The Obama-Netanyahu Meeting: Nuclear Issues
Avner Cohen and George Perkovich, Proliferation Analysis
NetanyahuNo subject is as sensitive in U.S.-Israeli relations as Israel's nuclear weapons. That has been the case since the 1960s, the era when the Israeli media referred to the Dimona project as "the sensitive issue." In recent days, with the Obama-Netanyahu meeting looming, media reports from both Washington and Tel Aviv have retouched the nuclear nerve with innuendo that the Obama administration will break a long-standing nuclear accord with Israel.
The "rules" by which the U.S. and Israel manage the sensitive issue of Israel's nuclear weapons were born four decades ago, in September 1969, as a set of unwritten understandings between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir. These understandings were made in total secrecy and they are only vaguely acknowledged.