In his column of Jan. 10, Charles Krauthammer is "stunned by the extent of the capitulation in the 'deal' the State Department has just made with North Korea" concerning the inspection of its nuclear sites. Mr. Krauthammer needs not to be "stunned" since there is a precedent. The United States has capitulated a long time ago concerning the Israeli nuclear program. When the French delivered a nuclear reactor to Israel at the end of the 1950s, the Israelis called it a textile plant. Later President Eisenhower forced them to admit that it was really a nuclear reactor. Later still, President Kennedy forced Israel to let American inspectors look inside to check that the reactor is for peaceful purposes only. The inspector went and left---for the last time in 1969. Today it's an open secret that Israel is a nuclear power. Did the administration capitulate? Yes. Is Mr. Krauthammer stunned?
In 1985, the Congress passed into law Section 620E(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, generally called the Pressler Amendment. It stipulates that "no assistance shall be furnished to Pakistan and no military equipment or technology shall be sold or transferred to Pakistan" unless the President certifies "that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device." Why didn't the Congress pass a similar law concerning Israel? Did it capitulate? Yes. Is Mr. Krauthammer stunned?
The interesting point here is that Israel, unlike North Korea, is a client state and unlike Pakistan receives handouts in the billions of dollars. [In 1993, the U.S. gave Israel $6.3 billion. A New York Timesarticle stated that the U.S. gave Israel between 1967 and 1991 the total of $77 billion. This huge aid and this enormous leverage can only underscore the immensity of the capitulation.]
January 25, 1994