Israel : past, present, and future (and nukes etc of course)

Israel : past, present, and future (and nukes etc of course)

Some information, news, analysis and commentary on this subject for further investigation.

To be convinced of any truth one must investigate and reflect for himself or herself …

[ see disclaimer in “about”]

<><><> Some thoughts and quotes for consideration:

Isn’t it the case that US Israeli dual citizens (estimated at from 50,000 to 500,000 in 1985, and God knows how many now after decades) who are conscripted into the Israeli armed forces by Israeli law, must by command engage in violent activities in the Israeli armed forces.  Some of these activities definitely run directly counter to stated USA policy objectives, like illegal settler expansion in occupied territory, using prohibited war materials (white phosphorus, etc) , engaging in illegal activities in occupied territories, etc, etc.

For instance read “Contradictions of Dual Citizenship” By Robert G. Hazo

One wonders how the oath of US naturalization, as below, compares to the oaths of fidelity and service in foreign governments and armies?

A citizen in the USA swears solemnly:  “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty. I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

This open contradiction is not just an abstract concern.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, is a dual Israeli/US national.

One wonders how his activities are not a conflict of interest?

What Israeli oath to office must he make and must he abide by?

How can he argue for those Israeli policies that clearly contradict USA policy?

Is he a US citizen when he argues for those Israeli policies that clearly contradict USA policy, or an Israeli citizen?

If he can take positions directly against the stated US policy, some of which are illegal actions by international law and UN resolutions, then how is this rationalized by the US state department and justice department?

And it is reported from London, concerning the Israeli invasion of Gaza in January 2009:

“…Israeli occupation forces (so-called Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers from Europeans, US and other nationalities might be returning back to their countries after taking part in the Gaza War and might have committed war crimes.”  See British Jews Serving in Israeli Occupation Forces By Dr Shahid Qureshi The London Post, July 18, 2009:

The accusation of Israeli war crimes in the 2009 invasion Gaza and their usage of white phosphorus and illegal materials and tactics in Gaza, is an ongoing scenario, to be watched in the forums of international justice.

Note that Section 349 of the INA [8 USC § 1481] specifies several conditions under which US citizenship may be lost, the so called “expatriating acts,” which are notably service in a foreign army or in a foreign government. Since 1990 the State Department officially has presumed that even these acts do not imply an intention to give up U.S. citizenship, yet they remain expatriating acts.

Yes it is also noted that “mere performance of the above (or certain other) acts was enough to cause loss of US citizenship; however, the Supreme Court overturned this concept in the Afroyim and Terrazas cases, and Congress amended the law in 1986 to require that loss of citizenship would result only when a potentially “expatriating” (citizenship-losing) action was performed voluntarily and “with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality”. “


Apparently this above is why the US state department advises American-Israeli dual nationals traveling to Israel as follows:

“American-Israeli dual nationals of military age, including females, who do not wish to serve in the Israeli armed forces should contact the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. to learn more about an exemption or deferment from Israeli military service before going to Israel.  Without this exemption or deferment document, such dual nationals may not be able to leave Israel without completing military service or may be subject to criminal penalties for failure to serve.”

As it is famously said when talking about “terrorism”, one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, for one day a person like Begin, Shamir, Mandela or Arafat is a terrorist for some and an honored freedom fighter for others, and then the next day he becomes exonerated and a statesmen courted by diplomats and politicians.

For one telling example, what is the history behind the modern state of Israel?

Historians agree unanimously that state of Israel was born through the efforts of proudly self avowed “terrorist” gangs and groups, paramilitary groups, like the Jewish Legion, Haganah (Defense; with its military arm Bamach), the Irgun, the Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael, or Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, also known as the Stern Gang), who conducted terrorist acts in the state building process leading to the declaration of Israel. This is well known and some of the acts against the British, Arabs, and co-religionist Jews during the British Mandate in Palestine after WWI up to the declaration of Israel and thereafter are well documented. These nation building acts are well documented as terrorist activities.  Some of these same “terrorists” as the British authorities would call them at the time, became famous Israeli statement and leaders, for example, Menachim Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon.

But then again the British called the American rebels terrorists up top the 13 colonies USA Declaration of Independence, and they later became respected and revered founding fathers [ but that’s another story].

A revealing book on this is by Livia Rokach: Livia Rokach: Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A Study Based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary and Other Documents (Belmont, Massachusetts: Association of Arab American University Graduates, 1980; Third Edition 1986.

