...........................Now the Syrian government is suggesting it may not decommission its chemical weapons stockpiles unless its neighbors do likewise.
“The main danger of WMD is the Israeli nuclear arsenal,” said Bashar Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the UN, last Thursday, stressing that Israel also possesses chemical weapons but “nobody is speaking about that.”
Such statements put the Syrian chemical weapons crisis into a new perspective. The US administration has for decades refused to discuss Israeli arsenals that allegedly contain nuclear warheads. By bringing the issue to an international discussion, Damascus might put the Obama administration into an awkward position.
There has already been a reaction from Washington, when the State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said that the US will never accept attempts to compare Syrian regime with “thriving democracy” of Israel which “doesn't brutally slaughter and gas its own people,” she said.
Traditionally, Israeli officials never comment on accusations that the country possesses WMD, pointing out that Israel lives under constant threats from Middle East countries such as Iran, Lebanon and Syria.
Israel signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which came into force in 1997, but has never ratified it. It remains to be seen whether Tel Aviv will now ratify it, as well the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
“Some of these states don't recognize Israel's right to exist and blatantly call to annihilate it...These threats cannot be ignored by Israel, in the assessment of possible ratification of the convention,” the WDSJ reported Israeli government spokesman Jonathan Peled as saying.