A UN General Assembly resolution calls upon Israel to open its nuclear program to inspection "without further delay". While long known to have a nuclear arsenal, Israel has never admitted officially that it exists.
As illustrated on the appended tape, many analysts claim that Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is not so much a deterrent as a cause of regional instability. Violence such as rockets from Gaza and suicide attacks is not deterred by possessing nuclear weapons.
In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician, who opposed Israel's development of nuclear weapons, revealed details of the program to the press in 1986. After being lured to Italy, Vanunu was drugged and abducted to Israel by Mossad agents. He was convicted of treason and espionage and spent 18 years in prison, 11 of them in solitary.
Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity about the program: Israel has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons, instead repeating over the years that it would not be the first country to "introduce" nuclear weapons to the Middle East, leaving ambiguity as to whether it means it will not create, will not disclose, will not make first use of the weapons or possibly some other interpretation of the phrase.[
Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) claiming that to do so would be contrary to its national security interests.
The UN resolution was approved by a 174 to 6 margin with 6 abstentions as well. The resolution calls on Israel to immediately join the NPT as well as opening its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).However, the resolution also called for a conference to create a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
A planned conference on the issue was scheduled for mid-December in Helsinki. All the Middle Eastern Arab nations and Iran had agreed to attend. However, the U.S. announced on Dec. 23 that because of political turmoil in the region and Iran's position on nonproliferation. No mention was made of the fact that Israel refused to attend!
There is almost no possibility of Israel agreeing to join the NPT or of paying any attention to a UN General Assembly Resolution. It has already violated almost 100 of these. These resolutions are not binding but simply represent an opinion of the international community. However, Israel has also violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. These resolutions are binding on the member nations. There would no doubt be more except that the U.S. often vetoes resolutions in the Security Council against Israel. The U.S. even vetoes resolutions that express U.S. policy. Last February, the U.S. vetoed a resolution in the Security Council that condemned settlement construction by Israel.
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