How To Stop A War

Growing consensus on a nuclear-free Middle East.

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The war clouds are gathering as both Israel and the United States continue to make threatening gestures over Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions. And yet, it is rarely mentioned that Israel has a known stockpile of nuclear warheads … and that the presence of these warheads is the primary catalyst for the regional nuclear arms race. All that is beginning to change: a global push is now underway to make the entire Middle East a nuclear-free zone. Already there are signs that the world could reach consensus on this proposal. For one, a recent poll revealed that 64% of Israelis would support a nuclear-free Middle East that included Israel and Iran. This meme may be the only practical initiative that can bring peace.

Now the Guardian reports that in December, 2012 Finland will host “a historic conference bringing Iran and Israel together with Arab states to discuss a ban on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the Middle East… A British foreign office spokesman said the UK believed that a Middle East free of all WMD and their means of delivery was an achievable goal, and one which was vital to the long-term peace and security of the region… The promise to work for the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East dates back to 1995, when states without nuclear weapons demanded it as part of the price for them to stay in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and not seek their own arsenals.”

At #OCCUPYCHICAGO and beyond, can we seize the historic opportunity of back-to-back G8 and NATO summits and begin dictating to our leaders what we, the people, want? Can Occupy end the Iran war before it begins with a simple demand that 99% of the world, including Israelis and Iranians, can get behind: a nuclear-free Middle East as a concrete step toward a nuclear-free world?