Poll: Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program Should be Acknowledged and Inspected

Nearly 65 percent of Americans believe Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program should be officially acknowledged. Almost 55 percent believe the program should be subject to international inspections.

The IRmep poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent, was fielded June 4-6 by Google Consumer Surveys and received 1,518 responses.

In May, 2015 the US, UK and Canada blocked a United Nations initiative to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East in order to avoid any review of Israel, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In contrast, the new poll finds broad popular American support for bringing the region’s only existing program out of the shadows.

Israel maintains a “nuclear ambiguity” policy of neither confirming nor denying possession of nuclear weapons. Since the Nixon administration, American presidents have enforced a gag policy in the US. Federal employees are currently banned from discussing Israel’s arsenal under threat of losing security clearances, job loss and criminal prosecution. Major news media organizations generally fail to cover Israel’s impact on proliferation citing lack of official acknowledgment. In 2009 President Obama refused to answer a direct question about the arsenal.

Presently, according to the poll, only 35% of Americans support such continued official silence on the program.

The pretense of official ignorance is increasingly difficult to maintain. In 1986 Israeli dissident Mordecai Vanunu released photos and other compelling evidence about the program. In 2008 ex-US president Jimmy Carter confirmed Israel had at least 150 nuclear weapons. In 2012 the FBI released files linking Benjamin Netanyahu to an international ring that smuggled nuclear triggers out of the US. In February 2015 the Department of Defense released a 1987 report about the advanced state of Israel’s nuclear weapons production facilities and hydrogen bomb project. 63.9 percent of Americans believe Israel has nuclear weapons.

Taxpayers funding more foreign aid to Israel (PDF) than any other country are among the biggest losers. At the National Press Club on April 10 IRmep estimated $234 billion in US aid has been unlawfully delivered to Israel since 1976. The Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961 prohibit US aid to countries with clandestine nuclear weapons facilities. That aid, if properly disgorged, would average $1,909.54 per US taxpayer.

Grant F. Smith is the author of America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government. He currently serves as director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington (IRmep), D.C. Read other articles by Grant, or visit Grant’s website.

14 thoughts on “Poll: Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program Should be Acknowledged and Inspected”

    1. In 2012 I ran for US HOUSE on a platform to END Israel's Nuclear Deceptions and Occupation of Palestine. Also to END Federal regulations of cannabis.
      I garnered nearly 8,000 votes against the now 11th term incumbent and wrote my experience in my 4th book: "IMAGINE: Vanunu's Wait for LIBERTY, Remembering The USS LIBERTY and My Life as a Candidate of Conscience" http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb1047949

  1. In April The National Security Archive of George Washington University published documents detailing the discovery of Israel’s nuclear deceptions, debates over Israel’s lack of candor and efforts to pressure the Israelis to answer key questions about the Dimona.

    Vanunu said: “President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’”

    Breaking News on Vanunu's struggle for freedom from Israel: http://thearabdailynews.com/2015/06/06/free-vanun

  2. Agree with the overall thrust. But I fail to see what purpose "inspections" would serve. Israel, unlike Iran, clearly has nuclear weapons, the phony policies of deception and silence of Israel and the USA to the contrary notwithstanding. And Israel is not a signatore of the NPT and thus not subject to its enforcement regime under the IAEA. That being the case, what would inspections achieve?

    What is really needed are not "inspections," but a neutral and all inclusive commitment to non proliferation, or the scrapping of the hypocritical regime that demonizes Iran, which does not even have nuclear weapons, and NK, which probably does, but allows non signatores like Israel, Pakistan and India go their merry way with their nuclear weapons, and the pre existing nuclear powers (USA, UK, France, Russia, China) to do as they like as well.

    1. Inspections are tied to the IAEA enforcement regime of the NPT, and are designed to make sure that no signatore not already in the nuclear weapons "club" has joined it, or is about to. Israel, as a non signatore which has nuclear weapons, would no more be deterred by "inspections" than the USA or any other member of the "club," or India or Pakistan, which are like Israel: non signatores who thumbed their nose at the NPT and developed nuclear weapons in spite of it.

  3. When it comes to Israel, it does not matter what American voters think. It does not matter what American national interests may be. Our "leaders" and government do what the Israel Lobby tells them to do.

    That is fundamentally wrong. Saying it loud and often is a necessary first step to stopping this betrayal.

    Of course we are a very long way from stopping it. But we won't get there if we don't try.

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  5. On this 70th year anniversary day of the Nagasaki Bombing, we are at a crossroads. Despite his Prague speech, our president is committing our nation to the "modernization" -NOT the Elimination- of our entire nuclear weapons arsenal at a staggering estimated cost of at least a trillion dollars over the next three decades.

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