Israel Dismisses Obama Call to Join NPT

Minister: Obama Fine With Israel's 'Nuclear Ambiguity'

As with previous discussions of the possibility, Israeli officials today reacted negatively to yesterday’s comment by President Obama in support of seeing Israel join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

There is no room to pressure Israel to join,” insisted Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who added that it was unreasonable to ask Israel to join so long as Iran, a signatory to the NPT remains a “threat.”

But exactly how serious Obama’s comments even were is unclear. The president went out of his way to avoid the issue during the summit, and only mentioned that position when pressed. Moreover the US vigorously opposed an IAEA measure urging Israel to join the NPT late last year.

In fact according to Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, the Obama Administration has never asked them to change their policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” whereby Israel refuses to admit to its massive nuclear arsenal and refuses to join any group which would subject them to any sort of oversight.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.