Thus most of us hardly noticed the renewed buzz about convening a conference on creating a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ). Yet again – the bloodshed of the misnamed Arab Spring notwithstanding – Arab regimes, with Egypt at the lead, are pushing hard for an international focus on Israel’s purported nuclear power.
This was amplified by reports that that representatives of several Arab states met with Israeli officials last month in Glion, Switzerland, to set the groundwork for a conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Official Israel hadn’t confirmed that the Glion get-together indeed took place but, more notably, it hasn’t denied it either. If true, this overlooked event is a milestone one – the first time that Israeli and Arab delegates have consented to discuss WMDs. Is this a positive development?
It might be just a minor Israeli goodwill gesture or a new small step in a big glitch – the first Israeli retreat from decades of refusal to accede to Arab demands that the Jewish State, rather than its would-be annihilators, be denied nonconventional munitions.
In any case, the story is that American, Russian and British representatives oversaw a meeting between top Israeli diplomats and a number of Arab ambassadors to Switzerland, as well as representatives of Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, far from glorious Glion, the Syrian slaughter continues and Iran pursues its nuclear ambitions with unabated ardor (never mind Tehran’s self-serving softer PR style). So it’s almost natural that Israel be singled out as the villain of the piece. MENWFZ, after all, is a UN brainchild.
Already on December 9, 1974, the General Assembly passed Resolution 3236, aimed at creating a nuke-free Mideast. Its not-so-hidden agenda was to disarm Israel of whatever capabilities ascribed to it by its ever-belligerent neighbors, the very ones who would benefit by weakening their intended victim.
Not unexpectedly, the dysfunctional family of nations routinely pointed accusing fingers at Israel for its uncooperative insistence that a full regional settlement precede nuke-free schemes and that these can only be considered as the final component of a comprehensive and well-tested Middle East peace arrangement.
Most recently this occurred in 2010 at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, where “an action plan” was formulated for the establishment of “a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.”
That conference mandated the convening of a follow-up conference that would oblige all Middle Eastern states to attend. It was supposed to take place in 2012 but didn’t. Why? You guessed it – Israel got in the way of global good intentions. Yet again.
Indeed, the 2010 conference already clairvoyantly anticipated Israeli iniquity and made sure to in effect read Israel the riot act by demanding that “all states in the Middle East that have not yet done so, accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty[NPT] as non-nuclear weapon states so as to achieve its universality at an early date.”
Israel, whose nuclear status is kept deliberately hazy, hasn’t yet done so. It even had the temerity to reject the conference demand as “deeply flawed and hypocritical.”
So why were Israeli officials sent to Glion (if they indeed were)? Is it yet another case in which we outsmart ourselves? Are we again resorting to the discredited postulation that by yielding a little, we steel ourselves against a whole lot more excruciating pressure?
This premise is more dangerous now than ever, primarily because more and more states – bona fide democracies among them – are willing to play along with Egypt’s persistent theme of coercing Israel to sign the NPT.
Besides the pronounced predilection of western politicos to dodge their Iranian frustrations by spotlighting Israel, the US is now led by an administration bent on reviving yesteryear’s “ban-the-bomb” rhetoric.
In his first term, with much fanfare, President Barack Obama chaired the UN Security Council session which re-sparked the vision of nuclear disarmament. His intentions may have been noble.
How sweet the vision: our world nuke-free and menace-free, enveloped in harmony and benevolence. Lofty sentiments without a doubt – assuming they are sincerely subscribed to and remotely attainable.
That’s a whopping assumption, though.
Ban-the-Bomb appeared a praiseworthy cause at its Cold War inception. No doubt lots of fine folks genuinely trusted they were doing their best for mankind and life on earth. Not many suspected right off that they were played for suckers, that no authentic grassroots anti-nuke outcry was possible behind the Iron Curtain and that the endgame was to weaken the West’s deterrent. Guess who wanted that to happen?
In time, anti-bomb passions subsided but not deep within the anti-establishment subculture inhabited, among others, by Obama and his assorted diehard radical cronies. And that’s why Israel must be ultra-wary.
We can bet our bottom Shekel that righteous anti-nuclear campaigns are nothing like what certain manipulators would like us to believe. Most aspirations ceremoniously ballyhooed in august international forums sound commendable and honorable. Yet inescapably these virtuous standards will be applied to one country exclusively – little Israel.