And just a few samples as revealing quotes:

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and a noteworthy Zionist terrorist said:

“Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war… We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle. First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today…”

[Yitzhak Shamir writing in an August 1943 article titled “Terror”, written for Hazit the journal of Lehi, the terrorist organization he belonged to at the time, (Lohamei Herut Yisrael, or Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), also known as the Stern Gang]

Menachim Begin, former Israeli Prime Minister, states about the infamous massacre at Dair Yasin of unarmed villagers: “This operation yielded great and unexpected results. After the news of Dair Yasin got out, the Arabs were stricken with terror and began fleeing for their lives.”

[ Menachem Begin, The Revolt, London, 1st Edition, 1972, p. 165 ]

And  in crystal clear terms we hear from Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli PM, who is personally responsible for the El-Bureig, the Qibyah, the Shabra and Shatila, and Jenin massacres of civilians, among many others.  He said in an interview with the respected Israeli Journalist, Amos Os, in the Israeli daily “Davar” in 1982, in what can be called “Sharon Policy” ever since:

“Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don’t care. And I don’t mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal… What you lot don’t understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it.”

<> British anger at terror celebration [i.e. of King David Hotel bombing which Netanyahu attending in 2006]

British anger at terror celebration
The commemoration of Israeli bombings that killing 92 people has caused offence

By Ned Parker and Stephen Farrell
The rightwingers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister, are commemorating the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of British rule, that killed 92 people and helped to drive the British from Palestine.
They have erected a plaque outside the restored building, and are holding a two-day seminar with speeches and a tour of the hotel by one of the Jewish resistance fighters involved in the attack.
Simon McDonald, the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv, and John Jenkins, the Consul-General in Jerusalem, have written to the municipality, stating: “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”
In particular they demanded the removal of the plaque that pays tribute to the Irgun, the Jewish resistance branch headed by Menachem Begin, the future Prime Minister, which carried out the attack on July 22, 1946.
The plaque presents as fact the Irgun’s claim that people died because the British ignored warning calls. “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it states.
Mr McDonald and Dr Jenkins denied that the British had been warned, adding that even if they had “this does not absolve those who planted the bomb from responsibility for the deaths”. On Monday city officials agreed to remove the language deemed offensive from the blue sign hanging on the hotel’s gates, though that had not been done shortly before it was unveiled last night.
The controversy over the plaque and the two-day celebration of the bombing, sponsored by Irgun veterans and the right-wing Menachem Begin Heritage Centre, goes to the heart of the debate over the use of political violence in the Middle East. Yesterday Mr Netanyahu argued in a speech celebrating the attack that the Irgun were governed by morals, unlike fighters from groups such as Hamas.
“It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action,” he said. “Imagine that Hamas or Hezbollah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area’.”
But the view of the attack was very different in 1946 when The Times branded the Irgun “terrorists in disguise”. Decades later, Irgun veterans are unrepentant. Sarah Agassi, 80, remembers spying in the King David Hotel.
She and a fellow agent posed as a couple. They danced tangos and waltzes, sipped whisky and wine while they cased out the hotel.
On the day her brother and his fellow fighters posed as Arabs delivering milk and brought seven milk churns, each containing 50kg of explosives, into the building. Ms Agassi waited across the street until her brother rushed out. She said that she then made the warning call to the British command in the hotel.
Sitting in the luxurious hotel lobby, she expressed no regret. “We fought for our independence. We thought it was the right way . . . If I had to fight for Israel, I swear even now I would do anything.”
The original wording:
The Hotel housed the Mandate Secretariat as well as the Army Headquarters. On July 1946 (sic) Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement planted explosives in the basement. Warning phone calls had been made urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun’s regret and dismay 91 persons were killed.
The amended version
. . .Warning phone calls had been made to the hotel, the Palestine Post and the French Consulate, urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately.
The hotel was not evacuated, and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded. The entire western wing was destroyed, and to the Irgun’s regret 92 persons were killed.

Below: King David Hotel after the bombing:

king david bomb-170px-KD_1946

A 2006 Cambridge University Press book on political terrorism theorized that it provided a model for the terrorist bombings of the 1980s.[30] Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues called the attack one of the best historical examples of successful terrorism and that it produced everything that Irgun had wanted. The author compared the bombing aftermath to that of Carlos Marighella‘s campaign with the Brazilian Communist Party.[27]

Binyamin Netanyahu called the bombing a legitimate act against a military target, and he distinguished it from an act of terror which intends to harm civilians. He said, “Imagine that Hamas or Hizbullah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area.’ They don’t do that. That is the difference.”[28] In his book The Revolt, Menachem Begin described the bombing as “a blow within the fortified headquarters of a military regime.”[12]

In July 2006, Israelis, including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former members of Irgun, attended a 60th anniversary celebration of the bombing, which was organized by the Menachem Begin Centre.

