US think tank says 'Israel' has nuclear arms, but adversaries don't
The director of a Washington-based think tank argues that the "Israel model" would not work in Ukraine partly due to "Tel Aviv" having a nuclear arsenal as opposed to Kiev.
The Ukraine situation renders the implementation of an "Israel model" in the country impractical and illogical, as the occupation entity has a nuclear arsenal while its adversaries do not, the director of a Washington-based think tank told Foreign Policy in a rare public acknowledgment to "Israel's" possession of nuclear arms despite "Tel Aviv" never admitting it.
Responding to a question on proposals to deploy the "Israel mode" in Ukraine, Matthew Kroenig, the Senior Director of Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, a bipartisan think tank that advises the United States on foreign and security policy matters, explained that Washington's role in dominating the weapons industry in the Middle East gives the entity a "qualitative military edge," while it cannot "guarantee Ukraine such an edge over Russia."
His comments came amid discussions by Western officials regarding a security formula for Ukraine that were carried out earlier ahead of the NATO summit in Lithuania last week, which were meant to include legally-binding promises to train Ukrainian forces and share intel with them in conformation with NATO standards.
Independent nuclear deterrent
While a US-led Western campaign to demonize the Islamic Republic of Iran and accuse of it pursuing nuclear weapons, despite Tehran, which is a signatour of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), repeatedly rejecting these allegations and stressing that its nuclear program is of peaceful nature, Washington and other allies of "Tel Aviv" have shot down on numerous occasions UN resolutions demanding that occupation entity destroy its nuclear arsenal and signing NPT.
In October 2022, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly ruled in an initial 152-5 decision that "Israel" must end its nuclear arms program, destroy the weapons, and submit its nuclear facilities to the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The resolution disclosed that "Israel" is the only entity in the Middle East region and one of the few UN members (193 total) that have not joined the NPT. However, the text was not put into action against Washington's international pressure.
An earlier report published by the FP, also addressing Western and NATO discussions to adopt the "Israel mode" in Ukraine, argued that one of the reasons this approach might fail is that the occupation entity has an "independent nuclear deterrent," while Ukrainians, as non-NATO members, will not be offered a nuclear umbrella by the military coalition to serve as a deterrent.
The report on the other hand described the occupation entity as a valuable ally to Washington, which helped served the US goals in the Middle East region, including growing its influence and establishing a US-led regional order, explaining that this could also be the case in Kiev.
Former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg declared in 2014 that the Israeli entity has a stash of both nuclear and chemical weapons, and described the official non-disclosure policy - often referred to as "nuclear opacity" or "deliberate ambiguity" as "outdated and childish".
Meanwhile, the West has played along with "Israel's" deliberate ambiguity by refraining from publicly mentioning the issue.
During his first month of presidency in 2009, then-US President Barack Obama was asked if he was aware of any party in the Middle East that possesses nuclear arms, Obama replied in a vague manner saying that he does not want to "speculate".
Washington's stance was also pursued by the United Kingdom. Also in 2014, responding to a press inquiry about the Israeli nuclear arsenal in a House of Lords session, Minister Baroness Warsi dodged the question by reciting the entity's public non-admission.
"Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons program. We have regular discussions with the government of Israel on a range of nuclear-related issues," she said. "The government of Israel is in no doubt as to our views. We encourage Israel to become a state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]."
But Kroenig's statement was not the most significant in terms of admission of "Israel" owning a nuclear arsenal.
Over the years, the Israeli occupation has adhered to a policy of ambiguity when it comes to its nuclear sector.
The most prominent leak was a team of reporters from The Sunday Times saying in the early 90s that Mordechai Vanunu, a technician who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in "Israel", confirmed through photographs and government documents that the occupation had between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads with a variety of destructive capabilities.
Various statements have previously come from Israeli officials revealing that the occupation has or aims to acquire an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
One the entity's most prominent figures, former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, addressed Jewish scientists leaving Germany in late 1940s, and called on them to put their minds to nuclear research and "do everything possible to provide the desired Jewish state with nuclear weapons."
But the Israeli recognition of its nuclear arsenal does not only date back to the 20th century.
Earlier this year, and while warning from the government's judicial overhaul, former Israeli occupation Prime Minister Ehud Barak also admitted in a tweet that the occupation possesses nuclear weapons.
"[...] political parties in the West are deeply concerned about the possibility that, if the coup in Israel succeeds, a messianic dictatorship will be established in the heart of the Middle East with nuclear weapons in its possession," Barak said then on Twitter.
According to a previous report by The Guardian, several countries, that are part of the NPT and loudest campaigners against proliferation, have secretly either assisted "Israel" in building its nuclear arms program by selling material for their production and technical expertise or turned a blind eye. These countries are the US, Germany, France, the UK, and Norway.
An earlier BBC investigation into the occupation's nuclear program found that in 1959, "Israel" purchased 20 tons of heavy water that Oslo had sold to the UK but was deemed excess to Britain's required amount for its nuclear program. However, both countries looked at the other despite knowing that it will be used to produce nuclear weapons.
Intel buried in a drawer
During a meeting in 1976, then-CIA deputy director Carl Duckett told a number of senior officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the spy agency suspected some of the fissile fuel in the Israeli bombs was weapons-grade uranium stolen under America's nose from a processing plant in Pennsylvania. But the intel document was later put in a drawer.
"It was a shock. Everybody was open-mouthed," said Victor Gilinsky, who was one of the Us nuclear officials briefed by Duckett.
"It was one of the most glaring cases of diverted nuclear material but the consequences appeared so awful for the people involved and for the US that nobody really wanted to find out what was going on."