NYTimes Again Ignores Israel’s Nukes

Exclusive: The U.S. news media’s bias in favor of Israel and against Israel’s enemies represents a journalistic failure to honestly inform the American people about issues that can lead to war. A glaring example is the double standard applied to Israel’s rogue nuclear arsenal, notes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

If a country with a large but undeclared nuclear arsenal threatens war against a country without a single nuclear bomb, you might think that a serious news organization would note the existing nuclear arsenal at least in passing. But if the country doing the threatening is Israel and the country being threatened is Iran, the New York Times can’t seem to find space to mention Israel’s rogue nuclear weapons.

The fact certainly was relevant to the Times’ storyabout Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s United Nations speech which focused on his fear that Iran might build one nuclear bomb. And Netanyahu’s threat of war against Iran was not exactly subtle, as he referenced the need for “credible military threats” and vowed that “if Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Oct. 1, 2013. (UN Photo by Evan Schneider)

For Israel’s threat to unilaterally destroy Iran’s thus-far peaceful nuclear program to be “credible,” Israel’s nuclear weapons at least its smaller tactical nukes must be considered as possible elements of that attack. Indeed, I’ve been told that Israel’s tentative war plans against Iran include potential use of low-yield nuclear bombs to shatter some of Iran’s hardened sites.

But the New York Times article on Wednesday made no mention of Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. Neither did a companion Times editorial which catalogued reasons why the world should be skeptical of Iran’s repeated insistence that it has no intention to build a nuclear bomb. The Times wrote:

“Iran hid its nuclear program from United Nations inspectors for nearly 20 years, and the country is enriching uranium to a level that would make it possible to produce bomb-grade nuclear material more quickly. It has also pursued other activities, like developing high-voltage detonators and building missiles that experts believe could only have nuclear weapons-related uses. These facts make it hard not to view the upcoming American-brokered negotiations skeptically.”

Given the Times’ excoriation of Iran over its alleged secrecy, basic journalistic fairness would seem to require that the Times point out that Israel has hidden its actual nuclear weapons arsenal from the United Nations for longer than 20 years and Israel has gone far beyond simply pursuing some related activities, but actually has put sophisticated delivery systems in place.

The context of Israel’s regional nuclear weapons monopoly also sheds light on why Iran might actually think it needs a nuclear weapon as a deterrent against the possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike by Israel. Yet, the Times didn’t include a simple sentence acknowledging that Israel itself possesses nuclear weapons.

Surely, if the Times did publish such a sentence in its articles on Netanyahu’s belligerent UN speech, the editors would have gotten some angry e-mails from staunch Israel backers and might have lost some subscriptions. But such fears do not justify journalistic cowardice and malfeasance.

Even the Washington Post, which has served in recent years as the media flagship for America’s neoconservatives, recognized its journalistic duty to acknowledge the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons. In its story about Netanyahu’s speech, the Post included this simple sentence at the end of a paragraph deep down in the article: “Israel possesses an undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal.”

The sentence didn’t amount to much. The Post could have done a lot more to elaborate on this reality and its relevance to Iran’s behavior. But its inclusion represented at least a minimal nod to journalistic ethics. The Times couldn’t bring itself to do even that.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

30 comments for “NYTimes Again Ignores Israel’s Nukes

  1. Sam
    October 13, 2013 at 18:14

    Israel does have nuclear weapons and everyone with any knowledge of history knows it. Read “Israel’s Nukes” a book on Amazon Kindle. it traces the history, citing studies, articles, books, interviews.
    Israel started a nuclear program in 1958, with help from France, Norway, South Africa. France helped them build the Dimona facility, Norway sold heavy water, South Africa sent uranium ore and a place to test devices.
    Israel then blackmailed Germany out of six diesel electric submarines to act as hiding places and launch platforms for their nukes.
    Israel is a nuclear power and will cause WWIII if threatened by any country with defeat.