<> Reflective truth Jul. 26, 2006 Eetta Prince-Gibson , THE JERUSALEM POST

‘We will meet at the barricades! We will meet at the barricades!” Leaning heavily on his walker, standing at attention as best he could, his voice hoarse with emotion and age, “Danny” – who still sometimes uses his underground nom de guerre – sang the Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) hymn, his voice hoarse with age and emotion.

“Gun to gun, bullet to bullet, we will meet in blood and fire,” he sang resoundingly, tired perhaps, but very excited and happy.

Saturday, July 22nd marked the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the British headquarters in the King David Hotel by the IZL fighters. Despite telephone calls by the IZL, warning of the imminent bombing [see box], 91 people died, among them 28 British, 41 Arabs and 17 Jews. One IZL fighter was killed inside the hotel, after the explosives had been set.

To this day, the bombing of the King David Hotel remains the explosion that caused the greatest number of casualties in the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

In commemoration, some 250 former fighters, academic historians and politicians convened last week for a two-day conference sponsored by the Menachem Begin Heritage House, the University of Haifa and the Association of IZL Fighters.

They came, they said, to tell their stories. But it was clear they came for more.

The former fighters sought recognition for their role in the establishment of the State of Israel, legitimization of their bombing in which so many people were killed and vindication for their war against the British occupation.

The academics came to demand recognition for their contribution to the historiography of the State and legitimization of their field of research.

“The bombing of the British headquarters [in the King David Hotel],” Danny declared, “was the most important event of the pre-state period. It led to the establishment of the state. We helped to drive out the British Empire, because the British realized that we Jews could fight and that we would. And I would do it again, in a second.”

Like all the former IZL underground fighters, Danny refused to accept any responsibility or express any remorse for the loss of life.

“We warned them to get out. They didn’t. It’s their own fault,” he said flatly.

The academics asserted the importance of the underground movements, the IZL and the Lehi, which, they contended, had been shut out and shut up by the establishment. History, they quoted, is written by the strong and the victorious, and not by splinter movements such as the IZL.

But that is finally changing, they contended.

“The version of the history of the establishment of the State of Israel presented by the ‘others’ – in this case, anyone who wasn’t Mapai – is finally being heard,” proclaimed Udi Lebel from the Ben-Gurion Institute at Beersheba University. “The stigmas that have been attached to those others – stigmas that never matched reality – are finally being removed.”

Lebel dismissed post-modern movements that “escape history by running away to narratives and experiential perceptions of reality.” He then continued, “Information has been withheld; the studies have not been done on the IZL or the underground movements.”

Michael Cohen from Bar-Ilan University warned that, “Enlisted history isn’t over. Each camp is still presenting its own version. It’s quite nice and makes us all happy to look back at history nostalgically – but now, 60 years later, history can prove the truth and provide an objective perspective.”

And that truthful, objective perspective, the participants were convinced, will point to the importance of the bombing of the British headquarters at the King David Hotel.

But the process won’t be easy, Cohen warned. “Anyone who thinks it’s easy should see what the ‘new historians’ have done with the history of the mainstream movements, such as the Hagana and the other institutions of the Yishuv.”

The crowd of former fighters was clearly not interested in theoretical discussions, the politics of knowledge or the search for a single, objective truth. As far as they were concerned, they knew the truth then and they know it now.

When a lecturer dared to criticize the break-away splinter movements such as the IZL and the Lehi, an elderly man, frail but enraged and red in the face, screamed out, “But the Palmah was founded by the British!”

And when Motti Golani from the University of Haifa noted obliquely that on June 29, 1946, the British authorities had arrested almost all of the leaders of the Yishuv, while on June 29, 2006, the Israeli authorities arrested almost all the leaders of Hamas, an incensed woman screamed out from the audience, “It’s not healthy to make those kinds of comparisons.”

“Leftist,” muttered another elderly woman who still retains a heavy American accent. “He should tell this to [Hizbullah chief Hassan] Nasrallah.”

The Hagana and almost all leaders of the Yishuv condemned the bombing in the strongest terms, distancing themselves morally and militarily from the IZL and ending the brief period of cooperation between the resistance movements. The IZL and many researchers have continued to insist that the Hagana directly authorized the bombing.

