Though some Arab states pressed for U.S.-led military action against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, that did not prevent them from exploiting Assad’s diplomatic success to pressure Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports that Arab states have carried out an earlier threat to propose a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency calling on Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The resolution partly represents an attempt to link Syria’s agreement to allow international monitoring of its chemical weapons stockpiles with a push for Israel to place its alleged nuclear weapons under international control–a “linkage” first predicted by Ha’aretz‘s Chemi Shalev and noted at Breitbart News. The Assad regime now claims that it only built chemical weapons as a deterrent against Israel’s suspected nuclear capability.
The Obama administration opposes the linkage effort by the Arab states. It is at least partially responsible, however, for encouraging that strategy. In 2010, the Obama administration naively supported the concept of a nuclear-free Middle East, which Arab states seized as an opportunity to press Israel into supporting the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Syrian crisis has put the U.S. on weaker diplomatic footing, and Israel with it.