Roger L. Simon usefully posts a translation of a recent article from Ma'ariv, which reports that the U.S. is no longer regularly granting visas to Israeli scientists associated with the Dimona nuclear facility. The best way to judge the strength and health of the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is not by watching what the Obama Administration says about the number of apartments Israel is building in East Jerusalem, but by watching how the Administration treats the unwritten forty-year-old agreement between the two countries that allowed Israel to avoid signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In exchange for reduced American pressure, Golda Meir promised Richard Nixon that she would keep her country's nuclear program invisible, or at least "opaque."
It is true that Bibi Netanyahu is skipping Obama's nuclear summit because he fears an ambush by Egypt and Turkey, which both want Israel's nukes on the table (what they really want, of course, is nukes of their own, and who wouldn't?), but Netanyahu wouldn't skip this meeting, I think, if he thought Obama had his back on opacity. If Ma'ariv has it right, though, this aspect of the "special relationship" might be coming to an end.
UPDATE: Ben Smith is reporting that the White House is denying the Ma'ariv visa story.
DOUBLE UPDATE: Roger Simon is also reporting that the the story in Ma'ariv is inaccurate.
But keep your eye on the general state of play between Israel and America on the subject of Israel's nukes.
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