Open letter presses prime minister to ‘remove the curse of chemical weapons from the face of the Earth

The Israeli Chemical Society has urged the country’s government to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in an open letter from society president Ehud Keinan to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

‘The Israeli chemists and chemical engineers, together with the large community of chemists around the world, are working together to remove the curse of chemical weapons from the face of the Earth,’ the letter says. ‘We request that the government of Israel would independently ratify the CWC … Israeli citizens would rejoice at the ratification and applaud the Israeli government for keeping Israel in the sane part of the world.’

Israel is one of just four countries not to have ratified the CWC, an agreement which prohibits the production and use of chemical weapons. The others are North Korea, South Sudan, which is reportedly planning to sign the CWC, and Egypt, which it is believed may follow suit if Israel were to ratify the agreement.

The European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), of which Israel is a member, backed the society’s call. ‘Chemical weapons have no place in a civilised society. They do not act as a deterrent and their effects are appalling,’ said EuCheMS president David Cole-Hamilton in a statement. ’We have a unique opportunity to rid the world of this scourge and we are so close to doing it. EuCheMS calls upon prime minister Netanyahu to ratify the CWC as soon as possible.’