US Kills Nuclear-Free Mideast Conference, Citing Israel

. . DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY . .

an article by Jason Ditz, Anti-War

Four weeks of UN efforts to get together a conference on a nuclear weapons ban in the Middle East ended in failure today, with the US spurning the deal on the conference, citing Israel.

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Though the US initially backed the nuclear-free Middle East effort, they later realized Israel is the only nation in the region with such arms, and has since criticized the effort as unfair.

Though US officials have been to Israel in recent days to try to get them to sign off on some vague notion of an eventual nuclear-free Middle East, there was no progress, as Israel won’t even publicly affirm their arsenal.

After failing to get Israel to okay the deal, the US angrily blamed Egypt for the whole thing, saying they’d “cynically manipulated” the process by bringing up Israel’s arsenal at all.

(Question for this article: Can we abolish all nuclear weapons? )

 

Readers’ comments are invited on this article and question. See below.

2 thoughts on “US Kills Nuclear-Free Mideast Conference, Citing Israel

  1. Everyone will be a loser and no one a winner when the present nuclear powers base their security on Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and plant the seeds for an Armageddon.
    The testing of two nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is now regarded as a war crime and the humanitarian consequences are dominating the arguments for prohibition. Before and during the NPT Review Conf 2015 civil society organisations (CSO) have supported the Austrian Pledge and clearly revealed the Power Elite.
    Respect for the Golden Rule of ethics remains the only hope for human survival.

  2. Not all the news was bad from the NPT conference this year, as indicated in the article by Xanthe Hall of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. We reprint excerpts here.

    “After the NPT Review Conference was over, we couldn’t get out of the building. The place was deserted. All those grim security men who had barred any shortcuts had gone home. Eventually we found a last door open at the other side of the building. It was Friday evening of Memorial Weekend in New York. The subway was full of young faces, singing along to a boombox, on their way to parties. Life goes on and nothing had changed just because a few hundred people had spent the last four weeks in air-conditioned rooms, talking about nuclear weapons till they were blue in the face.

    In the end there was no agreement. Hundreds of statements had been given, instructions had been delivered from the capitals, working papers and chairs’ reports had been drafted, submitted, amended, rejected. . .

    And yet something did happen at the NPT. Austria’s Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, Disarmament Person of 2014, described it in his closing speech on behalf of 47 countries:

    “At this Conference, we have witnessed a clear shifting of the parameters, the focus, the tone and the balance of the discussion and the engagement of all countries of the treaty on nuclear weapons. Non-nuclear weapon states are today more empowered to demand their security concerns be taken in consideration on an equal basis.” . . .

    This time 107 states endorsed the “Humanitarian Pledge” to work towards closing the legal gap. That means finding a legal instrument that would prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Civil society applauded this as the real outcome of the 2015 NPT Review Conference.. . .

    As Costa Rica said in their closing statement: “The humanitarian conferences demonstrate that democracy has come to nuclear disarmament, even if democracy is yet to come to the NPT.” The NPT cannot deliver, it needs a new democratic process for a ban treaty to implement itself. Costa Rica finished their statement with these words, that we should take to our hearts:

    “Despite what has happened at this Review Conference, there is no force can stop the steady march of those who believe in human security, democracy and international law. History honors only the brave, those who have the courage to think differently and dream of a better future for all. This is not the time to lament what has happened here, as lamentable as it may be. Now is the time to work for what is to come, the world we want and deserve. Let us all, boldly and finally, give peace a chance.”

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