November 30, 2007

Israel most likely to use nuclear weapons: Kissinger

Here's a Ha'aretz article on Nixon's fears over a nuclear armed middle east and the hold Israel appears to have on America with regard to arms supplies from the latter to the former. This is most of the article:
"The Israelis, who are one of the few peoples whose survival is genuinely threatened, are probably more likely than almost any other country to actually use their nuclear weapons," Henry Kissinger, who served as President Richard Nixon's national security adviser, warned in a July 19, 1969 memorandum.

The U.S. National Archives on Wednesday released documents from the Nixon Presidential Library, according to the Times report. By law, classified documents are to be reviewed for possible release after 25 years.

The memoranda reveal the dilemmas with which the administration wrestled vis-a-vis Israel's nuclear weapons program, long considered to be a sore point in the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Moreover, it showed concern on the part of Kissinger that Israel may have systematically stolen material from the U.S. for its nuclear development.

"This is one program on which the Israelis have persistently deceived us," Kissinger wrote, "and may even have stolen from us."

"There is circumstantial evidence that some fissionable material available for Israel's weapons development was illegally obtained from the United States about 1965," Kissinger wrote, dismissing inspections as a possible solution since, "we could never cover all conceivable Israeli hiding places."

Kissinger even suggested possibly withholding the sale of Phantom fighter jets to Israel as a way of compelling Jerusalem to yield on the nuclear issue, the Times said.

"Israel will not take us seriously on the nuclear issue unless they believe we are prepared to withhold something they very much need," Kissinger wrote.

"On the other hand, if we withhold the Phantoms and they make this fact public in the United States, enormous political pressure will be mounted on us," the former national security adviser wrote. "We will be in an indefensible position if we cannot state why we are withholding the planes. Yet if we explain our position publicly, we will be the ones to make Israel's possession of nuclear weapons public with all the international consequences this entails."
Ok, let's round up. Israel has nuclear weapons and may have even stolen stuff for those weapons from America. America wants to find out if this is so, so it wants to inspect Israel's facilities. It could force Israel to allow an inspection by withholding Phantom jets but this would cause "enormous political pressure." Who from? It's that non-existent Israel lobby again.

Of course this will be grist to the mill of those who support, without question, Mearsheimer and Walt's Israel lobby thesis. I prefer Finkesltein's take myself.

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