Israel without nukes

By Joseph Farah

The latest plan by those who seek to destroy the state of Israel is to apply international pressure on the Jewish state to renounce nuclear weapons and disarm as part of a phony call to create a “nuclear-free Middle East.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, the United Nations atomic energy chief, just returned from Israel where he expressed his determination to promote this agenda of a nuclear-free zone in the region.

Israel is believed to have up to 200 nuclear weapons, but, officially, it refuses to confirm or deny it has the bomb.

And there’s a good reason for that policy. Without nuclear weapons – the ultimate trump card in dealing with an overwhelming number of hostile neighbors who seek to destroy the Jewish state by any means necessary – Israel would face a far greater threat to its existence than it does today.

In fact, Israel probably wouldn’t be around right now.

Rather than promote “stability” in the Middle East, as the United Nations suggests, nuclear disarmament by Israel would make the region more unstable. After all, Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades, and it’s still around – as are all of its neighbors. How long would that be true without an Israeli nuclear arsenal no one can say.

The Arab and Muslim states that remain in a state of perpetual war with Israel are checked ultimately by one factor – they know that if they go too far in attacking Israel, they will be destroyed. Period. End of story.

It’s called Mutually Assured Destruction. And it worked pretty well as a strategy in keeping the world from blowing itself up during the Cold War. It is what keeps the uneasy peace in the Middle East. It’s the only thing that does.

That’s not to say it’s the solution to Middle East tensions. However, I’m not sure Israel would last a week without a nuclear deterrent.

For one thing, Iran is very close to having nuclear capability, if it doesn’t already. The Iranian government is officially at war with Israel and is on record as calling for its destruction. It funds the terror groups that kill innocent Israelis on nearly a daily basis. If Tehran knew it could destroy Israel without fear of destruction itself, it would not hesitate to push the button.

But put Muslim nuclear capability aside for a moment. In 1973, Israel was so close to losing a conventional war with the Arabs that it readied its nuclear option to destroy the capitals of Egypt and Syria. The very fact that Cairo and Damascus know there is no such thing as a conventional military victory over Israel has prevented another major war from breaking out since then. In fact, it was one of the reasons Anwar al-Sadat signed a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel shortly after that war.

Ultimately, though, it’s not the weapons themselves that are the problem – it’s the powers and principalities that control them that are the real problem.

Most people would agree that a firearm in the hands of a law-abiding, moral person is not a problem. In fact, a firearm in the hands of a good person is a deterrent to crime and violence. The problem is when a violent criminal gets his hands on firearms.

It works the same way in international affairs.

No one has to worry about the United States using nuclear weapons on other countries without provocation. However, if the United States unilaterally disarmed, it would invite nuclear and conventional attacks by other nations because they would no longer fear the ultimate form of retaliation.

Likewise, no one has to fear that Israel will one day decide to nuke Damascus, Tehran or Cairo preemptively. It could have done so anytime in the last 40 years.

Therefore, it is ludicrous to talk about Israel disarming. It’s not going to happen. And it wouldn’t be a good idea. In fact, it would be disastrous.

So, why is the world talking about it? For one simple reason: It’s the latest way for Israel’s sworn enemies to bring international pressure on the Jewish state – to make it look like the bad guy on the block, to portray it as the intransigent obstacle to peace, to demoralize Israelis and turn world public opinion against it.

Don’t be fooled.