Debate needed on nuclear weapons

Letter in The Age 01/10/09
CONGRATULATIONS to Amin Saikal (Comment, 30/9) for his thoughtful and courageous entry to the labyrinth of Middle East nuclear tensions. His thread of an exit strategy has many complicated turns but offers a credible hope that demands serious examination. Saikal canvasses diplomatic and political initiatives that might bring about a ”region-wide regime of arms control”, none so fanciful or utopian as to warrant the scorn or silence they are all too likely to meet in Australia.

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society, of which I’m an executive member, has taken an unequivocal stance in favour of a nuclear-free Middle East. In its July newsletter I asked how many Australian Jews would support a nuclear-free Middle East, and then reflected on the absence of any discussion of such matters within the forums and media of the Australian Jewish community. I also asked how a Rudd Labor Government, striving to play a greater international role in nuclear disarmament, should deal with these issues.
More debate might encourage the Australian Jewish community to see more hopeful options than nuclear weapon fears needing to be resisted by nuclear weapon deterrence accompanied by military confrontation.
Les Rosenblatt, Elwood

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