“Everything was coordinated with the Hagana,” declared former prime minister and IZL leader Menachem Begin in a film clip from the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s “Scroll of Fire” series.

The audience applauded.

Convened as Israel was fighting Hizbullah in Lebanon, the participants took great pains to distinguish between terror groups and freedom fighters. Former prime minister and current Likud MK Binyamin Netanyahu, popular as ever at the conference, said, “The difference is expressed in the fact that the terrorists intend to harm civilians whereas legitimate combatants try to avoid that.”

“Imagine that Hamas or Hizbullah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area.’ They don’t do that. That is the difference.”

“The warning was given early enough,” insisted Menachem Begin in the same clip.

SARAH AGASSI, 77, who, like “Danny,” prefers to use her nom de guerre and identified herself as “Yael,” said she knows the phone calls were made in due time – she and another woman, “Tehiya,” were the ones assigned the task of calling The Palestine Post, the French Consulate and the hotel dispatcher to warn them of the coming explosion.

“We chose a place ahead of time and made sure that we had change for the telephones. We watched and waited until we saw the last of the fighters come out. I didn’t know it until that moment, but one of the last of the fighters was my brother. Then we made the phone calls.

“While we were waiting, a British soldier came up to me and asked me my name. I think he was trying to pick me up. I told him my name was Mary and I thought to myself, ‘In a few minutes he’ll really know what kind of a Mary I am.'”

The crowd tittered.

And she repeated the frequently-quoted version of the events, according to which the British chief secretary of the government of Palestine, Sir John Shaw, when informed of the warning, retorted, “I don’t take orders from Jews. I give orders to Jews.”

At the time, Shaw denied this, as does the official British position to this day. But the former fighters hold to the story, saying it reinforces their perception of the arrogant, oppressive British occupation forces as the chief obstacle in the way of the establishment of the Jewish state.

Months earlier, “Gidi” [Amichai Feiglin, operations officer for the IZL] had sent Yael and three others to the hotel on an intelligence-gathering mission.

They had no idea of the purpose of the mission, she recalls, because activities within the IZL were kept secret even from most of the fighters themselves.

“We were two women who dressed up fancy and went with two fighters who dressed up as wealthy Arabs,” she recalled.

“I borrowed silk stockings and wore a fancy dress. I was quite a looker then,” she said with a still-coquettish smile.

“It was quite an experience. I was only 17. The place was amazing. I remember the dance floor, the chandeliers and the wonderful orchestra. I remember the deep green velvet curtains. Everything was beautiful and sparkled. It was shining and beautiful. I had never seen anything like that. No one I knew had such luxuries in their home, and good Jewish girls wouldn’t usually go to such places and didn’t mix with Arab or British men.”

They returned another time to complete their mission. They danced tangos and waltzes, enjoyed the expensive wine and food – and memorized the location of the kitchens, the support beams, possible escape routes and anything else that might be useful, as they were instructed.

But when a British official invited Yael to dance, she refused.

“I would never dance with a British man,” she declared. And so they had to retreat quickly, since their escorts were disguised as Arabs.

“We realized that I might have attracted attention – after all, what Jewish girl would agree to dance with an ‘Arab’ but not with a British official?”

“Of course it’s sad that so many people were killed, especially the innocent Jews,” she continued. “But we warned them. We gave them time to evacuate the building. The British were arrogant, they chose not to [evacuate]. We fought for our independence. It was the right thing to do. I would do anything for our country now, too.”

Shraga Alis also told his personal recollection of the planning of the bombing.

Almost matter-of-factly, with a certain glory and certainly no reflection, he seemed to enjoy telling every detail of how the fighters entered the building, dressed as Arabs, and dragged the seven heavy milk cans, filled with 350 kg. of explosives, across the lengthy hallways of the King David, passed the unsuspecting guards and workers, and placed them strategically around a support beam next to the elegant Regency club on the ground floor of the southern wing.

The years have not added complexity to his understanding. “We did what we had to do.”

Ya’acov Elazar, a member of the technical branch of the IZL and then a professor at the Technion, had been involved with the most precise details of the bombing. At the conference, he carried a miniature replica of a large tin milk can, a knowing smile on his resolute face.

Before the conference ended with a tour of the hotel and the dedication of the commemorative plaque, he insisted on reading out the names of each and every member of the IZL who was involved, directly or indirectly, with the bombing, citing them by their underground names and positions and noting whether they are still alive today, 60 years later. The crowd listened patiently.

Before the conference dispersed, most of the crowd walked the few blocks to the King David Hotel. The conference organizers provided buses for those too frail or elderly to walk.

Walking through the underground hallways, past bewildered maintenance crews and hotel staff, they stopped at each point along the way and members of the Begin Heritage Center, like guides on a high school hike, explained the events of that day.

Then they listened to the dedication of the plaque in the presence of Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Cohen, the chief rabbi of Haifa who had fought in the Old City, and Jerusalem Yigal Amedi, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem.

Most of the attendees weren’t interested in the speeches. They were interested in the wording of the plaque, which had been changed at the insistence of the British ambassador and consul.

The original wording had presented as fact the IZL’s claim that people died because the British ignored the warning calls.

“Warning phone calls had been made, urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it read.

But the British authorities still deny that they were ever warned and, even if they were, Ambassador Simon McDonald and Consul Dr. John Jenkins wrote in a letter to Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, “This does not absolve those who planted the bomb from responsibility for their deaths.

To prevent a diplomatic incident, and over the objections of MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud), who brought the matter up in the Knesset, the text was changed – especially in the English version.

In English, the text now reads, “Warning phone calls has [sic] been made to the hotel, The Palestine Post and the French Consulate, urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. The hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded… to the Irgun’s regret, 92 persons were killed.”
The count of 92 includes Avraham Abramovitz, the IZL fighter who was killed inside the hotel. But only the Hebrew version makes that clear.

“I don’t care about the English,” said Yael. “I only care about the Hebrew, because that’s our language. And the Hebrew tells the truth.”

<> Absurd Atrocity,  Written by Yvonne Ridley,  Wednesday, 26 July 2006

On October 12 1984 there was a direct attack on the British Government at the Conservative party conference in the seaside resort of Brighton.

A 100 pound bomb maimed and killed as it tore apart the Brighton Grand Hotel where members of Margaret Thatcher’s government were staying.

The Iron Lady herself narrowly escaped injury but five were murdered in the blast caused by the Provisional Irish Republican Army’s chief explosives officer Patrick Magee.

Magee was found guilty of five counts of murder and received eight life sentences with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 35 years.

So by my reckoning he would not be a free man until he is 70 – but thanks to the April 1998 Good Friday Agreement he was released along with scores of other convicted IRA terrorists.

When Patrick Magee walked free he publicly declared: “I stand by what I did”.

I remember the moment very well because my late father called him ‘a murdering Catholic bas***d’ while I remarked that one man’s freedom fighter was another man’s terrorist. I’m not sure my father ever forgave me for what he saw as the defense of the indefensable.

Magee’s actions and his reaction on being released certainly polarised people regardless of their faiths, culture or beliefs.

But even a bleeding heart liberal like myself would find it very hard to stomach if Magee and his supporters rolled up at the Brighton hotel 60 years on to hold a two-day party to celebrate.

Or do you think the peace-loving islanders of Bali would enjoy a good knees up to commemorate the bombings which devastated their tourist trade and took hundreds of innocent, mainly Australian, lives on October 12 2002?

Yep, exactly the same calendar date but 18 years apart.

Now I really want you to let your imaginations go wild … try and picture Usama bin Ladin and fellow Mujahideen gathering at the site of the Twin Towers on 9/11 2061 to erect a commemorative plaque marking America’s biggest ever (so far) terrorist strike.

Sick and twisted? Yes, I can see the headlines in the New York Times now, but that is exactly what a bunch of terrorist has-beens did a few days ago.

And furthermore, as they returned to the scene of the crime many of them proudly declared they would do it all over again, showing not one ounce of guilt or regret for the blood of innocents on their hands.

Right-wingers including Binyamin Netanyahu, the former Israeli Prime Minister met up with a few of his terrorist pals to commemorate the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in which 92 people died.

How on earth the Zionists and their supporters are going to justify this one is beyond me but their naked hypocrisy has been ripped wide open leaving them exposed, unrepentant and undeniably repugnant.

As Israel set about dispossessing nearly one million Lebanese people of their homes, killing hundreds including scores of children over the last two weeks, the Zionist State kept citing terrorists in Hizb’Allah as the reason for the totally disproportionate aggression.

Every other word being uttered from defenders of Israel is ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorism’.

Hmm, interesting … I didn’t realise there were terrorists in the UN yet their office was shelled killing four workers on July 24.

