Is The IAEA Targeting Israel?

Dimona is reportedly the home of Israel's nuclear program - something the Jewish state neither confirms or denies

After the five permanent members of the UN Security Council endorsed the idea of a re-energized attempt to implement the 1995 initiative to create a nuclear free Middle East – understandably raising questions about Israel’s nuclear arsenal – the world seems to suddenly be paying a little more attention to the Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

[tweetmeme] Though the US – like Israel – only supports a ban on nuclear weapons in the region in concert with a comprehensive regional peace agreement, US rhetorical support for the Egyptian initiative has raised questions of whether the recent rift between Israel and the US would stray into the nuclear realm; though it seems that the US is content to continue its policy of knowing, but not commenting.

Predictably, Israel will make no effort to implement the ban on nuclear weapons, as it continues to neither confirm or deny its nuclear program.  The Israeli hesitance to unilaterally move on their nuclear capabilities is hardly surprising (I would act the same way) considering the threats that the state still faces today – particularly the possibility of a nuclear Iran.  It is important to note, though, that Iran is a signatory of the NPT and Israel is not.

The IAEA now reportedly has its eyes on Israel.  Apparently, Israel’s nuclear arsenal (rumored to be around 300 missiles) is eighth on the docket for the IAEA’s board meeting on June 7.  Of course, the meeting is only talk and no action, but it would be the first time in 53 years that Israel would be discussed by the committee.

Strong opposition by the US or other Israeli allies could force the IAEA to cut Israel from the scheduled topics before the meeting.

Photo from Israj

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2 thoughts on “Is The IAEA Targeting Israel?

  1. An international political system exists, with the U.S. as chief and virtually all other state as participants. A handful of dissidents, a couple obvious states and several movements, exist around the blurred edges, with considerable support from within by disgruntled participants. This system is solidly in control, with a vast array of governing institutions and innumerable rules to ensure that those in command gain most of the benefits. Israel is unique in this system for receiving a blank check on a long list of obvious issues.

    The IAEA decision to consider Israel’s nuclear status is admittedly a very tiny step toward revoking Israel’s blank check, but it is still a step being taken on the part of the in-crowd. The ruling institutions of the global political system have taken a step toward demanding that Israel be treated like all other states. In a sense, that is a ridiculous sentence because no international standards for treating states exists, but the point remains: criticism of Israel from the weak and the dissident has now been supplemented by official recognition by the global center that Israel is creating problems.

    The IAEA move should be seen in the context of the on-going U.S. debate over the impact of the U.S.-Israeli issue on U.S. national security. The IAEA move is a small step, but in context it supports the idea that Washington may be losing the initiative on the issue of nuclear proliferation. It also is significant in that it brings further into the light of day the convoluted linkages and contradictions among 1) Israeli advocacy of U.S. hostility toward Iran, 2) the international double standard about how to treat nuclear rogue states, 3) the potential value to the U.S. of a U.S.-Iranian accommodation, and 4) the issue of whether or not challenges to the international political system can be peacefully accommodated by reform of that system.

    It may sound as though I am blowing the IAEA step out of proportion, but given the blatantly discriminatory way in which the system treats various nuclear powers and aspirants in combination with the extreme danger of nuclear proliferation, the IAEA is taking this (albeit tiny) step down a very important road.

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