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July 8th, 2010 at 6:47 am

Avner Cohen on Israel’s “Secret” Nuclear Arsenal

Earlier this week, NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed Avner Cohen author of the forthcoming The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb.

In the interview Cohen discusses Israel’s policy to never publicly acknowledge that it has possession of nuclear weapons. He also analyzes the ways in which Obama has accepted the policy of Israel’s opacity about the issue.

He describes how a tacit consensus developed among other nations that allowed Israel to have the bomb in light of the Holocaust and their situation in the 1960s. When pressed by Siegel whether “a policy … with deep roots in the postwar history” still made sense, Cohen responded:

Israelis believe so, and I think it’s a great deal a matter of habits. I think it’s time to start looking afresh on this, slow, responsibly to try to find a way to normalize those issue and to find a better way for Israel to come clean with it.

I think the world is ready, even most of the Arabs are ready. So I think that ultimately Israel with the rest of the world, it would be nice not to have nuclear weapons, to be part of the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. But I think the time has come to think in a responsible way how for Israel to come clean, to come with putting its nuclear weapons on the table.

To listen to the full interview:

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