Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama on Israel and the NPT

The words are not clear but it seems that there is no escaping the topic of Israel as a non-signatory to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty or the NPT. Next month a review on the treaty will be made and non-signatories like Iran and North Korea will be on the block for this one. Another country of course that could be on the block will be Israel. Although Israel has escaped scrutiny in the past since it never threatened anyone with nuclear weapons (which it neither confirm nor deny of having), the increasing anti-semitism of the world gives you the feeling that this issue will be under the microscope this time.

In a more recent article we had, we hoped that the present summit in Washington will not be sidetracked by this and hopefully in the waning hours of the event, it will not go in the direction of pinpointing Israel.

On the 2nd day of the summit the inevitable has come and the media has asked Obama about it.

“And, as far as Israel goes, I’m not going to comment on their program, but what I’m going to point to is the fact that consistently we have urged all countries to become members of the NPT. So there’s no contradiction there. We think it is important that we have an international approach that is universal and that rests on three pillars, that those of us who have nuclear weapons are making serious efforts to reduce those stockpiles.”

The US President side-stepped from the question somewhat but it seems the direction is that it would be good if Israel will let the nuclear issue out of the bag. If that is what he meant, will he pursue it aggressively next month in New York or even in the coming months.

Obama has been seen so far by most observers as more for appeasement of Islamic nations. Will he use this as another leverage to gain ground in extending a hand to the Middle East region?