Even Israel’s Enemies Know That Its Nuclear Abilities Aren’t a Real Threat, and That Iran’s Are

Aug. 27 2021

One of the dangers of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons—cited not only by analysts, but by President Joe Biden and Senator Robert Menendez—is the prospect that other Middle Eastern countries will respond with their own race to the bomb, leaving a region filled with unstable and mercurial nuclear-armed regimes. In a recent essay in the New York Times, Peter Beinart sought to refute this line of reasoning, citing the fact that Israel has long had nuclear weapons without triggering such an arms race. Shany Mor responds:

The fact that Israel, uniquely in the world, is a state and a society that some actively wish to see eliminated—and that this elimination fantasy has been central to the worldview of various regional actors and has informed their political and ideological priorities for decades—has no place in [Beinart’s] analysis. The desire to see the Jewish presence in the Middle East wiped out, and the obsessive hatred of Jews which informs it, do not exist in Beinart’s analysis.

[Indeed], American policy makers treat the deterrent needs of Israel and Iran differently—[because] one of those is a tiny country whose elimination is a fantasy ideologically and theologically central to millions.

[And] it’s not just American presidents who understand that, but leaders of most of the global powers that have much less friendly relations with Israel, but have taken a similar approach to this issue. In fact, it is even tacitly understood by many of Israel’s neighbors. The whole point of the remarks by Menendez and Biden . . . is that an Iranian nuclear capability would engender a regional arms race, while whatever presumptions there have been about the status quo in the region have not.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, New York Times, Nuclear proliferation, Peter Beinart

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism