It’s really about time that Israel finally acknowledge it has nukes. Of course, the reason the state is so reluctant is explained by Stephen Walt: “Calling attention to Israel’s existing arsenal weakens the case for opposing Iran’s nuclear programs.”
After all, Israel isn’t an endangered species. It’s a country, like any other (or should be). This is welcome news:
An Obama administration official said Israel should sign on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gotemoeller told a meeting of the 189 signatories of the treaty that “universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea,” remains “a fundamental objective of the United States,” according to media reports.
That has been the U.S. position for decades and Gotemoeller declined to say whether the Obama administration would now press Israel to join the treaty. According to The Washington Times, a senior White House official said the administration considered the nuclear programs of Israel and Iran to be unrelated “apples and oranges.”
Asked by newspaper whether the administration would press Israel to join the NPT, the White House official said, “We support universal adherence to the NPT. [It] remains a long-term goal.”
Israel does not confirm or deny that it has nuclear weapons, but is widely thought to possess a substantial number of nuclear weapons.