The UN after all once equated Zionism with racism. That was when it was headed by Nazi veteran Kurt Waldheim, during whose term as UN Secretary General (1972-81) Resolution 3236 was also adopted.
The UN consistently imposed on Israel an exemplary set of matchless restrictions. Israel alone is prohibited from responding to overt terrorist aggression. All retaliatory raids of the 1950s and 1960s were vehemently condemned already decades before operations Defensive Shield, Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense.
Unlike any country, Israel is required to fight – if at all – according to asymmetrical pacifist rules. Israel may not resort to tactics tolerated or overlooked in the case of other states. All hell breaks loose if “collateral damage” is incurred in any Israeli action, although Israel faces enemies given to hiding behind their women’s skirts and tots’ T-shirts. Schools, hospitals and the like are used as rocket launching pads against Israeli civilians. But Israeli civilians are expected to take it on the chin and not disturb the world’s peace with interminable Jewish whines.
Israel’s security fence, erected to hamper suicide-bombers, is raucously vilified in the name of freedom of movement. Yet this laudable principle isn’t requisite for other UN members. Numerous governments fortify their borders via barriers of all sorts to thwart the influx of economic migrants and foreign gatecrashers. It’s quite acceptable for the US.
Moreover, plenty of UN members, like the US, UK, Russia, Turkey and China – to name just one handful – occupy the territory of others without incurring extraordinary wrath or even a negligible demerit.
Plenty establish settlements on usurped lands – the above handful comes to mind again but not only it. Worldwide, untold millions of noncombatants were evicted, indeed entire ethnic populations. None of the dispossessors are expected to re-admit dislodged enemies or even innocuous refugees. No way will Poles, Czechs and other Europeans take back expelled Germans (and rightly so). What’s done is done.
Except in Israel’s case. Israel is unique. Israel must abet its own extinction via inundation by millions of hostile Arabs, whose own violent forebears caused their displacement to begin with. Israel is the one testing ground for all disingenuous ethical experiments bombastically launched by the international community.
China may occupy Tibet with no ill-consequence. China has no justification for subjugating Tibet. It’s land-lust and nothing but. Israel of course is weighed on different scales.
Merely nine-miles-wide and enclosed by temporary armistice lines rather than recognized borders, Israel was forced into war in 1967 in order to avoid annihilation. It regained territory which was partly Jewish-owned and Jewish-inhabited just 19 years earlier and all of which constitutes its homeland.
This is no faraway conquest motivated by greed and coercive realpolitik. If Israel cedes lowly hills overlooking its densest population center, one international airport and exposed highways, it’s a goner. Yet this is precisely what the world, including professed friends, stridently clamors for.
Hence we must expect that eventually nuclear disarmament promoters will focus their sanctimonious zeal only on Israel – ever the global touchstone/scapegoat. On the face of it, they can claim moral equivalence. But this is a counterfeit claim. Israel is as prudent a democracy as exists anywhere.
If Israel actually has the bomb, then it has had it for over 50 years, almost as long as the original “Atomic Club” members. In all that time no wrongful use was made. Iran is the diametrical opposite to Israel – a regime professing extreme Islamist doomsday theology whose bywords are volatility and unpredictability.
There’s no evenhandedness between a self-defending democracy and an expansionist tyranny.
Those who seek to establish a spurious equivalence in effect urge that democratic Israel be leaned on while autocratic Iran be allowed to enjoy leniency. Soon their rallying cry will resound: Israel first. Nuclear disarmament’s endgame will be to weaken Israel’s deterrent and guess who wants that to happen?
Even less inimical countries, which themselves would never disarm, will readily demand Israeli disarmament. It’s tempting to blur the distinction between nations which covet WMDs for openly-hyped genocidal purposes and diminutive Israel – the only nation against which genocidal plots are actually hatched.
Therefore, Israel can ill-afford ostensibly inconsequential goodwill gestures or glitches – not in glorious Glion or elsewhere. True, if tiny vulnerable Israel is deemed intransigent, all nuke-stockpiling nations will posture resplendent in their self-righteousness and castigate its “obstructionism.” But so what? That’s nothing new.
For two millennia Christian Europe sermonized about turning the other cheek but invariably did the absolute reverse. It now demands the Jewish state abide by Christian precepts that obviously didn’t ever bind Europe. Islam is altogether exempt because its motto is din Mohammad besayeff (Mohammad’s law by the sword).