The Israeli Nuclear Elephant

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God bless Marius Benson.

In the middle of all the frantic dialogue about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, he is the only one who had the courage to ask the obvious question: “what about Israel’s nuclear stockpile?” It’s a question that is simply never raised in polite society!

I assume that everybody does see the elephant in the room but that they simply choose to ignore it. No one has ever raised serious questions about the validity of the photographic evidence shared by Mordechai Vanunu back in 1986, showing that Israel has one of the largest nuclear stockpiles in the world, yet everyone in the West has to play this charade, acting as if none of these weapons exist!

The transcript below is from Marius Benon’s ABC interview with the Israeli government’s chief spin-doctor in Australia, Mark Regev. You can hear the full interview here.

Benson asks Regev bluntly and repeatedly whether Israel has nuclear weapons and each time Regev tries to deflect the question with the standard line “we will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region”.

This is simply a lie, of course, unless Regev is including Pakistan in his ‘region’ or is engaging in some similar act of wordplay. Either way, it is a cynical way of avoiding the obvious paradox of the Israeli government’s war-mongering. Why on earth would Israel be concerned about an attack from Iran when we all know that Israel has such an enormous nuclear defense arsenal that no country in the world would consider attacking it!

I don’t really understand why we put up with these sorts of shenanigans. Regev lies. We know he lies. He knows we know he is lying, and yet he continues to lie, and so eventually we stop asking the question, smile and shake hands and continue on as if the lie were the truth. There’s something deeply disturbing about this pattern.

Father Dave

Mordechai Vanunu and me in 2004

with Morde Vanunu – the man who proved that Israel had the bomb – after his release in 2004

source: www.abc.net…

Marius Benson: Mark Regev, can I ask you a question that some put in this context, which is, how can Israel demand that other countries, like Iran, in the Middle East, not have the prospect of any nuclear weapon when Israel itself has such a large nuclear arsenal?

Mark Regev: Well first of all there’s been no change in the long-standing Israeli position not to be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the region.

Marius Benson: But you have nuclear weapons.

Mark Regev: No, we say specifically we will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. But more specifically I would say in answer to your question it is Iran which says Israel must be destroyed, not the other way around. It’s Iran that calls Israel a cancer that must be removed. It’s Iran which says Israel must be obliterated off the map.

Marius Benson: But back on the question of nuclear weapons, can I just clarify? When you say Israel’s position is you won’t be the first to introduce them, you have, what, 200-plus nuclear weapons now?

Mark Regev: No, no and I would say the following if you would allow me. The problem in the Middle East is not those countries that up till now have not joined the NPT, the Non Proliferation Treaty. The problem is exactly the opposite. It’s those countries that have joined the NPT and have cheated and lied. And there’s a whole group of them…

Marius Benson: Yeah, but…on the nuclear weapons issue, are you saying Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons?

Mark Regev: I’m answering your question, you’re just not letting me finish the sentences.

Marius Benson: No, no, I like to directly get an answer to that – are you saying Israel does not have nuclear weapons?

Mark Regev: I’m saying Israel believes the 4 to1 talks about extending the NPT in the Middle East; one has to have an NPT that works. And you have in the Middle East four countries that signed the NPTand have cheated and the NPT has not been worth the paper it has been printed on.

Marius Benson: Sure but there’s only one country in the Middle East which is generally known to have nuclear weapons. That’s Israel.

MR: Israel has said – and I’ll say it again – we will not be the first country in the Middle East to introduce nuclear weapons into the region. But if you’ll allow me to complete the point. It’s not just Gadaffi’s Libya that cheated on the NPT, it’s Assad’s Syria, it’s Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and now the Iranians. How can anyone come to Israel and say Israel should join the NPT when you have in the region the failure of this treaty. When you have consistent behaviour by Israel’s enemies who’ve signed the NPT and then it’s clear to everyone have broken it, have violated the agreement.

Marius Benson: Mark Regev thank you very much

Mark Regev: My pleasure sir.

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