privileges for one nation — and one nation alone — on
the face of the entire planet . . .
everyone agrees, is an established nuclear weapon state. It was
the sixth nation in the world — and the first in the Middle
East — to develop and acquire nuclear weapons. Indeed, while
exact figures are speculative, Israel’s nuclear forces are
believed to be (in qualitative terms at least) more like those of
France and the United Kingdom than India’s and Pakistan’s.
Israel’s code of conduct and discourse in the nuclear field
differs distinctly from the other established nuclear weapon states.
Unlike the seven acknowledged nuclear nations — the five de
jure nuclear weapon states under the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) (the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France,
and China) and the two de facto nuclear weapon states outside
the NPT (India and Pakistan) — Israel has never advertised
or even admitted its nuclear status. . .
— in or out of Israel — cares to ask Israeli leaders
uncomfortable questions about the nation’s nuclear status.
. . .In Washington, and subsequently in other Western capitals,
the Israeli bomb has become a most sensitive issue, almost untouchable
. . . under which the United States treats Israel as a special (and
unique) nuclear case. Under this policy, the United States has exercised
its diplomatic influence and power to ignore and shield the Israeli
case. Israel is treated as an exception, somehow exempt from the
nonproliferation regime that applies to everyone else.
and foes of Israel (and of the United States) have to reckon with
this aura of exceptionalism. For friends it is a matter of political
embarrassment; for foes it highlights the double standard and inequality
of America’s unevenhanded approach to nonproliferation.
historian Avner Cohen
Last Taboo: Israel’s Bomb Revisited”
History - April 2005