Dr. Shaul Chorev is Worried that the Arab Spring Could Turn into a Nuclear Fall

Dr. Shaul Chorev is head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, and the Jerusalem Post, reporting on a speech he gave this week in Vienna, had a couple of paragraphs toward the end of the article that are quite unnerving:

Chorev also called on the international community to take steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear components by Libya and Syria which are both facing growing instability to terrorist organizations.

“With the collapse of Gaddafi’s regime, and the volatile situation in Syria, efforts by the international community should be directed towards urgent counter-proliferation issues in these two countries,” he said.

“This worrisome situation in Libya and Syria is a fresh reminder of the need to work together to secure nuclear materials and to prevent illicit nuclear trafficking and terrorism.”

Notice his use of the word urgent. In other words, Dr. Chorev is worried that the instability associated with the Arab Spring could ultimately lead somewhere to a Nuclear Fall (as in the nuclear fall-out resulting from Islamic terrorists getting their hands on key nuclear components and later smuggling a nuclear bomb into an Israeli, European, or American city).

This has long been the joker in the historical deck, and, over the next decade, the likelihood that this card will get played somewhere in the world has to be at least 40%.

Think about that.

In addition to the human toll in lives, it’s impossible to accurately guess how the economic and political landscape will change after such an incident. We live in extraordinarily dangerous and uncertain times.

Hug your kitty.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Dr. Shaul Chorev is Worried that the Arab Spring Could Turn into a Nuclear Fall

  1. Longtooth says:

    With little doubt the possibility weighs on just about everybody’s mind. Still, Chorev’s remarks seem coincidental on Abbas’s current high profile petition for UN recognition of a Palestine state. Could this be a little fear mongering to defuse international focus on the Palestinian state issue? It’s not like Israel is above such tactics. Obama’s remarks that Palestine must negotiate the sovereign state issue with Israel (implying not with the UN) seem remarkably bigoted. After all, Israel itself has the United Nations to thank for being made a sovereign state back in the 1940’s. Now, however, the oval office says that Palestine isn’t worthy of the same privilege. Evidently some peoples are more equal than others.

    • santitafarella says:


      Actually, I feel for Dr. Chorev. He must worry about nuclear terrorism a lot and feel that, any time he says anything publicly, or tries to move politicians to look at the matter, then cynics will suspect it’s politically timed (and not out of genuine concern).


  2. Longtooth says:


    Sure, Chorev’s remarks could be coincidental and I do resemble one those cynics. Still, Israel’s personal concerns about security and WMD can’t really be decoupled from the Israel-Palestine conflict and the animosity it’s created across the wider Middle East.

    I shouldn’t have referred to Obama’s stance on Palestine’s bid for sovereignty as bigoted, but more appropriately hypocritical. A drop of a definitional stitch so to speak. Nor can I single out Obama in particular. He’s basically doing Washington’s long-standing pro-Israeli jig.

    The conflict is terribly intractable in terms of lending itself over to a reasonable and peace sustaining solution. With opposing Middle Eastern factions squared off the way they are, it’s difficult to see any side as possessing the high ground of righteousness. Nevertheless, I can’t help but conclude that the Palestinians were shafted under the British Mandate and have remained similarly impaled ever since. Whatever Israel’s long run agenda might really be, it’s unlikely to include an internationally recognized sovereign nation for the Palestinians. For decades Israel has been in violation of international law over its land grabbing aggressions. Israel’s perspective, as represented by Benjamin Netanyahu’s words, is that the Palestinians are (in paraphrase) squatting on Jewish ancestral land. But isn’t that a half truth only? Doesn’t the history of the area show many different tribes or ethnic peoples residing there and even comingling? Is it therefore not also the ancestral homeland of the non-Jewish Palestinians?

    Washington’s historically strong support of Israel has not made friends for the US among Middle Eastern nations. For years we’ve been told that Israel is the staunchest ally we have in the region. That may be true in some sense, but what has Israel ever done for the US? An equally well worn claim is that Israel and the US share a “special relationship”. For all the years it’s been in vogue, no one known to me has ever articulated what the alleged “special relationship” actually amounts to. In some reverence for America’s highest founding ideals, where is the real path to justice in these so called “holy land” territories? Is one possible that will serve everyone’s future security?


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