Equality in the Middle East? Perish the thought:
It’s buried as Point 31 in a working paper being circulated by Egypt and other nonaligned parties at the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York: a pledge by countries signing the treaty that they will not permit the transfer of any nuclear-related equipment, information, materials or “know-how” to Israel as long as that country refuses to sign the NPT or put its nuclear facilities under safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Point 31 also calls for signatory countries, including the United States, “to disclose all information available to them on the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear capabilities, including information pertaining to previous nuclear transfers to Israel.” France and the United States have been identified as key suppliers to Israel’s secret nuclear weapons development program in the 1950s and 1960s.
How the Obama administration deals with the nettlesome problem of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East will determine U.S. success or failure at the NPT conference.