While it flew somewhat under the radar of the mainstream news cycle, the Obama Administration last week apparently tried to shame Israel into supporting its dangerous Iran nuclear deal by declassifying historic documents regarding the Jewish state’s own nuclear program.
Many saw it as no accident that the Nixon-era State Department documents were made public just as Israel is leading the charge to have Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement defeated in Congress.
The release of the 1,100-page official report, which covers meetings from 1969–1976, would seem to be an effort to draw moral equivalency between Israel and Iran, and between America’s approach to both nations’ respective nuclear programs.
Most notably, a July 19, 1969 memorandum from then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger to President Richard Nixon outlined the proposed approach to Israel, and highlighted disagreement between the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, and State Department on what demands to present the Jewish state.
All involved agreed that Israel must be made to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Everyone agreed that, as a minimum, we want Israel to sign the NPT. This is not because signing will make any difference in Israel’s actual nuclear program because Israel could produce warheads clandestinely,” the memo said. “Israel’s signature would, however, give us a publicly feasible issue to raise with the Israeli government — a way of opening the discussion. It would also publicly commit Israel not to acquire nuclear weapons.”
The Joint Chiefs of Staff “felt that if Israel’s program becomes known, we should be in a position to say we did everything in our power to prevent Israel from going nuclear,” while the Department of Defense felt that “we could live with the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons provided they were not deployed.”
The State Department, meanwhile, believed “we should try to keep Israel from going any further with its nuclear weapons program — it may be so close to completion that Israel would be willing — and make a record for ourselves of having tried.”
The Obama White House claimed the release of the documents was routine declassification that just happened to coincide with debate over the Iran deal.
But many say it is even more cause for concern that the Obama Administration and the West intend to do very little to actually stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.
The content of the documents would suggest that, just as it did with Israel, when Iran goes nuclear the White House will simply throw up its hands and say, “We tried.”
Except, Iran isn’t Israel, and trying to subtly draw moral equivalence between the two again demonstrates for many the moral bankruptcy of America’s policies.