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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Israel: All She Wants To Do Is Dance

I read somewhere that the Don Henley song "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" is about the state of Israel. Now to be fair I've read the lyrics over and I don't see the connection (other than the title perhaps), but it's a clever enough though to stick in my head. Anyway, this is a good an entree as any to one of the biggest paradoxes there is in the world on nuclear non-proliferation, namely the "giggle, giggle, I'm not going to tell" nuclear status of Israel.

What's the deal? The fact that Israel possesses nuclear weapons is hardly the best-kept secret in the world today. I know it, you know it, we all know it. But yet somehow Israel is allowed to continue on with the charade of not commenting on the issue. Seriously, why do we have such concern with just about every other country having nuclear weapons, but yet there is this passive, "wink, wink, nod, nod" attitude towards Israel?

Yes, I understand that Israel is a democracy. Yes, I understand that they are our friends. Yes, the Holocaust was a horrible event in human history, but so were the Killing Fields of Cambodia, yet that gets far less play. Anyway, I'm not debating about the right of Israel to exist; the nation does exist, so any discussions about whether it should are a waste of time. What I'm arguing here is the fact that in you and I as U.S. taxpayers...financially support a nation that has undeclared weapons of mass destruction, stockpiled in a part of the world known for wars and instability. And this is somehow okay?

By the way, just how much do and Israel? According to the Washington Report of Middle Eastern Affairs, direct military aid to Israel in 2008 totaled just over $2.4 billion dollars (citation HERE). By way of comparison, the total Israeli military budget for 2008 was somewhere between $11 and $16 billion dollars in total (conflicting citations HERE and HERE). This translates to US and I...paying for anywhere from15% to 22% of Israel's total military budget. That's significant stuff.

Bottom Line: Given the amount of direct military support that US taxpayers provide to Israel, perhaps it's about time that we demand they play by the same nuclear rules that we want everyone else to play by...namely disclosing the existence of these weapons and signing/complying with the the Nuclear N0n-Proliferation Treaty.

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