The international community on Friday took another step toward reversing the roles of Israel and Iran, and turning the Jewish state into the Middle East's nuclear "bad guy."
At the close of a month-long meeting in New York, the 189 member states of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed an agreement calling for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. The document stipulates that in 2012 a conference will be held aimed at enforcing that decision.
While that may sound like a reasonable idea, Israeli officials decried the fact that Israel was mentioned repeatedly both during the meetings and in the agreement, while Iran was not directly referenced even once.
A statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office at the weekend called the resolution "deeply flawed and hypocritical: It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world. It singles out Israel, the Middle East's only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Yet the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution."
Israel announced that since it is a non-signatory state, the NPT has no authority over it, and Jerusalem will not cooperate with the resolution's implementation. It noted that the problem is not with a state like Israel that never signed the treaty and more or may not be quietly in possession of nuclear weapons for self defense, but rather with a nation like Iran, which has signed the treaty, but flaunts it in order to openly threaten its enemies.
US President Barack Obama also criticized the focus on Israel at the NPT meeting and in the resolution, but nevertheless gave his stamp of approval to the document and the 2012 summit, which will ultimately work to force Israel to declare its nuclear arsenal and open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
Ha'aretz analyst Yossi Melman noted that the NPT meeting was only able to produce such a strong resolution because the Obama Administration had essentially betrayed Israel and its security. Melman noted that the same NPT signatories had tried to hold such a meeting in 2005, but were refused the cooperation of the Bush Administration. Without US involvement, the conference never happened.
But Obama, notes Melman, is far more interested in his own agenda, even at the cost of Israeli security. Obama knew the focus of the conference would be Israel, and that it's primary aim would be to strip the Jewish state of any nuclear weapons it may possess. In light of that, Obama's criticism of the NPT's focus on Israel comes across as far more hypocritical than the resolution itself.