  2. Ronald Buda
    October 10, 2013 at 13:30

    Israel is a “rogue” state in every sense of the word. A “gangsta” state in the heart of the Middle East and a real threat to world peace. The stormtrooper tactics of the Jews against the Palestinians (who were ignobly pushed off their land), the death-camp gestapo intimidation of Palestinians, after 60 years, has resulted in Islamic Jihad against Israel, and why not? The Jews continue to annex (steal) the Palestinian’s land, and keep them under their thumb as third-class citizens. The USA and its rich-bastard Jews continue to support Israel against all laws of humanity & justice. There are only 2 states that threaten the world with nuclear war: the USA and Israel. There is only one state in the Middle East that has a nuclear arsenal great enough to blow up the whole world many times over and THAT IS ISRAEL. Let’s keep our eye on Iran to make sure that she does not militarize its nuclear program, but let’s also shift our gaze and pressure onto Israel. ISRAEL MUST BE DENUCLEARIZED!!!!!!!!

  3. Tom Mysiewicz
    October 6, 2013 at 20:54

    Lying hasbara! Israel STARTED the 1967 war and suckered the Arabs into moving troops close to their borders by a series of provocative troop deployments. They then stole more land from the Arabs, who understandably tried to get it back in 73. Israel has had 20 years to conclude a lasting peace during which they have attacked Palestine and Lebanon and stolen increasing amounts of Arab land for settlements. As for Iran, the Israelis repeatedly assassinate Iranians and whine about their “threat”. Israel has attacked its neighbors repeatedly. Iran has not attacked another country in 150 years. As Jesus of Nazareth said of the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites: outside they are whitened sepulchers, inside they are full of dead men’s bones and corruption.

  4. Tim
    October 6, 2013 at 16:24

    Is this why Hitler did not allow Jews to run newspapers in Nazi Germany?

  5. Cy Klebs
    October 5, 2013 at 21:38

    IWhy does the world need cheap safe too cheap to meter in earthquake zones?

  6. Mitchell Nusbaum
    October 5, 2013 at 21:32

    Imagine the El axsa and Dome of the rock wiped off the map. Horse hockey!

  7. sam enderby
    October 5, 2013 at 12:29

    I always admire greatly Mr. Parry’s work and his fight against the escalating indifference of alot of our citizens and their popular media but I wonder if anybody cares to comment on the historical irony of the NYTimes shilling for Israel.

  8. Daniel
    October 3, 2013 at 16:49

    The Times editorial infuriated me, too. Nothing but naked propaganda.

  9. OH
    October 3, 2013 at 11:12

    There is no mention of Israels nuclear weapons just as there is no mention of Israels universal health care system. They would have to admit that the lazy Israelis don’t pay their own way on any of it, Americans pay the entire cost of both.

    • Frances in California
      October 3, 2013 at 16:43

      Yet, we can’t even get Universal Healthcare . . . oh, b.t.w., surely all remember how the NYT was early-on Chief Cheerleader (Judith Miller) and Court Stenographer of the 2003 Iraq War?

  10. Kenneth R. Jackson CPO USN Ret.
    October 2, 2013 at 22:39

    Way back in ’67, I was a young Chief Petty Officer and was involved heavily in high level communications of the “Top Secret” varieties. The US Navy had a ship that was one of the first intelligence gatherers AGTR’s The Liberty was AGTR-5. I was on watch when this traffic started coming in, and before the watch was over, The Israeli Government along with the help of the US Government tried to get away with a “False Flag” Operation, and so far they pretty much have managed to do so. These are the same Zionist P’sOS that killed 34 of my Brothers, My Shipmates! There is so very much that has been covered up in this affair and even through today With all the Radio Traffic, and other information leading to President Johnson… This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I started looking for a country that I believed might just have the peoples intrest in mind, not the corporations and the war machine.

    No, the USA is not a country that I would believe in these days, nor would I trust anything that mainstream media has to offer. I think you are lost, and I really am heart sick about that.

    • borat
      October 3, 2013 at 10:44

      Jay Cristol is uniquely qualified as a former U.S. Navy aviator and lawyer, civil lawyer, and federal judge to examine the Liberty incident. He conducted over five hundred interviews for this book and is the only non-Israeli to interview the pilots who attacked the Liberty.

      The author concludes in his book: The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship,that the attack on the Liberty resulted from a series of mistakes—the failure of the Liberty to receive five transmitted orders directing it to leave the war zone, the Israeli Navy’s eagerness to see action, a rivalry between the Israeli Navy and Air Force, the misidentification of the Liberty as an Egyptian ship, and several others.

