For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
'Can Israel Be Trusted with Nuclear Weapons?'
Author of "This Time We Went Too Far": Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion, Finkelstein said today: "It's important to understand that the Israeli cabinet deliberated before deciding on a nighttime commando raid [against the Free Gaza ships]. This wasn't a rash decision by low-level people. Last week, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference at the United Nations decided to focus on making the Mideast a nuclear-weapons-free zone. Israel immediately attacked this. Israel is constantly threatening Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It continues to lay siege to Gaza -- an Israeli official stated that Gaza needed to be put on a 'diet.' It launched massive attacks against Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008 to 2009 with its 'Cast Lead' operation, killing over 1,300 people.
"With its actions this week, we have to ask ourselves a crucial question: Can a state like Israel be trusted with 200 to 300 nuclear weapons?" See Finkelstein's recent interview with Grit TV (also interviewed is Huwaida Arraf of the Free Gaza Movement):
Steinbach wrote the paper "Israel's Nuclear Arsenal: Implications for the Middle East and the World." He said today: "Israel is acting in an aggressive, even insane manner and cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. The U.S. has acted in similar ways. For example, Nixon during the Vietnam War would deliberately appear mad to intimidate others. He'd talk to [Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger about using nuclear weapons and blowing up dams, killing millions to intimidate the Vietnamese. ...
"The recently completed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference at the UN was noteworthy because the U.S. allowed the conference to not only call for a nuclear-free Middle East, but specifically to name Israel. Israel wasn't able to block this wording because it's not a signatory to the NPT. [Iran and all Arab countries are signatories. See: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/text/npt3.htm ]
"Also, last week, news came out about Israel, in 1975, offering to sell highly advanced nuclear weapons with ballistic missiles to the outlaw apartheid regime in South African." See: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/25/israel
See Steinbach's paper the paper "Israel's Nuclear Arsenal: implications for the Middle East and the World."
Background: Obama was asked by Helen Thomas at his first news conference if he knew of any country in the Mideast that has nuclear weapons. Obama replied that he did not want to "speculate." Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVGWdLsAoBA
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