Friday, September 18, 2009

Reuters' reversal of reality

In a story appearing on the Reuters' website today, Sylvia Westall reports on a non-binding resolution passed by the UN nuclear assembly urging closer scrutiny of Israel's nuclear program. Pakistan and India, which like Israel are non-signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, are not included in the measure nor is Iran -- currently under UNSC sanctions for refusing to terminate its uranium enrichment program. Only Israel is singled out for special treatment.

Near the end of the article, Westall makes this stunning assertion:

Arab diplomats point to an imbalance of power in the Middle East caused by unchecked Israeli might and say it breeds instability and spurs others to seek mass-destruction weapons.

Apparently, this is not a direct quote so Westall is either paraphrasing the Arab position or summarizing her own view. In either case, the notion is stated uncritically as fact when in reality, it is pure nonsense.

As documented in the CIA World FactBook, while Israel is sixth in military expenditures as a percentage of GDP, the five countries which precede her and thirteen of the top twenty countries in the table are Arab and/or Muslim. Eleven of these countries do not recognize Israel as a state and several are officially at war with Israel. This includes of course, Saudi Arabia, which alone, spends two to three times more on weapons than does Israel.

Arab troops outnumber that of the Israel Defense Forces by a conservative factor of 20:1. As the US has increasingly supplied technologically advanced weapons to the Saudis and Egyptians while Russia has done the same for Iran and Syria, Israel's traditional qualitative military advantage has also been eroded.

That Israel has defied the odds by emerging victorious in all previous wars with the Arabs may have led to the perception of the country as a comparative military giant but that is no excuse for Reuters to parrot ludicrous Arab propaganda or to disseminate its own.  If there is an "imbalance of power" in the Middle East, the advantage in troops, materiel, natural resources, and money lies clearly with the Arabs.  And Iran is not seeking weapons of mass destruction because Israel's military strength "breeds instability".  Iran is inherently unstable and is seeking WMDs to achieve its goal of eradicating a Jewish sovereign.

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