      • incontinent reader
        October 3, 2013 at 18:23

        Jay Cristol’s examination has been discredited as a whitewash many times, just as that of John McCain’s father has been soundly rejected by experts. Both officers should have been ‘qualified’, but instead lacked moral courage and brought dishonor on the Navy when they sold out, ran interference for the official position, and contributed to the cover-up. I salute Kenneth Jackson, and pray that he and his fellow crew members, including those who have passed away ultimately receive full justice.

    • bobzz
      October 3, 2013 at 10:55

      I believe Johnson’s words were something like: we are not going to let the deaths of a few American sailors disrupt friendly relations with an ally. From that point, Israel knew it had sunk their ring into the American nose.

    • John
      October 3, 2013 at 13:24

      It is my understanding that the pro-Israeli Johnson government, unlike Kennedy’s, had okayed Israel to attack Egypt but not Syria. While the Egyptian missile radar defence system was shut off so there would be no accident with Nassar visiting his small force (defensive not offensive) in the Sinai, the Israelis attacked the Egyptian airfields destroying the Egyptian airforce.
      They were ready to go at Syria and they didn’t want the Americans to know too early hence the attack on the Liberty. US aircraft were sent from a carrier to help Liberty but when Johnson was told, a must, he ordered a recall of the fighters.
      Not only were Israeli aircraft sent to try and sink the Liberty but torpedo boats as well, which attacked while men were trying to get off into emergency boats. I’m sure that all those involved on the attacking side had been told not to tell the truth just as the men of the Liberty were told to keep their mouths shut or suffer the consequences.
      Liberty had US markings on the hull, a huge American flag flying, and the looks of an intelligence ship (antennas and things).

  11. John
    October 2, 2013 at 19:54

    In my piece above I accidently put ’76 war when it should have read ’67.

  12. John
    October 2, 2013 at 19:51

    Come on Borat, US TV portrayed Arabs in the most awful manner, just like early westerns made simplistic savage images of NA native peoples.
    There was only one war that possibly caught Israel by surprise, that in 1973. Israel had been warned that Sadat after being rebuffed several times with his peace initiatives was ready to attack to regain the Sinai and make solid peace and recognition of Israel. All the other wars had Israeli ignition. The 76 war many prominent Israelis said they were quite aware Egypt didn’t want war, a war started by Israeli unilateral redirection of international Jordan river water. In ’48, for years the Israelis had collected intelligence on each Palestinian village, listing who could cause them trouble when war broke out. And unlike what Zionist report, Jews were never out gunned or manned as the other Arab nations only put token forces forward in an uncoordinated fashion.
    Why don’t you recognize Zionism for what it is and what it does to people other than Jews. Again, Jews lived in peace with Palestinians before Zionism was invented. Many Zionist believers are too blinkered to see the harm they do to others. How would you like your home or crops sprayed with “Skunk” just for peacefully demonstrating. Have your tires slashed or car burnt, have your graves and churches painted with debasing graffiti by a rapidly growing settler element. Palestinians have more to upset them than do the illegal settlers. By the way, I want your land and home ! (That’s just an educational joke.)
    Then there is Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor with its secret labs below, hidden from inspection.

  13. rosemerry
    October 2, 2013 at 15:53

    Why is Israel allowed to lie continually, and Netanyahu for over twenty years has claimed Iran is on the verge of having a nuke, while nobody believes the repeated words of Iranian leaders that they do not have, or want, nukes and wish all of them (ie those of israel)to be removed from their region? Why is the NYT regarded as a newspaper at all?

  14. Yaj
    October 2, 2013 at 14:25

    I’m sorry, but what evidence is there that as according to the editors of the New York Times: Iran hid its nuclear program for 20 years?

    Just what does the Times mean? Various inspectors have been allowed to visit nuclear facilities in Iran and the Iranian nuclear (not weapons) program goes back into at least the early 1970s?

    Has Iran behaved like North Korea?

  15. MadBeck
    October 2, 2013 at 14:09

    It is no secret, among people who read any kind of alternative news source, that the citizens of the middle east consider the United States and Israel the greatest threats to world peace. It’s time for the mainstream press to acknowledge this reality.
    I’ve been to Israel. Aside from the fact that Israelis are the rudest, most
    unfriendly people I’ve ever met, and Palestinians some of the friendliest, it’s
    a real nice place.
    C’mon, Zionists, grow up. You’re the baddest dudes on the block. The holocaust was a long time ago, and the Iranians had nothing to do with it.

