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

 

Iraq recaptures Amerli from Islamic State in biggest success so far

Iran says new sanctions cast doubt on US sincerity

Shebab target intelligence HQ in Somalia

Libyan Islamist militiamen control US embassy compound

Syria ‘guests’ suffer as prejudice grows in Turkey

Israel shoots down drone over occupied Golan Heights

Yemen army suffers heavy losses in new wave of Qaeda attacks

Turkish army breaks silence on Kurdish peace talks

Islamic State offers grim inspiration to African extremists

Israel expropriates 988 acres of Palestinian land in West Bank

Saudi King calls for ‘strong and rapid action’ against jihadists

Jihadists distribute Yazidi women as spoils of war to fighters

Gulf countries resolve six-month dispute with Qatar

Egypt reduces Badie death sentence to life in prison

AU forces liberate former Shebab stronghold in Somalia

Philippines enters war in Syria!

Kurds put aside old rivalries to battle jihadists in Iraq

US imposes new sanctions on Iran

US supplies arms to Lebanon to fight jihadists

Britain terror threat level raised to ‘severe’

Libya conflict takes its toll on migrants

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief