. . . Israel's supporters in the
United States go to enormous lengths to make the argument that there's no
difference between Israel's interests and America's interests. Because once
you open the possibility that the two countries have different interests,
then they're forced to choose, in a very public fashion. And, of course,
they'll invariably choose Israel's interests over America's interests and
that is not something that they want to have happen in public. This is why
they've gone to great lengths to create this situation where it looks like
Obama and Netanyahu have patched up all their differences, to the extent
that there are differences they'll be handled behind closed doors because
they don't want those differences out in the open.
But, of course, as we all know no two countries have the same interests.
This has nothing to do with Israel, or the United States. It's just the way
international politics works. There are going to be cases where it's in
Israel's interest to do certain things, and not in America's interest to
allow Israel to do those things. And there is no issue I believe where that
is clearer than the nuclear issue. As I made clear in my opening set of
remarks, I do believe it was in Israel's interest to develop nuclear
weapons. By the way, I think it's in Iran's interest today to develop
nuclear weapons. If I was president Ahmadinejad's national security
advisor, and he asked me what to do, I would tell him to acquire a nuclear
deterrent. Is that in America's interest?
Iran and the United States have different interests. No two states have the
same interests. I believe it was in Israel's interest to acquire nuclear
weapons. I'm hardly surprised at all of the activities the Israelis engaged
in, that Grant so eloquently described, that's the way states behave in the
international system, and they go to great lengths to disguise their
But it was not then in America's interest for Israel to acquire nuclear
weapons and it is not in our interest now for Israel to have nuclear
weapons. This is why, as Grant described, President Kennedy went to great
lengths to prevent Israel from acquiring nuclear weapons and to get them to
join the NPT. And president Johnson a very, very interesting figure on this
whole subject of US-Israeli relations president Johnson may have been
willing to give Israel a green light, or an orange light, however you want
to characterize it but as we can see from Grant's comments and from reading
the literature on this that down below all sorts of people were protesting.
All sorts of people in the national security establishment wanted to go to
great lengths to stop Israel from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Because again it wasn't in our interest.
And the two best examples that show how it's not in our national interest
are what happened during the 1973 war. During that conflict, the Israelis
looked like they were in dire straits for the first few days. And they
wanted the United States to immediately resupply them. The Nixon
administration said "no" because the Nixon administration judged quite
correctly that once the Israelis recovered from the initial surprise that
they would do very well. And therefore the US government did not what to
give the Israelis at that point more arms. The Israelis then threatened to
pull the nuclear weapons out, and began talking about using nuclear weapons.
That, not surprisingly, spooked the Americans who immediately began
resupplying the Israelis even though they did not what to do that.
That's a form of nuclear coercion.
From Israel's point of view this was smart policy from our point of view it
was not good. The second example is what's been going on with regards to
nuclear proliferation. It's quite clear, and you see this from the recent
review conference, that the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons again we're
not fooling anybody with this opaque rhetoric the fact that Israel has
nuclear weapons is making it very difficult for the United States to stem
the tide on proliferation and to move to a nuclear free Middle East. So
again, it's just not in our interest and it would have been much better if
from our point of view we could have prevented Israel from acquiring nuclear
weapons. . . .
[Transcript of John J. Mearsheimer's remarks at the IRmep conference at the International Spy
Museum "Israel's Nuclear Arsenal: Espionage, Opacity and Future" Washington,
DC, July 7, 2010. Watch the video, listen to remarks from
Blankfort reviews US positioning toward the NPT review conference call
for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. He recounts first hand
experiences with an ADL/Apartheid South Africa intelligence agent targeting
Grant F. Smith
explores how collaborating in Israeli "strategic ambiguity" undermines rule
of law and governance in the United States. He reviews the NUMEC nuclear
diversion case and a new Senate attempt to exonerate those involved.
Suransky reviews Apartheid South African sales of yellow-cake uranium to
Israel's military establishment and argues that AIPAC contributed to US
Mearsheimer discusses why Israel acquired a nuclear arsenal and the
dangers it presents to US interests.
[The question, mostly directed to employees of the clandestine service
branch, was: Which are the best allies among friendly spy services, in terms
of liaison with the CIA, and which are the worst? In other words, who acts
like, well, friends?
[A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three
more are planned. Now SPIEGEL has learned that Israel is arming the
submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The German government has
known about Israel's nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its
official denials.--"Israel Deploys Nuclear
Weapons on German-Built Submarines," spiegel.de, June 3, 2012]