What everyone knows but no one admits has been, apparently, admitted to by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (as well as our new Defense Secretary Gates):
In an interview with a German television station broadcast Monday, Olmert appeared to list Israel among the world's nuclear powers, violating the country's long-standing policy of not officially acknowledging that it has atomic weapons.
Asked by the interviewer about Iran's calls for the destruction of Israel, Olmert replied that Israel has never threatened to annihilate anyone.
"Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map," Olmert said. "Can you say that this is the same level, when you are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"
Israel, which foreign experts say has the sixth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, has stuck to a policy of ambiguity on nuclear weapons for decades, refusing to confirm or deny whether it has them.
The comments came days after incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in testimony to a Senate committee, identified Israel as a nuclear power.
His political opponents are calling for his resignation over this. He insists he was merely trying to characterize Israel as responsible, not necessarily nuclear.