First Published: 2013-10-08

 

NYTimes Again Ignores Israel’s Nukes

 

The US news media’s bias in favor of Israel and against Israel’s enemies represents a journalistic failure to honestly inform the American people about issues that can lead to war. A glaring example is the double standard applied to Israel’s rogue nuclear arsenal, notes Robert Parry.

 

Middle East Online

If a country with a large but undeclared nuclear arsenal threatens war against a country without a single nuclear bomb, you might think that a serious news organization would note the existing nuclear arsenal at least in passing. But if the country doing the threatening is Israel and the country being threatened is Iran, the New York Times can’t seem to find space to mention Israel’s rogue nuclear weapons.

The fact certainly was relevant to the Times’ story about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s United Nations speech which focused on his fear that Iran might build one nuclear bomb. And Netanyahu’s threat of war against Iran was not exactly subtle, as he referenced the need for “credible military threats” and vowed that “if Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

For Israel’s threat to unilaterally destroy Iran’s thus-far peaceful nuclear program to be “credible,” Israel’s nuclear weapons – at least its smaller tactical nukes – must be considered as possible elements of that attack. Indeed, I’ve been told that Israel’s tentative war plans against Iran include potential use of low-yield nuclear bombs to shatter some of Iran’s hardened sites.

But the New York Times article on Wednesday made no mention of Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. Neither did a companion Times editorial which catalogued reasons why the world should be skeptical of Iran’s repeated insistence that it has no intention to build a nuclear bomb. The Times wrote:

“Iran hid its nuclear program from United Nations inspectors for nearly 20 years, and the country is enriching uranium to a level that would make it possible to produce bomb-grade nuclear material more quickly. It has also pursued other activities, like developing high-voltage detonators and building missiles that experts believe could only have nuclear weapons-related uses. These facts make it hard not to view the upcoming American-brokered negotiations skeptically.”

Given the Times’ excoriation of Iran over its alleged secrecy, basic journalistic fairness would seem to require that the Times point out that Israel has hidden its actual nuclear weapons arsenal from the United Nations for longer than 20 years – and Israel has gone far beyond simply pursuing some related activities, but actually has put sophisticated delivery systems in place.

The context of Israel’s regional nuclear weapons monopoly also sheds light on why Iran might actually think it needs a nuclear weapon as a deterrent against the possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike by Israel. Yet, the Times didn’t include a simple sentence acknowledging that Israel itself possesses nuclear weapons.

Surely, if the Times did publish such a sentence in its articles on Netanyahu’s belligerent UN speech, the editors would have gotten some angry e-mails from staunch Israel backers and might have lost some subscriptions. But such fears do not justify journalistic cowardice and malfeasance.

Even the Washington Post, which has served in recent years as the media flagship for America’s neoconservatives, recognized its journalistic duty to acknowledge the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons. In its story about Netanyahu’s speech, the Post included this simple sentence at the end of a paragraph deep down in the article: “Israel possesses an undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal.”

The sentence didn’t amount to much. The Post could have done a lot more to elaborate on this reality and its relevance to Iran’s behavior. But its inclusion represented at least a minimal nod to journalistic ethics. The Times couldn’t bring itself to do even that.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Consortiumnews

 

Erdogan resumes Gulen arrests after referendum win

France says has proof that Syrian regime behind 'chemical attack'

Trump says Assad's future 'not a deal breaker' on Syria

Iraq holding hundreds of millions of Qatar’s ransom money

Global leaders call for ridding world 'forever' of chemical arms

Exiled Turkish journalist urges EU to confront Erdogan

Morocco seizes 420 tonnes of plastic bags in year since ban

Mass funeral for dozens slain in Syria bus attack

Qatar insists Baghdad had ‘full knowledge’ of hostage deal

UN eyes new Yemen peace talks

Turkey opposition heads to European court to challenge referendum

Turkey says informed US, Russia prior to Kurdish strikes

Iraqi forces liberate ancient city of Hatra from IS

Saudi fire stops explosives-laden boat from Yemen

50 Syria migrants stranded on Morocco-Algeria border

Libya asks EU for patrol boats to stem migrant wave

Bangladesh approves Saudi-funded mosque project

German Chancellor regrets Israel snub of foreign minister

UAE sentences Iranian to 10 years for sanctions breach

IS using weaponised drones in battle for key Syria dam

Saudi government shake-up strengthens position of king's son

Israel allows NGO director visa after 'bias' row

Kuwait suspect confesses to plotting IS attacks

Russia has thwarted IS attack on far east oil hub Sakhalin

Death toll in Turkish air raids on Syria Kurds rises to 28

Draft resolution to pressure Polisario to withdraw from Guerguerat

Baghdad condemns Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish forces

Iran, major powers to review adherence to nuclear deal

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in Iraq, Syria

IS executes Iraqi civilians in Mosul

Netanyahu cancels talks with German FM over NGO meetings

Qatar World Cup workers receive random health checks

Libyan government calls for foreign intervention as fighting spreads

Tunisia parliament votes to ease harsh drug law

Nostalgia dominates Iraqi Ba’ath conference in Spain

Young Iraqi innovator building home-made drones

Moroccans call on Le Pen voters to quit country

Turkey court rejects opposition challenge to referendum result

Spain arrests 4 for links to Belgium IS attacks

Iraq forces push towards UNESCO site in Hatra

Israel appoints country's first female sharia judge

Frontline clinic is window to hell of IS-held Mosul

Iraq forces retake west Mosul neighbourhood from IS

Iraqi Kurds lament ‘unacceptable’ Turkish air strikes

Khamenei urges Iran candidates to focus on home