Haaretz – Israeli Conference urges a Middle East without Nuclear Weapons

 In Iran, Middle East, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Action

Note: Madelyn Hoffman, executive director of New Jersey Peace Action, and Jeff Klein, a Massachusetts Peace Action board member, have been attending this conference in Haifa. We look forward to reports from them soon.

This Haaretz article is behind a paywall so no link, but the text is below. Thanks to our colleague Jacqueline Cabasso of Western States Legal Foundation, who is also at the conference, for sending this article.

By Eli Ashkenazi

A conference opened in Haifa Thursday advocating a Middle East without nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction – a controversial issue in Israel.

If Israel won’t go to Helsinki, Helsinki will come to Israel, former MK Issam Makhoul said at the two-day conference, referring to Israel’s decision last year not to take part in a Helsinki conference on the issue. Makhoul said Israel couldn’t escape a discussion on the matter.

According to Makhoul, the Haifa conference was the first step toward opening a debate in Israel on nuclear weapons. He said an Israeli coalition of organizations and a monitoring committee would push the issue forward.

Makhoul said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on talking about the Iranian nuclear threat helped stoke the discussion on Israel’s nuclear program as well. There is now a willingness and sense of urgency in broaching the subject and telling Israelis that a different kind of Middle East is possible, he said.

The conference is the first in a series on the issue, the organizers said. Delegates came from Europe, the United States and Africa. Among the participants was Prof. Tadatoshi Akiba, a former mayor of Hiroshima, who urged a 2020 deadline for world nuclear disarmament.

Akiba said no one needed to suffer as his countrymen had suffered, adding that governments had not met expectations and that civil-society groups must help governments achieve the goal.

Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, who 14 years ago permitted a rare Knesset debate on the nuclear issue, said that when Israel first crafted its strategy on the issue, the country was still fragile. Israel therefore sought to create a balance of power, but what once was an asset was now becoming harmful.

Calling former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the best friend of Israel’s nuclear program, Burg said Arab countries were now immersed in their own affairs and that Israel was not the excuse for everything.

Burg said the formula now was that if everyone has the bomb no one will have it. He added that a discussion was needed recognizing Israel as a nuclear power and asking what Israel would get in exchange for relinquishing this status. Also, all parties must understand that countries have more to lose by possessing nuclear weapons.

Former MK Naomi Chazan said the fact the conference was being held was a historic moment in Israel, where there is no serious discussion on the nuclear issue.

But Dr. Emily Landau of the Institute for National Security Studies offered a different take, saying the subject was constantly under discussion in academic forums and elsewhere.

Landau said that although speakers at the conference blamed Israel, the reality was more complex, and that focusing on Israel, as Egypt has been doing for decades, was the mistake of the Helsinki conference as well. Landau said Iran’s nuclear ambitions had to be addressed, and that it was impossible to talk about countries’ nuclear capabilities before discussing relations between countries and confidence-building.

Unlike most speakers, who praised the Geneva talks between the six powers and Iran, Landau said the delegates should listen when an Iranian leader compares Israel to a dog or cancer and calls the country illegitimate. Landau said Israel, located in the middle of a dangerous region, needed to create deterrence and was not a nuclear threat.

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Showing 15 comments
  • Ronald L. Waldron

    The Most Corrupt State Governments in the United States:

    1. Georgia 2.South Dakota 3. Wyoming 4. Virginia 5. Maine 6. South

    Carolina 7. North Dakota 8. Michigan 9. Tennessee 10. Alabama

    FEDERAL GOVERNMENT , AIPAC, and organized crime:

    Washington, DC is an easy place to be Jewish these days.There
    are some 200,000 Zionist Jews living in the area, making this the
    seventh-largest Jewish community in North America … No
    one would dispute that area Jews are disproportionately
    represented in the upper echelons of law, politics, medicine,
    science, journalism, accounting, education, and other professions.

    No election in modern America, would be thought complete without the domestic politicians, down to the ranks of mayors and city council members, rushing to appear before Z. Jewish organizations to reaffirm their fealty. While some Jewish agencies have persistently denied the existence of a Jewish vote,” says Stephen Isaacs, “just as persistently the politicians have pandered specifically to ‘Zionist’ interests and issues. The pandering has been especially observable since 1948, when the state of Israel was created.”

    By 1956, American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles complained that I am aware of how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews.On another occasion, long before Jews had built their modern political machine, he complained about the “terrific control the Jews have over the news media and the barrage which the Jews have built up on Congressmen … I am very much concerned over the fact that the Jewish influence here is completely dominating the scene and making it almost impossible to get Congress to do anything they don’t approve of. The Israeli Embassy is practically dictating to Congress through influential Jewish Zionist people in the country.”

    In 1984, Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, complained that
    “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to the Zionist. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wouldn’t write anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.”

    A distinction must be made, between ethnicity, which enriches American life and culture, and organized crime & ethnic interest groups, which sometimes press causes that usually derogate from the national interest. American elected politicians, adds the senator, have been subjected to recurrent pressures from what has come to be known as the Israel lobby. (AIPAC)

    NOW from 2000 and a Court appointed president under Zionist
    control, we have an urgent crisis in AMERICA.

    We need to demand reform. We as American’s no longer have
    faith in any politician or political party. Republican or Democrat.

    We need to rid ourselves of the existing Republican & Democrat
    congress. A rating of less than 9%, lowest rating ever. No way of
    reform due to the corruption involved.

    We need a complete new AMERICAN party. “THE AMERICAN LABOR PARTY” WITH jobs the #. one issue, complete reform
    next is the agenda. No lobby control of any member.

    Would you agree that officials both sides of the Isle
    have been aware, starting back as far as 1948 that
    a serious problem developed and has continued until
    this date.
    The UN must also be aware of ALL the atrocities,
    false flags, and corruption. People, no international
    organizations has the enforcement power you might

    STAND UP and be counted. Make your vote count.

    We thank governor Cuomo for his actions against
    corruption in government. May his attempts carry over
    to other State and Federal government agencies, and

    This note is five hours later: I just got my snail mail,
    with a letter from the New York State Income tax people.
    Audit again, this time they are taxing my Police Disability
    Income, that has always been Exempt for state tax.
    Tax Year 2010. Federal did the same year 2-3 months

    Do you think it possible the Audits (3), has anything to do
    with my exercising “Freedom of speech and press”?

    ALL congress members, present & Past should be charged with
    TREASON. Any Zionist involved with the BRIBES, should be charged with
    espionage. BUT since the development of HOME-LAND SECURITY with
    the top positions being duel citizens with Israel, and Zionist. NO ONE
    will be charged.

    FBI Investigated Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for Espionage:
    “Quashed case” mystery solved: culprit is once again secret Israeli intervention.

    We all know who should be sitting at Guantanamo Bay. Better yet face
    a firing squad.

    It is little wonder that Israeli spy Arnon Milchan is now so openly boasting about his years spent pilfering American nuclear weapons technology while working as a successful Hollywood movie producer. Yet another suspected Israeli spy, fugitive financier Marc Rich, benefited greatly when Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder (today the attorney general) was successfully lobbied by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to recommend a 2001 Clinton presidential pardon. History is unequivocal that all it takes is a few calls to the ever-compliant attorney general for a visiting delegation of Israeli government officials to subvert rule of law in America.


    President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that the Israeli lobby AIPAC, should
    not be registered as an American lobby, it is a completely foreign lobby with
    foreign interest ONLY.

    Jewish money in Washington D. C. was even crucial in the very founding of the modern state of Israel.They were key fundraisers for Harry Truman’s Presidential campaigns; they were also Zionists. Going against the will of his own State Department, Truman followed the Zionist line in supporting a 1947 United Nations vote for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections. Afterwards, said long time Democratic activist and brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy, Stephen Smith: “Two million dollars went aboard the Truman campaign train in a paper bag, and that’s what paid for the state of Israel.”

    John F. Kennedy had a strongly negative reaction in 1960 to the conditions Jewish contributors demanded for their donations to his presidential campaign (their “initial” contribution was $500,000). Seymour Hersh notes a conversation Kennedy had with a friend, newspaper columnist Charles L. Bartlett:
    “‘As an American citizen Kennedy was outraged,’ Bartlett recalled,
    ‘to have a Zionist group come to him and say: We know your
    campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bill, if you’ll let
    us have control of your Middle East policy.’ Kennedy, as a
    presidential candidate, also resented the crudity with which he’d
    been approached. ‘They wanted control,’ he angrily told Bartlett.”

    They knew they had Vice president Johnson in their pocket, we all know what happened next.
    Kennedy assassinated, Johnson, AIPAC, Mossad, and Israel were in bed together.
    Johnson followed the Zionist policies, and happy to do so. Of course the financial benefits were fantastic for Johnson How ever the long term results for America have been catastrophic.
    NOW, we have had all the false flag operations of Israel, 911, WMD, USS Liberty,Terrorist groups supplied and armed to provoke unrest and fear around the World. Armed to harm any anti-Zionist movement.

  • Ronald L. Waldron

    Congress sends Billions to Israel to get Millions back at Election
    time. Surprised, I would not think so, after 60 years of it.
    Now we borrow Trillions from China, for Wars all charged to
    the working class tax payer, and in return send all our top
    paying jobs there, OUT-SOURCED. yet NO ONE SEES the
    crimes involved. WHY, the controlled media and occupied
    government claims it classified material.
    Any one stating the TRUTH about any it is a “whistleblower”,
    a traitor, and have to go into asylum.
    They will discredit, and terrorize anyone seeking to get the
    TRUTH out.
    Several Journalist were assassinated during the Iraq war.
    The only Secrets involve the occupations of Israel of the
    US Congress, and Palestine ++++

  • tulsapeace

    Reblogged this on Tulsa Peace Fellowship and commented:
    Israel should be obliged to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), like any other civilized nation. IAEA inspectors should have full access to Israeli nuclear sites. A NWFZ in the Middle East is to everyone’s advantage.

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