Israel is a nation that has lived by the sword -- by warfare -- for 60 years. The country is inured to nearly perpetual violent conflict celebrates its militaristic culture and conscripts its teenagers straight out of high school. None of that augurs well for a peaceful future.
Finally, it would be foolish to ignore the right-wing takeover of Israel and growing extremism of both the secular and religious sectors. The fanatical and mystical Settler movement is thriving (and growing); the left has shrunk and been marginalized; and secular Likud has split into a weaker Sharon-Olmert-Livni wing and a stronger Netanyahu-Lieberman.
In other words, there was a time when the narrative of peacemaking had some credibility. Peace was made with Egypt and Jordan. Peace with Syria was plausible, and a deal for Palestinian statehood and an end to Settlements was less than hopeless. Now continued serious conflict seems inevitable. Israel's nukes just raise the stakes of that violence..
Pessimism of the intellect....but where is the optimism of the will? I tend to share your pessimism about world affairs, but I am a little more optimistic about Israel and the ME because I believe that nations, like individuals, are at bottom self-preserving and rational. The problem has always been that nations live in fear of one another, and poised to attack, because they impute hostile attitudes to their neighbors even when none exist. Collective suicide is always a possibility--think of Nazi Germany---but it is rare.
Originally Posted by Wonderment
I see that you are arguing that regional powers like Iran and Syria may pursue nukes out of interests that have nothing to do with Israel's nuclear bombs. I disagree. I think the road map to peace is only through universal nuclear disarmament. It will not work if the US or Russia or Israel says, "Nukes are fine for us, but you can't have them." That's the whole basis of the two-pronged NPT: nonproliferation AND disarmament.
Obama will have no credibility on his promise to pursue abolition (consistent with the NPT) if discussion of Israel's WMDs is off the table.
I agree fully with this. But in our lifetimes?