Why the Logic of Nuclear Disarmament Does Not Apply to Israel

(Jerusalem Post) Matti Golan - # If the Arab countries are being required to give up weapons of mass destruction, why isn't Israel required to do the same thing? # We have to tell the world that the situation is simply not the same because we are not out to destroy any country. We have no reason to do so and we are not made that way. We don't have anything equivalent to the Arabic battle cry of itbah al yahud - "slaughter the Jews." # From the outset, Israel became involved in the entire matter of nuclear weapons for only one purpose: defense. If we did not have these weapons at our disposal, we might not exist anymore. The thing that deters the Arab countries more than anything else is the knowledge of a possible nuclear response. # If Israel did not have these arms, no Arab or Muslim country - Egypt and Jordan included - would have been willing to talk peace. Their acceptance of the existence of the State of Israel, and acceptance of the fact that we cannot be erased from the face of the earth, is the direct result of their knowledge that we have nuclear weapons. # The state, in essence, owes its very existence to a single individual - Shimon Peres - who brought nuclear weapons to Israel out of a sober understanding of the reality in this region, a reality that has not and will not change. # For the Arab countries, nuclear weapons are weapons of destruction. For us, they are weapons of defense, which make our continued existence possible. To allow Muslim countries to continue to possess nuclear weapons is tantamount to agreeing to global suicide. To demand that Israel disarm itself of these weapons is like asking it to consent to commit suicide. The writer is the former editor-in-chief of Ha'aretz and Globes.

2004-01-01 00:00:00

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