Israeli President Shimon Peres last week stated that Israel's successful development of nuclear power (including the believed development of nuclear weapons) had been a major contributor to peace and stability in the region.
"Science itself is neutral, but we can choose to use it in devastating ways," said Peres, pointing out that the primary applications of Israel's nuclear power had been in industry, medical research and agriculture.
"Man must decide what use he makes of nuclear power," the president continued, explaining that Israel's nuclear reactor in the southern town of Dimona "was intended to promote peace - and directly or indirectly it has done so."
Peres' remarks were made during the inauguration of a sprawling new science park in the Negev town of Beersheva, the centerpiece of which is a replica of the core at the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
The president hopes the park and the open exposure to Israel's long-held nuclear secrets will promote the raising of a new generation of Israeli scientists who will take the Jewish state far beyond its current capabilities.
Israel has never officially acknowledged possessing nuclear weapons, though it is widely accepted that the Jewish state has an arsenal of several hundred warheads. That fact has likely prevented a repeat of the full-scale existential wars Israel was forced to fight in 1948, 1967 and 1973.