Unbelievably, just a few days earlier, as the bloodshed in Lebanon continued a group of right-wing Israelis celebrated a specific act of terrorism which they unleashed 60 years ago.

The act of terrorism was, like the IRA’s Brighton Bombing, against British rule.

The geriatric gang even erected a plaque outside the restored building before launching their two-day junket.

It was all too much for British Ambassador in Tel Aviv and the Consul-General in Jerusalem John Jenkins who both expressed their disgust in a letter to the authorities stating: “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”

They, not unreasonably, demanded the removal of the blue plaque that paid tribute to the Irgun, the Jewish terror cell headed by Menachem Begin, the future Prime Minister. Irgun carried out the attack on July 22, 1946.

The plaque presents as fact Irgun’s claim that people died because the British ignored warning calls. “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated,” it states.

Typical isn’t it? As I’ve said in previous columns, the Israelis could start a fight in an empty room and still blame everyone else for the fall out. There were no warning calls made in the cowardly attack, and even if Irgun members showed an uncharacteristic ounce of mercy and made a single warning call, it would not absolve them from slaughtering the innocents.

For ten days, the British Engineering Corps cleared the wreckage, and on July 31 it was officially announced that 91 people had been killed in the explosion: 28 Britons, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and 5 others. The controversy over the plaque and the two-day celebration of the bombing, sponsored by Irgun veterans and the right-wing Menachem Begin Heritage Center, goes to the heart of the debate over the use of political violence in the Middle East.

A po-faced Netanyahu argued in a speech celebrating the attack that Irgun was governed by morals, unlike fighters from groups such as Hamas. What is it with these deluded folk? Do they get a frontal lobotomy at the same time they are circumcised?

I nearly choked as he maintained a straight face, and said in all seriousness: “It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action. Imagine that Hamas or Hizb’Allah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area’.”

Oh, terribly sorry Mr Netanyahu, but what about those 18 civilians in southern Lebanon who were burnt alive when missiles from an Israeli helicopter gunship slammed into their fleeing convoy … they had fled from their homes in south Lebanon, before you even thought about making a courtesy call.

And I suppose the seven civilians killed in other raids against bridges and gas stations in eastern and southern Lebanon, have only themselves to blame.

An unrepentant Israeli spy, Sarah Agassi, 80, remembers how she danced tangos and waltzes, sipped whisky and wine while casing out the King David hotel.

Sixty years ago, her brother and his fellow accomplices posed as local Arabs delivering milk in seven churns, each containing 50kg of explosives.

Sitting in the five-star splendour of the hotel, the grand old dame of terror expressed no regret. “We fought for our independence. We thought it was the right way … If I had to fight for Israel, I swear even now I would do anything.”

Yes Sarah, I’ve heard those sentiments expressed many times before … from the lips of every Palestinian your vile state has brutalised, tortured and disposessed.

Remember the Palestinians, Sarah? The people whose land you stole?

You are not, and never will be a freedom fighter. You have no dignity nor respect Sarah, and despite your Octogenarian status you deserve neither. You are simply a sad, old, deluded Irgun terrorist who thought nothing about killing your own.

By the way, just because someone reaches a ripe old age, does not entitle them to automatic respect. Sarah was obviously a nasty little piece of work as a young Zionist spy, and I don’t imagine she has improved with age. Perhaps she and her veteran colleagues would be better served recalling the poignant words of French philosopher Voltaire, who once said: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Sarah’s dreams of a Zionist state was indeed an absurd mistake, created in 1917 in 26 words by Lord Balfour, the then British Foreign Minister who thought up the idea of establishing a Jewish homeland.

The Zionists immediately seized upon his statement, which they interpreted to mean support for a Jewish state. At the time of Balfour’s declaration, Jews comprised less than 10% of the population and owned 2.5% of the land of Palestine.

The creation of the Zionist project was an absurdity and what has followed since its inception is atrocity after atrocity … it has been responsible for decades of death, warfare and terrorism.

Israel is probably now the most loathed state in the world today as it fights Hizb’Allah in the north and Hamas in the south … trying to claw back land which it has already given away. Now just how absurd is that?

<> Remember this picture of the “Guard” at Abu Ghuraib prison in Iraq, but well , of course they have lots of experience interrogating Palestinians  in Arabic Language and water boarding and other torture techniques  etc.




<>  Good Thing We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists

By: John Caruso

[ Question posed: does glorification of terrorism has disqualified Netanyahu from discussions with U.S. officials?]

