El Baradei in Wonderland

IAEA chief Mohammed El Baradei has asked Israel to disarm its nuclear arsenal because it destabilises the Middle East

He warned that the belief Israel was safer because it possessed such weapons was false, as other Middle Eastern countries felt threatened by their presence.

‘Frankly, I am not happy with the status quo, because I see a lot of frustration in the Middle East due to Israel’s sitting on nuclear weapons or [its] nuclear weapons capability, while other parties in the Middle East are committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty,’ he said.

Mr ElBaradei added that Israel and its neighbours should enter dialogue to halt the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

Is the UN able to guarantee Israel’s security in a dangerous neighbourhood should it do so? The frustration in the Middle East is not just because of Israel sitting on nuclear weapons, and neither will the frustration disappear should Israel decide to so disarm. The IAEA is no lay observer – it probably is fully aware of the complex nature of the Israel-Palestinian issue. For ElBaradei to oversimplify the issue and point to Israeli possession of nuclear weapons is unhelpful and misleading. I think Israel is fully entitled to its nuclear arsenal – which I may point out has not come at the cost of its citizens ‘eating grass’.