Wake up to what matters from Mike Allen each day

Stories

The American presidents who kept quiet about Israel's nuclear arsenal

Trump with Israeli Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

"How Trump and Three Other U.S. Presidents Protected Israel’s Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal," by The New Yorker's Adam Entous is worthy of your time.

The big picture: Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump continued the policy started in 1969 by President Richard Nixon by signing versions of a secret letter "concerning a subject the Israelis had promised the Americans never to discuss publicly — Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal."

  • "Israel crossed the nuclear threshold on the eve of the Six Day War, in 1967. At that time, it had three nuclear devices."
  • "In 1969, [Nixon] and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir reached an understanding: the Israelis would not declare or test their nuclear weapons, and the Americans would not pressure them to sign a landmark nonproliferation treaty."
More stories loading.