<> SEE IT NOW IN 2009:

… handout image provided by the US Embassy Tel Aviv, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Prime Minister-designate Benyamin Netanyahu pose before their meeting at the King David Hotel on March 3, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel. Hillary Clinton is at the start of a two-day visit to the region during which she will hold talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Designate Binyamin Netanyahu before meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas.


<> NOTE that Binyamin Netanyahu, said at the time of commemoration – celebration:

“It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action.”

hmm,,,, doesn’t sound like a repentant terrorist to me, but well,,,,,,,  celebrating ,,,

<> Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques – IDF fashion 2009 – -Israeli newspaper Haaretz

By Uri Blau

The office at the Adiv fabric-printing shop in south Tel Aviv handles a constant stream of customers, many of them soldiers in uniform, who come to order custom clothing featuring their unit’s insignia, usually accompanied by a slogan and drawing of their choosing. Elsewhere on the premises, the sketches are turned into plates used for imprinting the ordered items, mainly T-shirts and baseball caps, but also hoodies, fleece jackets and pants. A young Arab man from Jaffa supervises the workers who imprint the words and pictures, and afterward hands over the finished product.

Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques – these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty. The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.” A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”

There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, “Bet you got raped!” A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies – such as “confirming the kill” (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants. In many cases, the content is submitted for approval to one of the unit’s commanders. The latter, however, do not always have control over what gets printed, because the artwork is a private initiative of soldiers that they never hear about. Drawings or slogans previously banned in certain units have been approved for distribution elsewhere. For example, shirts declaring, “We won’t chill ’til we confirm the kill” were banned in the past (the IDF claims that the practice doesn’t exist), yet the Haruv battalion printed some last year.

The slogan “Let every Arab mother know that her son’s fate is in my hands!” had previously been banned for use on another infantry unit’s shirt. A Givati soldier said this week, however, that at the end of last year, his platoon printed up dozens of shirts, fleece jackets and pants bearing this slogan.”It has a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town,” he explains. “The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him.”Does the design go to the commanders for approval?The Givati soldier: “Usually the shirts undergo a selection process by some officer, but in this case, they were approved at the level of platoon sergeant. We ordered shirts for 30 soldiers and they were really into it, and everyone wanted several items and paid NIS 200 on average.”What do you think of the slogan that was printed?”I didn’t like it so much, but most of the soldiers wanted it.”

Many controversial shirts have been ordered by graduates of snipers courses, which bring together soldiers from various units. In 2006, soldiers from the “Carmon Team” course for elite-unit marksmen printed a shirt with a drawing of a knife-wielding Palestinian in the crosshairs of a gun sight, and the slogan, “You’ve got to run fast, run fast, run fast, before it’s all over.” Below is a drawing of Arab women weeping over a grave and the words: “And afterward they cry, and afterward they cry.” [The inscriptions are riffs on a popular song.] Another sniper’s shirt also features an Arab man in the crosshairs, and the announcement, “Everything is with the best of intentions.”

G., a soldier in an elite unit who has done a snipers course, explained that, “it’s a type of bonding process, and also it’s well known that anyone who is a sniper is messed up in the head. Our shirts have a lot of double entendres, for example: ‘Bad people with good aims.’ Every group that finishes a course puts out stuff like that.”

When are these shirts worn?

G. “These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out. Sometimes people will ask you what it’s about.”

Of the shirt depicting a bull’s-eye on a pregnant woman, he said: “There are people who think it’s not right, and I think so as well, but it doesn’t really mean anything. I mean it’s not like someone is gonna go and shoot a pregnant woman.”

What is the idea behind the shirt from July 2007, which has an image of a child with the slogan “Smaller – harder!”?

“It’s a kid, so you’ve got a little more of a problem, morally, and also the target is smaller.”

Do your superiors approve the shirts before printing?

“Yes, although one time they rejected some shirt that was too extreme. I don’t remember what was on it.”

These shirts also seem pretty extreme. Why draw crosshairs over a child – do you shoot kids?

‘We came, we saw’

“As a sniper, you get a lot of extreme situations. You suddenly see a small boy who picks up a weapon and it’s up to you to decide whether to shoot. These shirts are half-facetious, bordering on the truth, and they reflect the extreme situations you might encounter. The one who-honest-to-God sees the target with his own eyes – that’s the sniper.”

Have you encountered a situation like that?

“Fortunately, not involving a kid, but involving a woman – yes. There was someone who wasn’t holding a weapon, but she was near a prohibited area and could have posed a threat.”

