruction, further from the epicenter.

          – Japan at the time was not as densely populated and the structures had lower volume of material.

          The major difference is how much particle material gets thrown into the upper atmosphere now. Not only do the bigger bombs put more dust higher initially, but the resulting fire storms put even more particle material in the high atmosphere.

          So while radiation would contaminate most of the northern hemisphere’s food sources within two weeks, the biggest problem is all the particle matter in the high atmosphere that blocks the sun’s energy.

          Note that there are numerous examples of particle matter in the high atmosphere creating very long winter conditions. What the models show is, under certain conditions, as few as five densely populated cities getting nuked could put enough junk into the upper atmosphere to cause nuclear winter. Note that it may actually take a few additional cities, but based on man’s behavior over the last 50000 years I do not think that once things started, humans would find a way to make sure enough cities were destroyed to ensure nuclear winter.

          As for radiation contaminating food supplies, we also have very ample evidence of that. For example, the US open air tests in Nevada contaminated food across the US west and Midwest. One of the reason the US (and other countries) moved initially to test in mid ocean, then later to tests deep underground is the food contamination that come along with open air tests.. Because the global winds go from west to east, eventually any radioactive dust would end up in the US food supply

          No one is going to nuke Israel because humans in control of such devices are not suicidal.

          While the IDF can (and will eventually) be defeated, again I do not think the people in control will use the nukes. Keep in mind that if the war is going bad, most Israelis will simply flee from Israel and eventually the IDF will surrender, just like all armies. Killing a lot of innocent Muslims would just ensure that every Jew on earth would become a target and at that point in time, most of the Jews would NOT be in the ME, but spread throughout the world.

          I really do not subscribe to the “crazy Jew” or “crazy Muslim” meme

  5. “The US complained that the resolution singled out one country for opprobrium but this allegation is frankly dishonest.”

    This is for sure! The U.S. has not had any difficulty in singling out Iran! At the very least, one would hope that the Nobel Peace laureate’s country would agree that the world might be a better place without nuclear bombs at the ready in Israel—especially when the U.S. continues to give Israel the means (jets and missile technology) to deliver the bombs. The U.S. is not even remotely close to being an honest broker in the ME.

  6. I fail to find anything about that UN demand on atomic weapons, in today’s Chicago Tribune or The New York Times. The MSM’s hypocrisy is incredible.

  7. • Population 7,821,850 Israel
    • Population 10,017,068 Los Angeles County

    Israel and U.S. justification for theocratic nukes like LA needing the bomb to defend against Mexico’s poor.

  8. Edward Teller had a close relationship to Israeli leaders, especially David Ben-Gurion, and warned CIA official Carl Duckett in the 1960s that Israel was constructing an atomic bomb arsenal. DCI Richard Helms did not notify President Johnson of this information until one year later.

    It was Edward Teller in the 1960s who persuaded the Israeli government NEVER to be tempted to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty:

    link to nysun.com

    Also needing to be mentioned is the 80-100 ton purchase from Argentina of enriched uranium Israel received in 1964 that was traced by Canadian intelligence that made the Israeli atomic bomb possible:

    link to foreignpolicy.com

    The 1964 shipment was first publicly exposed in 2013 by William Burr and Avner Cohen, PhD.

    Dr. Cohen has taught at MIT and Harvard and is considered a top expert on Israeli nuclear capabilities Dr. Cohen has been previously banned by Israel’s Office of Chief Censor from giving lectures in Israel of the nation’s nuclear program.

  9. Canada also voted against the motion, apparently (from the same AJ article Prof. Cole references).

    There is no mention of this vote that I can find in Canadian media sources so far. None.

      • Nope, Canada voted with the US link to cbc.ca

        The current Canadian admin is more pro-Israel than any US admin in my memory.

        link to cbc.ca.

        This was the funniest/saddest line from the article:

        Canada also stood apart Monday from some major allies, the U.S. included, in refusing to condemn Israeli plans for new settlements in areas claimed by the Palestinians, only saying, “Unilateral actions on either side do not advance the peace process.”

        When Israel finally annexes most of the West Bank, and expels non-Jewish inhabitants, they will see cheers from Canada.

        Canada is even introducing a law that will make it illegal to make positive observations of organizations like Hamas, Hezbullah and the Muslim Brotherhood.

        It’s mostly a symptom of Canadian politics, where legislative and executive powers are typically concentrated in a single person (unlike the diffuse power structure of the States), the Prime Minister. The current PM, Stephen Harper, has many opinions but little knowledge of anything outside Canada-US. And he has become captive to the idea of Israel-as-eternal-victim. AKAIK, it has nothing to do with any personal corruption – just personal stupidity

        • Shannon, it has nothing to do with Harper’s personal stupidity this time. There is an unofficial AIPAC in Canada, and they take care of Harper’s (and other like-minded politicians’) financial needs. One of them even nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize recently. I am not making this up.

  10. The US also has nuclear weapons in the Middle East – in Turkey and on ships. A zone free of nukes would require the US to remove its own. A conference to create such a zone was mandated by the 2010 UN Conference reviewing the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. It was supposed to take place in Helsinki, Finland, in 2012 but the US unilaterally cancelled it. The Middle East nuke-free zone conference was a prerequisite to the next NPT review conference scheduled for April 2015. The NPT regime is now in question mainly because the major nuclear weapons powers, led by the USA, have refused to seriously pursue Article 6 of the NPT, which requires them to negotiate nuclear weapons abolition. With Obama’s trillion dollar budget for nuclear weapons upgrades, subcritical weapons testing that subvert the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, GW Bush’s renunciation of the ABM Treaty, continued R&D on and testing of nuclear capable missiles, surrounding Russia with first-strike permitting antimissile missiles and the prevention of movement on a nuke-free zone in the Middle East, the field is ever clearer for global nuclear weapons proliferation rather than abolition and for nuclear exchange – intended or accidental – between nuclear weapons states. The United States and Russia foremost, but others certainly as well. Support for the counter conference and participation in demonstrations proposed for next April, during the UN’s deliberations on the NPT, will indicate how well the people’s movements recognize the extreme danger civilization faces not just from inevitable climate warming but also the expanding threat of nuclear annihilation.

  11. One aspect needing to be mentioned is that Israel has not hesitated to violate international law and kill innocent bystander civilians even when nuclear reactors have been constructed for apparently peaceful purposes.

    When the Osirak reactor was bombed in Iraq by Israel Air Force jets in June of 1981, a 24-year old French nuclear engineer was killed; the Israeli government later paid out compensation to his surviving family members. The U.N. General Assembly condemned the Osirak raid by a 44-7 vote.

    It was estimated that between 10 and 36 civilian workers were killed in the Operation Orchard air strike by the IAF that destroyed the Al Kibar nuclear reactor facility in Syria in 2007; Pres. G.W. Bush was reportedly consulted by PM Olmert and did not object to the planned bombing:

    link to newyorker.com

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