Israel Criticized for Nuclear Weapons

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Questions and concerns were raised at the International Atomic Energy Agency Conference in Vienna about Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Israel’s only statement about its nuclear capabilities came in 2005, when they opted out of the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty. Their abstention meant the country was not any admitting nuclear capabilities it might have. At the conference, 49 voted for the resolution, “directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program for the first time in 18 years.” 45 voted against and 16 abstained from endorsing or rejecting the document, which stated that Israel had nuclear capabilities and expressed alarm over the problem. A United States delegate expressed anger, claiming the resolution was an “attempt to…criticize a single country.” The resolution, although about Israel, impacts the United States heavily. The resolution references the problem of unregulated nuclear power in Israel. While America is critical of nuclear programs in countries like Iran and North Korea, it has not questioned Israel’s possible nuclear programs. The United States’ unwillingness to recognize Israeli nuclear weapons sends a message about where the country’s alliances are. The resolution also shows a growing distrust of Israel by members of the international community who are beginning to acknowledge problems and malfunctions in Israel.


“The Elephant in the Room: Israel’s Nuclear Weapons” David Morrison, Common Dreams, June 29, 2009

“Nuclear conference criticizes Israeli nukes” George Jahn, Associated Press, September 8, 2009

“Review of the Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons Treaty” UN Review, May 2005

Student Researcher: Ben Solomon, Lynn Demos, Steve Wojanis

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University

Evaluator: Russ Arnold, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, DePauw University