Is 2012 the year the international community finally brings Israel’s nuclear weapons program under scrutiny? A draft document under consideration at the NPT Conference could make it happen.
The Philippines government has introduced the draft document aimed at jump-starting international calls for a nuclear-free Middle East would set up a formal meeting of all the nations of the region in 2012 to hammer out details of the deal.
The nuke-free Mideast movement, something which has been in play since 1995, got a shot in the arm early this month when the US was reported to have joined Mideast nations in working out a non-binding resolution on the matter.
The big obstacle to any such deal would be Israel, which is known to have a large nuclear weapons arsenal and is a non-signatory to the NPT. President Obama has repeatedlty pledged to keep Israel’s arsenal “secret.”
Indeed, Israel is the only nuclear weapons power in the region, and while the US might be able to spin such a deal as a condemnation of the civilian programs in Iran and/or Syria, the reality is a nuclear-free Middle East is going to begin and end with the ability to convince Israel to disarm and submit to the same international inspections as every other nation with a civilian program. Israel has repeatedly and angrily rejected joining the NPT at all on general principle, and has condemned the NPT for failing to foil the civilian programs of its many, many enemies.