No better time then the present!
Syria deal shines light on Israel's chemical arsenal
Israel signed the landmark international treaty banning the production or use of chemical weapons two decades ago, but it is among a handful of nations that have never ratified the deal. While foreign experts widely believe that Israel likely possesses a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, Israeli officials refuse to confirm or deny the existence of any such arsenal.Why so secretive Israeli Defense Minister? Hiding something?
Defense Minister Amir Peretz declined to discuss the country’s chemical weapons capabilities but said the international community’s attitude toward Israel is “different” from Syria.
As a member of the 'international community' I would like to see Israel equally held to account.
Israel has been similarly vague about foreign reports of a nuclear arsenal, a policy of ambiguity aimed at deterring its enemies. But following the weekend deal between the U.S. and Russia to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014, voices have emerged calling on the government to take similar steps.
“I do believe that the Israeli government should be open about this issue, should say what arsenal, if any, it does have and should strive for an international agreement to keep all these kinds of weapons outside of the Middle East,” said opposition lawmaker Dov Khenin.
The liberal daily Haaretz wrote in an editorial Monday that the chemical disarmament of Syria gives Israel an opportunity to finally ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention.
“It would be a pity if in the future Israel finds itself in the position of Syria — forced to sign the convention under international pressure,” the newspaper said.
Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said Israel could not ratify the treaty in such an uncertain environment.Well, if Israel can't ratify the treaty due to an uncertain environment why should Syria?
Why should any other nation? Israeli stance = Hypocrisy
Particularly when one considers that Israel has been involved so deeply in creating the 'uncertain environment' present today in Syria.
From earlier today: Ambassador Oren: Israel has wanted Assad ousted since BEFORE Syria war began
“Israel’s lack of transparency has led to a continued suspicion that a chemical weapons program is in place, although we are unable to confirm this or provide any further details,”
In a report this month, Foreign Policy magazine published what it said was a secret 1983 CIA document outlining evidence that Israel possessed a chemical weapons stockpile of unknown size, likely developed in the 1970.
“Several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and nonpersistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, matched with suitable delivery systems,” the document says.
There will be more info forthcoming!