Reacting to “this post”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1919/on-israeli-nuclear-disclosure, an astute reader observes that
bq. Without that taboo [of disclosure], some Israeli officials would make nuclear threats fortnightly. If you think it’s hard to deal with the Iranians now, just imagine if some Israeli loose cannon were threatening to annihilate Tehran on a routine basis.
The reader also cited a “piece”:http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/31/opinion/edcohen.php written by Avner Cohen a couple of years back. Note the part about “away from politics”:
Israel is now uniquely distinguished among all nuclear states in its
legacy of extreme nuclear caution, keeping nuclear affairs low
profile, nearly invisible and away from politics.
One more reason why the rise of nuclear Iran is so perilous is that it threatens to change the subtle nuclear ground rules in the Middle East that were built upon the nuclear legacy of the 1967 war. This legacy is a reminder of why a nuclear Iran must be prevented. If Iran’s goes nuclear, then Israel’s reluctant style of being nuclear will no doubt be replaced by a major nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East.
I hadn’t thought much about the potential domestic Israeli implications or their ramifications. I’m still not sure that Israeli nuclear threats would result in more nuclear weapons states in the region; such threats would indeed represent a qualitative change in regional countries’ security situation, but those governments would still face some serious constraints, regardless of Tel Aviv’s actions. Also, it’s not clear that the security situation would change _so much_ that states would develop nuclear weapons; my impression is that many governments may already view Israel’s nuclear weapons as a threat.
Still, the point is very well taken. And, as I said, I don’t want this science project to be undertaken.