Monday, December 11, 2006

Israel Has Nukes: The Sequel

I know, I know...this ought to be such a non-story since everybody and their dog knows that Israel has nukes but since there's been so much outrage because Robert Gates said Israel had nukes during his testimony last week, this remark ought to finally close the book on that policy of ambiguity (ie. 'lying') regarding the issue:

Note the cautious Reuters headline: 'Olmert appears to admit Israel has nuclear weapons'

"Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"

Slip of the tongue? Who knows?

Olmert remained coy about Israel's own nuclear capabilities, sending a jab at incoming U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who in his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate last week openly stated that Israel had a nuclear bomb.

When asked about the bomb, Olmert cut the interviewer off, saying, "I'm certain you can go to the secretary of defense of America and talk to him about that."

Ouch. Stab. Stab.

"Israel is a democracy, Israel doesn't threaten any country with anything, never did. The most that we tried to get for ourselves is to try to live without terror but we never threaten another nation with annihilation. Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map," he said.

Well, that might be true if Shimon Peres hadn't said the following back in May:

Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Monday that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map."

Regardless, the gig is up. Israel has nukes. The policy of ambiguity is dead (except to reporters who are still being very careful not to actually admit the truth). Can we all move on now?

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