There are oh so many varieties of Zio-washing: pink-washing, green-washing, Black-washing, even Muslim-washing. Now, there’s another to add to the treasury of hasbara promoted by Israel to the world: nuke-washing. I wrote about a similar domestic effort at cleansing Israel’s nuclear warheads of the stench of potential mass murder.
The IAEA celebrated its 60th anniversary in Vienna, its headquarters, recently. And Israel was there with its very own exhibit featuring the innovations and contributions which Israel’s nuclear program has bestowed on humanity. No mention, of course, of Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons and the legacy that they’ve given the world. No mention, of course, that Israel has refused to join the only international agreement limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the NPT. No mention of the fact that Israel has torpedoed a U.S. and Arab effort to hold a regional conference leading to declaring the Mideast a nuclear-free zone.
Instead, we have Rays of Hope (get it? radiation=rays), Israel’s latest marketing effort to persuade the world to ignore its worst deeds and focus instead on deeds that are marginal at best in their overall impact on Israel or the world. A press release from the prime minister’s office hails this as Israel’s first international exhibit of its accomplishments in the field. Here’s some of the marketing jargon, which is about as revoltingly hypocritical as any political statement can be:
The Israeli pavilion highlights Israel as a master of research innovation in the areas of nuclear use for educational, scientific, and agricultural purposes, and for production of clean energy. Director of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, Brig. Gen. (res.) Zeev Snir told the attendees:
“Israeli developments in the nuclear field have spread Rays of Hope and inspiration to many people. Our scientific achievements permit us to manufacture critical equipment for medical treatment, agriculture, security, and safety throughout the world. Our future in the Middle East must include cooperation and joint responsibility for the health and well-being of the people’s of the region. In the spirit of the IAEA, I call upon our neighbors to join to join us and transform a dream into reality.”
Really? Cooperation? Like Israel’s rejection of the NPT? Responsibility for the health and well-being of the region? Does that include the massive poisoning of the environment surrounding the Dimona nuclear reactor and the hundreds, if not thousands of workers who’ve died of lethal doses of radiation? Does it include the impact that Israel’s 200 warheads might have on the region if even one of them was used, as Moshe Dayan advocated during a bleak moment at the outset of the 1973 War?