Oops! Deleted Tweet By Israel's Former PM Disclosed Nuke Arsenal

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 07, 2023 - 03:20 PM

In a major faux pax in US-Israeli relations, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged the existence of the country's nuclear weapon arsenal via Twitter -- then deleted the tweet, presumably after realizing he'd violated the long-standing US-Israeli practice of pretending that arsenal doesn't exist. 

Barak's Tuesday tweet addressed growing worries about the growing presence of ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious factions in Israel's government. Finance minister Bezalel Smotrich and his Religious Zionism party, for example, openly aspire to turn Israel into a theocracy

Barak wrote: 

“In conversations between Israelis and Western diplomatic officials, there are deep concerns raised of the possibility that if the coup in Israel succeeds, a messianic dictatorship — that possesses nuclear weapons and fanatically wishes for a confrontation with Islam centered on the Temple Mount will be established in the heart of the Middle East.”  

Thanks in part to a former nuclear technician's 1986 revelations, Israel is widely known to have a nuclear arsenal, with one estimate sizing it at 90 warheads. However, it's never joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It's just one of only five countries in the world that haven't done so, along with North Korea, India, Pakistan and South Sudan. 

That combination of facts means every dollar of US aid to Israel breaks American law. As Brian McGlinchey explains at Stark Realities:

"U.S. aid to Israel [is] illegal under the Symington Amendment of 1976, which bars economic and military assistance to countries that acquire nuclear reprocessing technology without submitting to international safeguards and inspections."

Israel has never officially acknowledged its nuclear power, and the United States government caters to Israel's policy of so-called "nuclear ambiguity." However, there have been several occasions where US documents or officials have acknowledged the fact, typically either under pointed questioning or in communications they thought would be kept secret. 

For example, in a 2015 email to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was published by Wikileaks, an assistant secretary of state said, “What Israeli military leaders really worry about—but cannot talk about—is losing their nuclear monopoly.”

Only rarely does the Washington press corps confront US officials about their ongoing conspiracy to break American law where billions of dollars of annual aid to Israel are concerned. Journalist Sam Husseini is a welcome and repeat exception to that sad pattern. In February, he treated us to this grilling of State Department spokesman Ned Price: