Israel declines appeals to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009
Image: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson.

On Friday, the 189 Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed to a final resolution calling for steps toward the banning of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East. The resolution directs United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to organize a conference of all the Middle East states.

The resolution singles out Israel, calling on "all states in the Middle East that have not yet done so to accede to the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states so as to achieve its universality at an early date." In an official statement from the Prime Minister's Office, Israel said the resolution, "is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world." The statement went on to state, "[the resolution] singles out Israel, the Middle East's only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Yet the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution."

An Arab-backed proposal for a WMD-Free zone in the Middle East, supported in 1995 by the NPT Conference, was never acted upon.

As a non-signatory state, Israel is not bound by any resolutions of the NPT.