In this issue we look at the fourth of the lies collated by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre that are commonly presented by Israel’s opponents in the Israel-Palestine dispute.

Lie # 4

Nuclear Israel and not Iran is the greatest threat to peace and stability.

Simon Wiesenthal Centre responds

“Though never acknowledged by Jerusalem, it is generally assumed that Israel has nuclear weapons. But unlike Pakistan, India and North Korea, Israel never conducted nuclear tests. In 1973, when its very survival was imperilled by the surprise Egyptian-Syrian Yom Kippur attack, many assumed that Israel would use nuclear weapons – but it did not.

Contrary to public condemnations, many Arab leaders privately express relief that Israeli nuclear deterrence exists. While Israel has never threatened anyone, Tehran’s mullahs daily threaten to “wipe Israel from the map”. The US and Europe can afford to wait to see what the Iranian regime does with its nuclear ambitions. But Israel cannot. She is on the front lines and remembers every day the price the Jewish people paid for not taking Hitler at his word. Israel is not prepared to sacrifice another six million Jews on the altar of the world’s indifference.”

Recent developments

Iran has consistently claimed that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only and that it has signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which provides for inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Further, the Iranians claim that the Ayatollah Ali Komenei has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) against the development and use of nuclear weapons.

However there are serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program because:

  • Iran does not need nuclear energy. It would be much cheaper for it to produce electricity from oil.
  • Iran has previously breached its obligations under the NPT.
  • Iran has constructed secret nuclear facilities.
  • There is a history of Iran supporting  international terrorism.
  • Iran has enriched uranium to 20%  which is a significant step toward producing fuel for a nuclear bomb.
  • Production of  electricity from a nuclear reactor only needs nuclear fuel enriched to between 3.5%–5%2.
  • In 2012, sixteen US intelligence agencies reported that Iran was pursuing research and developing infrastructure that could enable the production of nuclear weapons. The agencies claimed, however, that there was no evidence that Iran planned to produce weapons.
  • Debkafile reports that Tehran’s space program demonstrates its missiles’ capability to reach any point on earth.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are concerned about the recent interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries, that is, the 5  permanent members of the UN Security Council  (US, Russia, China, UK, France) + 1 (Germany).  Saudi Arabia has indicated that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons she also will seek nuclear arms5. It is interesting that Saudi Arabia has never expressed the same fears about Israel’s nuclear weapons.

Saudi prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, recently expressed the view that “Iran is the real threat in the Middle East and not Israel6”.

Biblical perspective

There is an obvious and growing accord between Saudi Arabia and Israel over their mutual opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. A recent release of diplomatic cables by Wikileaks7 also demonstrates a “good and personal relationship” between the then Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Minister Abdulla Ibn Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. These signs and other indications of a general warming of relations between Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Countries of the Arabian Peninsula and Israel is some thing we might expect from Ezekiel 38. In verse 13 we find mention of Sheba and Dedan (names which we have associated from the time of Dr John Thomas with the territory of the Arabian Peninsula) mentioned with Tarshish and the young lions opposing the Gogian invasion of Israel.