BIDEN MUST END U.S. HYPOCRISY ON ISRAELI NUKES: ANALYSTS
Updated: Feb 22
President Joe Biden should end US hypocrisy on Israeli nuclear weapons and once and for all end signing an annual letter that prevents the White House from confirming such weapons due to the “existential threats to Israel,” analysts Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski wrote for Foreign Policy.
This secret letter is practically a slap in the face of the US since it is compelled not to press Israel to scrap its nuclear arsenal while publicly demanding that Iran stop all attempts to enrich uranium for possible use on its missiles.
As recounted by Adam Entous in a 2018 New Yorker article, US presidents have signed signed a secret letter upon entering office that effectively pledges the United States will not “press the Jewish state to give up its nuclear weapons so long as it continued to face existential threats in the region.” Whatever policy the US adopts toward Israeli nuclear weapons, it’s time it stopped this demeaning rite, Gilinsky and Sokolski wrote.
Worse, the ever-obedient US actively assists Israel, both diplomatically by quashing discussion of its nuclear weapons in international forums and materially by looking the other way at nuclear-related Israeli violations of law, including some within the US.
“This included pretending in 1979 that what was almost certainly an Israeli nuclear test in the South Indian Ocean, which was observed by a US satellite, didn’t happen. Former President Jimmy Carter’s White House and his successors classified documents and debunked what was known, but the signal evidence is extremely compelling, as we and others have detailed in Foreign Policy,” Gilinsky and Sokolski argued.
“By maintaining this fictional ignorance within the government, when everyone on Earth who has the slightest interest in the subject knows the truth, the US government has promulgated a regulation—described in the US Energy Department’s Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities—that threatens government employees with severe punishment if they acknowledge Israel has nuclear weapons.
Naturally, the regulation is withheld from public release. The government hides behind a stretched reading of the Freedom of Information Act’s exemption for documents that ‘would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions,’ which the withheld material would not,” Gilinsky and Sokolski concluded.