Jeffrey LewisIsrael Wants Same Treatment as India

Wonder how our friends in Israel feel about that big, gaping hole we blew in the nonproliferation regime for India?

Jealous, according to Mark Hibbs:

During the last 18 months, Israeli officials have discreetly explored, including in bilateral discussions with their US government counterparts, how Israel might politically benefit from the US-India nuclear deal, well-placed diplomatic sources said last month.

According to officials close to the matter, Israel last year requested that the US propose to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG, that Israel, in addition to India, obtain an exemption from NSG rules requiring full-scope safeguards as a condition for trade. The US declined to support Israel’s request, these sources said.

Israel has nonetheless supported the US-India deal because it believes its long-term quest for what sources describe as associated membership in the NSG would be moved forward by the lifting of NSG sanctions against India on the basis of India’s nonproliferation track record, these sources said.


According to Israeli sources, some strategic thinkers in Israel, both inside and outside the government, hold the view that in the immediate wake of the US-India deal, Israel could demonstrate nonproliferation credentials stronger than India’s in qualifying for an NSG exemption. “If that happens Israel would also get certain political benefits” similar to those that India will enjoy, one Israeli expert said.

Mark Hibbs, “US rebuffed Israeli request for exemption from NSG trade rule,” Nuclear Fuel 32:1, January 1, 2007.

I had missed Israel’s “long-term quest for what sources describe as associated membership ” in the NSG, but I now notice little things like an April 2006 meeting with representatives of the NSG. Interesting.


  1. CKR (History)

    Would Israel admit to its arsenal of 200 or so nuclear weapons or would we be expected merely to commend its excellent nonproliferation record for not proliferating what it “won’t be the first to introduce” into the Middle East?

    And hey, Pakistan would like one of those too!

  2. Hass (History)

    No no, that’ won’t do. See, Israel’s nuclear weapons are “opaque”, dontcha know. We’re supposed to say “alleged nuclear weapons”. Didn’t you get the handout?