As a state that possesses nuclear weapons but refuses to acknowledge that fact, Israel in the long run is making it more difficult to accomplish the “zero nukes” paradigm. Yet Israel is ultimately correct: the problems that are killing tens of thousands of people in the Middle East every year and driving millions from their homes have nothing to do with Israel’s nuclear arsenal or nukes in general. Instead, they are spurned on by the Arab world’s incredible dysfunction: sectarian conflict, incompetent and brutal dictatorial governance (see the Assad regime) and terrorism — all of which feed off of one another and create a cycle of violence that is compromising the very idea of the Arab nation-state. If the United States, Europe, and the Arab states themselves want to begin solving the problems or at least alleviating their negative effects, Israel’s nuclear program is not where the energy should be expended. Not one person has been killed by Israeli nukes; millions have been killed from barrel bombs, improvised explosive devices, chemical weapons, AK-47’s, M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, F-15s, F-16s and the long, sharp blades that are brandished by Islamic State militants in execution videos.
The Middle East has a lot of complications and a long set of crises that are depriving millions of people from experiencing the type of life that many in the west take for granted. But Israel’s nuclear stockpile is not a part of that list.