In the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, Avner Cohen and Marvin Miller have an op-ed about the Israeli covert nuclear program. Cohen, a non-proliferation fellow at California’s Monterey Institute of International Studies is about to drop a book — “The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain With the Bomb” — about Israel and its opaque nuclear program, about which the Jewish state adopts a policy of ambiguity to protect.
I’m still plowing through the Foreign Affairs article from which the Cohen and Miller’s IHT op-ed is drawn (I’ll report on the FA article later), but this little piece from the shorter version is worth taking note of with regards to the ongoing debate over Israel’s stance on the Iranian nuclear program:
Israel needs to recognize, moreover, that the Middle East peace process is linked to the issue of nuclear weapons in the region. International support for Israel and its opaque bomb is being increasingly eroded by its continued occupation of Palestinian territory and the policies that support that occupation. Such criticism of these policies might well spill over into the nuclear domain, making Israel vulnerable to the charge that it is a nuclear-armed pariah state, and thus associating it to an uncomfortable degree with today’s rogue Iranian regime.
Indeed, while almost all states publicly oppose the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, there is also growing support for dealing with this problem in an “evenhanded” manner, namely, by establishing a nuclear weapons free zone across the entire region.
However, if Israel takes seriously the need to modify its own nuclear posture and its approach to the peace process, there will likely be stronger international support for measures designed to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold and to contain a nuclear-armed Iran if those efforts fail.