Israel, the bomb, and openness

It’s time for Israel to come out of the closet. After five decades of maintaining a nuclear weapons program without acknowledging its existence, Israel should proactively announce and provide information about its nuclear weapons status. Though Israel’s bombs have long been an open secret, unprecedented international scrutiny in coming years will make this “nuclear opacity” increasingly untenable.

By maintaining the fiction that it is not a nuclear power, Israel has pigeonholed itself as an international pariah, similar to its adversaries Iran and Syria. This allows its adversaries and the nonaligned movement to successfully use Israel’s bombs to slow progress on nuclear nonproliferation objectives, including preventing a nuclear Iran. Israel gains nothing by sacrificing its moral and political authority to maintain a farce that no one believes.

This situation will reach a breaking point in the coming year because of enhanced scrutiny of Israel’s nuclear program from several sources.


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