The Israeli nuclear armament

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In spite of a politics of opacity, it is now doubtless that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. The Dimona reactor, built thanks to the French cooperation, lies at the core if the Israeli nuclear program, as Vanunu’s revelations to the Sunday Times in 1986 have confirmed. Contrary to other nuclear powers, Israel has not proceeded – or at least, not openly – to nuclear tests, nor confirmed its possession of the bomb, while denying its neighbours the right to acquire such a capacity. This tenant of ambiguity allows Israel to keep on benefiting from the financial and military assistance of its American ally. Yet, the Israeli arsenal puts Washington in an awkward position, regarding the latter’s commitment to non-proliferation in the Middle East, as the former fuels the accusation of ‘two weights, two measures’. The credibility of the international non-proliferation regime must include the de-nuclearization of the area, as part of a more comprehensive process of settlement of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and of the Palestinian question. – Summary AFRI-2005