Archive for April 8th, 2010

About That Nuclear Deterrent… (updated)

According to Ma’ariv, the administration is now denying visas to Israeli nuclear scientists associated with the Dimona research facility:

Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor’s employees have told Israel’s Maariv daily that they have been having problems recently getting visas to the United States where they have for years attended seminars in  Chemistry, Physics and Nuclear Engineering. They also complain of being treated in an ‘insulting manner’ by President Obama’s people. Until recently, employees of the Nuclear Research Center routinely traveled to the United States for seminars and courses.

But reactor employees also complain of an American refusal to sell them reactor components that have routinely been sold to them by the United States.

At the same time, the administration is prepared to allow Turkey and Egypt hijack a conference aimed at nuclear non-proliferation to terrorists with demands that Israel sign the non-proliferation treaty.  Prime Minister Netanyahu has canceled a planned trip to Washington over the decision, apparently in violation of previous administration assurances (expiration date, April 8, 2010), with Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor leading the delegation instead.

Some of us have feared that the price of administration action against Iran’s nuclear program would be administration action against Israel’s.  The pretext for such a position would, of course, be garnering Islamic support for moves against Iran, as though the Arabs and Turkey weren’t equally worried about Iran getting a bomb.  Naturally, they see an opportunity to use administration disdain for Israel to score a major diplomatic victory.  Since an Iranian bomb would pose an existential threat to many of these regimes, they would seem to be gambling that 1) the administration will crack, and act against Iran even with Israel signing the NPT, or 2) that Israel will crack, and make its program open to international inspection.

UPDATE: The White House is denying that there has been a change in visa policy.  Value White House denials accordingly.

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