Trend Commentator: Why Israel needs nuclear program?
Trend Commentator Ulviyya Sadikhova
Not having time to resolve the conflict with many Arab neighbors, Israel is turning into a central figure in the nuclear race in the Middle East, which develops more and more recently.
Israeli "shadow" policy on nuclear program caused a stir at the conference on the revision of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York and has become a new subject of discussion among the IAEA members amid the fact that the Iranian nuclear program remained unsolved.
Interest in the Israeli nuclear program, about which the Israeli government prefers to keep silent, is coincided with another important event. Long efforts of Barack Obama's administration to restart the peace process culminated in the resumption of indirect peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Washington hopes that four months allotted for the indirect format of negotiations, will be enough to consider further steps in the peace process and thereby prevent the outbreak of another war in the region.
However, whether Israel or even the Palestinian Authority shares U.S hopes. It is doubtful, because Israel began negotiations without fulfilling the main conditions of the Palestinians and the international community's requirements to stop constructing settlements in East Jerusalem. Therefore, both sides realize that the proximity talks are unlikely to stimulate direct ones. They can be ceased even earlier. But it seems that Israel is not going to waste time.
Israeli-U.S relationship partially depends on the negotiations with the Arab countries, "opaque" nuclear policy directly covers Israeli national interests, especially security and self-defense.
But "opaque" Israel's position complicates the IAEA's work to keep the rest countries of the region, for example, Egypt, from the development of its nuclear potential or persuade Iran not to develop its nuclear program. The IAEA does not have enough reasons and motives to delay the disclosure of data on the Israeli nuclear program. In June, the IAEA intends to once again put Israeli hidden nuclear program on the agenda.
Israel is not going to surrender, but it can not avoid this topic ever.
So far, Israel can prove nuclear "independence" that, as opposed to Iran, which is a party to the NPT, Israel has never violated its international nuclear principles though its nuclear facilities are not controlled by the IAEA.
However, the situation is more complicated, given the continued pressure of Egypt and Turkey on the international community, particularly the U.S., to impose the same obligations on Israel. But the requirements are profound: why it may do and we may not?
Furthermore, if Washington says nothing this time, it is more likely to lead to the fact that Cairo will develop its own nuclear potential easily, and Turkey will put forward conditions to the Security Council not to impose new sanctions on Iran.
Therefore, under these circumstances, Israel will not waste time and turn nuclear policy in a new leverage of pressure in regional politics, especially in the peace process with Arab countries. It is not ruled out that Israel can make its accession to the NPT and facilitate the release of the Middle East from nuclear weapons to obtain the required compromise from the Arab neighbors, especially regarding settlements. This decision was supported by all Arab countries and the Security Council.
Israeli media report with reference to Western sources that the Americans have offered Israel to discuss the conditions for entry into the NPT. But the latter refused, considering it disadvantageous to its national interests. Haaretz wrote that Israel has put the main condition for facilitating the work of the NPT. This condition is to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The U.S. considers Israel's condition with caution. Talks are held with Egypt on the destruction of nuclear weapons in the region.
Washington's cautious approach in this matter is explained by the last failure to advance the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis because, as some media outlets wrote, the U.S. do not pay enough attention to Arab interests. Despite the fact that Western countries are convinced that the strongest threat to security in the region is the Iranian nuclear program, however, the Islamic countries, with the support of developing countries, put the international community in a difficult position, calling for to consider the Iranian and Israeli nuclear programs in one plane.
Therefore, in this regard Israel should rely on itself, realizing that the silence is not the way out. Moreover, Israel can not allow neighboring Egypt to become "nuclear". It seems that all Cairo's efforts are directed to it.
The main thing for Israel is to reach a compromise with its Arab neighbors, not to be distracted from the Iranian problem. The compromise means the start of direct negotiations, which, in their turn, depend on Israel's decision to do with the construction in Jerusalem. It is not going to cease it. But it is impossible to postpone the issue too. It should be noted that winter scandal between Netanyahu's government and Obama's administration occurred because of the announced construction of 1,600 homes in the occupied lands.
Arab countries, despite the persistence, are still vulnerable under U.S pressure, at least because, they agreed to hold indirect talks in a short period, despite the requirements to fulfill their conditions.
Israel's strategic alliance with the U.S. despite all the turmoil remains firm. It can give an opportunity to put the Arab countries to a standstill. The Israelis can tell the Arabs that if they stop to call for the IAEA to consider nuclear potential, then it will be possible to compromise on the issue of settlements as, for example, a temporary moratorium on their construction.
Although the U.S. still skeptical to use the nuclear factor in the peace settlement, however, Washington understands that nuclear policy for Israel is a matter of national interests. It is one of the questions of the Jewish state's survival. It is also important for U.S. policy in region .
Therefore, instead of being pushed into a corner under the international pressure, Israel, will rather, turn its nuclear policy into the regular source of its own interests in the region.