When Mordechai Vanunu revealed Israel's massive nuclear programs capacity to the world through an interview with London's Sunday Times in 1986, many were shocked. Similar reactions were generated when the Iraqi President's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal fled to Amman and uttered to the press that Iraq is still capable of manufacturing nuclear warheads. Both men received a similar fate. Vanunu was kidnapped by Israeli Mossad agents, shipped to Israel, and sentenced to 18 years to be spent in solitary confinement for treason. Kamal went back to Baghdad willingly, only to be killed by his own family, who accused him of shaming them, as he was also a traitor. While both governments reacted differently to the act of their fleeing citizens, the world has also acted differently to the findings.
The United Nations was outraged to hear of Iraq's nuclear capabilities (notice that Iraq was alleged to have the capabilities to produce weapons of mass destruction and has not yet obtained these weapons). An additional team was sent to Baghdad to investigate the findings, and the proud United States strengthened its arguments and therefore lengthened its sanctions. Everyone had a reason to believe that Iraq is truly a threat to its neighbors. In Vanunu's case however, the shock quickly faded and the fate of the former Israeli scientist who dared to speak is an occasional theme embraced by human rights groups every now and then.
Iraq is now lacking not only weapons needed to defend itself from a daily aggression, but also is failing to even feed its fragile children and to care for its sick ones. However the US, Britain and others who have vowed to continue its genocide against the people of Iraq, have designed a shrewd scheme to replace the government and disturb the social and religious fabric that holds Iraqi society together. In the Israeli case, nothing is mentioned, save an occasional cry for justice from an Arab state, an activist or a sincere politician, even though Israel is accused of having a fully operating and ready to use nuclear stockpile, according to occasional leakage of information.
Egypt was the first to revive the recent criticism of the Israeli nuclear program. Ossama al-Baz, an advisor to President Hosni Mubarak predicted in an Egyptian Television interview that "the US's double-standard policy on Israel's nuclear arms will change after the conclusion of the peace with all the Arab parties." He explained that "Israel will then be incapable of repeating that it is a small state surrounded by powerful and aggressive states."
Al-Baz's statement was timed with Mubarak's acceptance of his country's participation in multilateral Middle East peace talks held in Moscow in early February. Earlier talks were doomed to failure and were frozen for three and a half years as a result of Israel's refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Later on it arrogantly refused to submit its nuclear facilities to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Nuclear technician Morgechai Vanunu wasn't, in fact, the last Israeli to speak of his county's nuclear arms. Others did so and still do. In a public parliamentary debate regarding Israel's top secret nuclear weapons, Arab MP, Issam Makhoul warned the world of up to 300 nuclear warheads, which Israel currently possesses. While right-wing Jewish members tried desperately to distract Makhoul from carrying out his speech, the determined Arab MP managed to get his message through. "All the world knows that Israel has a vast warehouse of atomic, biological and chemical weapons which serves as the anchor for the Middle East arms race," he sad.
Why this entire Israeli pileup of weapons of mass destruction? And why this lingering silence, especially in the West, when such a question is brought to its attention?
Justifying the US's double standards, according to Mr. al-Baz, is unfit and indeed irrational, although Egypt has all the right in the world to protest such an injustice. By saying that the Arab-Israeli conflict was a convincing argument as to why Israel should carry 300 warheads, is an argument that can be used by any country in military conflict with its neighbors. If Iran, Iraq and Libya were demonized for mere allegations of attempting to manufacture such weapons, shouldn't Israel be forced to destroy its arsenal?
And because the US's perception of Israel's nuclear arms is evidently not based on Israel's power of rational persuasion, there are no guarantees that the US position will change, even after final peace accords are singed between Arabs states and Israel.
Although speaking out against Israel's nuclear quest is important, it is obviously not enough, for if you find those who dared to speak, you will find very a few who dared to listen and to act upon what they find fair and appropriate. While Vanunu was sentenced to 18 years, fighting mental illness caused by isolation, and Makhoul was labeled as a "spokesman for Arab terrorists", Israel's most known secret shall always present a lively example to those in doubt of Israel's influence. Such influence has also succeeded in helping Israel avoid the consequence of its greatest crimes, while others are being punished for crimes for which they were never even indicted.