Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous - by Stephen Lendman
For many years, Israel's open secret is that it's one of eight known nuclear powers, including America and Russia with about 97% of the world's arsenal according to Helen Caldicott in her book "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer." The others are Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel - North Korea a declared but unverified one.
In her January 20, 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal article titled, "Obama and the opportunity to eliminate nuclear weapons" Caldicott wrote:
"The Cold War is over, but the threat of nuclear war is not. Little progress has been made since 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed. In fact, the threat of nuclear annihilation has escalated. In 1972, when 5 nuclear nations....signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they agreed to rapidly disarm. They have done the opposite," resulting in a greater than ever threat, the Pentagon's new Nuclear Posture Review and US-Russia deal doing nothing to reverse it.
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In his 1991 book, "The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and America Foreign Policy," Seymour Hersh discussed its strategy to launch a massive nuclear counterattack if it felt its existence threatened, the stark message being the next regional war may be nuclear.
In his 1997 book, "Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies," Israel Shahak said that, helped by the Israeli Lobby (and Christian Zionists), "Israel (is) clearly prepar(ing) itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East (with no) hesitati(on) to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones."
Shahak also explained that Israel regards "the launching of missiles (onto its territory) as 'nonconventional' regardless of whether they are equipped with explosives or poison gas." In turn, Israel's nuclear doctrine dictates that a "nonconventional" attack requires one in response, meaning a nuclear one, the foundation of its grand strategy, according to Shahak.
According to Hebrew University's Professor of Military History Martin Van Creveld, "We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you (it) will happen before Israel goes under."
Israel maintains a double standard. It won't let another Middle East state acquire nuclear weapons, but will never give up its own or the right to use them preemptively.
Background on Israel's Nuclear Development
It began with its 1948 founding, David Ben-Gurion (Israel's first prime minister) having told Ehud Avriel, a European operative and later MK, to recruit East European Jewish scientists who could "either increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure masses; both are important."
One was Avraham Marcus Klingberg, later an Israeli chemical and biological weapons (CBW) expert and deputy director of the Israel Institute of Biological Research in Ness Ziona, south of Tel Aviv. More on Israel's CBW program below.
Another was Ernst David Bergmann, "father of the Israeli bomb" in charge of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). Ben-Gurion was determined to have a "nuclear option" and other "non-conventional" weapons (WMDs) to counter the Arabs' numerical advantage. In his farewell address to the Israeli Armaments Development Authority (RAFAEL), Ben-Gurion defended the strategy saying:
"I am confident, based not only on what I heard today, that our science can provide us with the weapons that are needed to deter our enemies from waging war against us."
Ben-Gurion and later prime minister Shimon Peres became the leading forces behind Israel's nuclear and CBWs programs.