I know it sounds disingenuous to even ask how Israel gets away with demanding that Iran either give up its nuclear program or be bombed while Israel itself sits on a massive nuclear arsenal.
The United States strongly opposed Israel’s nuclear development at the time it began, with President Kennedy telling both Prime Minister Ben Gurion and his successor, Levi Eshkol, that the U.S was opposed to an Israeli bomb and wanted Dimona, site of its “civilian” reactor, opened to full international inspection.
Kennedy was insistent but the Israelis played their usual game of dodge ball, stringing him along and doing precisely what it wanted to do. Following Kennedy’s assassination, no president has ever addressed the fact that Israel which, unlike Iran, is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has a huge illegal arsenal.
This all makes sense in an American context. Israel gets what it wants from the United States because of the power of the lobby.
But, from the point of view of, say, Iran, it is absurd. How can the United States (led by Israel!) demand that Iran give up even low-level fuel enrichment while Israel possesses enough nuclear weaponry to destroy Iran many times over.
Somehow I don’t believe the Iran nuclear issue will ever be resolved until we address the matter of Israel’s uninspected and ever-growing nuclear arsenal.
Or am I utterly naive?
One last point: is it possible that the reason that Israel is so sure that Iran is duping the United States into believing that it might not be pursuing weapons development, while actually working around the clock on a bomb, is because that is what Israel did. In their heart of hearts do Netanyahu and Barak just think, “well, we got away with it through lying and deception. Why wouldn’t Iran do the same thing?”
It’s not a crazy question although it is one that no Israeli official would ever utter aloud. After all, it denies it has nuclear weapons and, I love this, makes the U.S. deny it too. Another reason to wish JFK had never set foot in Texas in 1963.