  16. borat
    October 2, 2013 at 12:02

    What double standard? The truth is that Israel is alone against a horde of Arab countries who have historically tried to eliminate her in several unsuccessful wars, Iran which has called publically for her destruction, and has financed terror actions in Argentina, Bulgaria, and other places that have targeted and killed Jewish citizens.

    Not to mention a daily barrage of anti-Semitic cartoons, and press from Arab media. When the other Arab states like Jordan and Egypt, recognize after 65 years, the sovereign State of Israel, renounce terrorism against Israel, and behave like a normal neighbor, the situation could change. Until then, there is no reason for Israel to let down any of its defenses.

    • FreeSociety
      October 2, 2013 at 20:49

      > “Israel is alone against a horde of Arab countries who have tried to eliminate her”

      This is nonsense. Iran has not started a War against any Nation in over 200 years. Furthermore, it was the CIA that overthrew their Democratically Elected Government (Mossadegh) in 1953 and installed the brutal Shah of Iran dictatorship.

      Iran has been under constant withering attack from the U.S., Israel, and British government for over half a Century.

      Meanwhile Israel has hundreds of very sophisticated Nuclear Weapons, and Iran has zero (0). Do the math.

      It is very clear who the real aggressors (and War criminals) are.

      • Yaj
        October 3, 2013 at 11:47


        I know this information is falling on blind eyes, but Iran is not “Arab”, you provided another example of ignorance for anybody to read.

        • FreeSociety
          October 3, 2013 at 13:50

          The point wasn’t about “Arabs”, but about this totally false portrayal of Iran as some kind of Nuclear aggressor, and wishing for War.

          That’s a lie, and it is the U.S. and Israel that want and seek out War. And you have to be blind in both eyes not to recognize that.

          Finally, the Palastines were screwed out of their own native land and this is why the resentment (justified) against Israel will always exist. So all this phony propaganda about Israel as some poor, innocent “victim” here is a lie, and they’re the one with the stockpiles of Nukes — not Iran!

          • Yaj
            October 3, 2013 at 16:50


            My point was to show another area of borat’s extreme ignorance.

            Sure borat is spouting a pack of lies, but he/she can’t even be bothered to learn basic established facts about Iran/Persia.

            borat’s the type to think all Palestinians be Muslim.

        • borat
          October 3, 2013 at 15:47

          I forgot to mention Iran as a separate entity even though they stand for the same goals as the Arab countries in the Middle East.

          • Yaj
            October 4, 2013 at 20:02


            No you went on an antiArab rant, and weren’t even spewing lies about Arabs.

            A lie you told, for example: Iran publicly called for the destruction of Israel. Nope. Though it’s not as big a lie as the one about Iran calling for a nuclear war to destroy Israel. (What has been said publicly: “When the state of Israel passes into history…” So significantly different than what y’all have claimed.)

            You see it’s easier if there’s some simple minded enemy who calls for your destruction, then you can rally people to your side by promoting those lies.

            Now as for Iranian sponsored attacks against Israel, yes that’s possible, but the Iranians would simply say: “We’re helping out the oppressed natives.”

            And no the evidence for the “attack” in Argentina is nowhere near as strong as you think. It’s up there with WMDs in Iraq in 2002. It’s not really supported by evidence you can check.

      October 3, 2013 at 16:15

      Read The Etnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe, an Israeli Jewish historian, to help you understand why Palestinians are so angry at Israel.

    • TheAZCowBoy, Tomebstone, AZ.
      October 4, 2013 at 01:11

      I too could be friendly with even the devil (Israel) if someone was buttering my toast to the tune of billions in warfare and apartheidnik supplies (Security walls built 200 meters into your neighbors lands, villages, Mosques and farmlands, F-16s, Apache gunships, etc, etc.).

    • adolfo
      October 4, 2013 at 12:16

      Despite I don´t like any islamic regime at all there are serious doubts about the responsability of Iran in the Bs. As. bombings. The real truth could be terrifyng.

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