What did you do?

“I didn’t take it” (i.e., shoot).

You don’t regret that, I imagine.

“No. Whomever I had to shoot, I shot.”

A shirt printed up just this week for soldiers of the Lavi battalion, who spent three years in the West Bank, reads: “We came, we saw, we destroyed!” – alongside images of weapons, an angry soldier and a Palestinian village with a ruined mosque in the center.

A shirt printed after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza for Battalion 890 of the Paratroops depicts a King Kong-like soldier in a city under attack. The slogan is unambiguous: “If you believe it can be fixed, then believe it can be destroyed!”

Y., a soldier/yeshiva student, designed the shirt. “You take whoever [in the unit] knows how to draw and then you give it to the commanders before printing,” he explained.

What is the soldier holding in his hand?

Y. “A mosque. Before I drew the shirt I had some misgivings, because I wanted it to be like King Kong, but not too monstrous. The one holding the mosque – I wanted him to have a more normal-looking face, so it wouldn’t look like an anti-Semitic cartoon. Some of the people who saw it told me, ‘Is that what you’ve got to show for the IDF? That it destroys homes?’ I can understand people who look at this from outside and see it that way, but I was in Gaza and they kept emphasizing that the object of the operation was to wreak destruction on the infrastructure, so that the price the Palestinians and the leadership pay will make them realize that it isn’t worth it for them to go on shooting. So that’s the idea of ‘we’re coming to destroy’ in the drawing.”

According to Y., most of these shirts are worn strictly in an army context, not in civilian life. “And within the army people look at it differently,” he added. “I don’t think I would walk down the street in this shirt, because it would draw fire. Even at my yeshiva I don’t think people would like it.”

Y. also came up with a design for the shirt his unit printed at the end of basic training. It shows a clenched fist shattering the symbol of the Paratroops Corps.

Where does the fist come from?

“It’s reminiscent of [Rabbi Meir] Kahane’s symbol. I borrowed it from an emblem for something in Russia, but basically it’s supposed to look like Kahane’s symbol, the one from ‘Kahane Was Right’ – it’s a sort of joke. Our company commander is kind of gung-ho.”

Was the shirt printed?

“Yes. It was a company shirt. We printed about 100 like that.”

This past January, the “Night Predators” demolitions platoon from Golani’s Battalion 13 ordered a T-shirt showing a Golani devil detonating a charge that destroys a mosque. An inscription above it says, “Only God forgives.”

One of the soldiers in the platoon downplays it: “It doesn’t mean much, it’s just a T-shirt from our platoon. It’s not a big deal. A friend of mine drew a picture and we made it into a shirt.”

What’s the idea behind “Only God forgives”?

The soldier: “It’s just a saying.”

No one had a problem with the fact that a mosque gets blown up in the picture?

“I don’t see what you’re getting at. I don’t like the way you’re going with this. Don’t take this somewhere you’re not supposed to, as though we hate Arabs.”

After Operation Cast Lead, soldiers from that battalion printed a T-shirt depicting a vulture sexually penetrating Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied by a particularly graphic slogan. S., a soldier in the platoon that ordered the shirt, said the idea came from a similar shirt, printed after the Second Lebanon War, that featured Hassan Nasrallah instead of Haniyeh.

“They don’t okay things like that at the company level. It’s a shirt we put out just for the platoon,” S. explained.

What’s the problem with this shirt?

S.: “It bothers some people to see these things, from a religious standpoint …”

How did people who saw it respond?

“We don’t have that many Orthodox people in the platoon, so it wasn’t a problem. It’s just something the guys want to put out. It’s more for wearing around the house, and not within the companies, because it bothers people. The Orthodox mainly. The officers tell us it’s best not to wear shirts like this on the base.”

The sketches printed in recent years at the Adiv factory, one of the largest of its kind in the country, are arranged in drawers according to the names of the units placing the orders: Paratroops, Golani, air force, sharpshooters and so on. Each drawer contains hundreds of drawings, filed by year. Many of the prints are cartoons and slogans relating to life in the unit, or inside jokes that outsiders wouldn’t get (and might not care to, either), but a handful reflect particular aggressiveness, violence and vulgarity.

Print-shop manager Haim Yisrael, who has worked there since the early 1980s, said Adiv prints around 1,000 different patterns each month, with soldiers accounting for about half. Yisrael recalled that when he started out, there were hardly any orders from the army.

“The first ones to do it were from the Nahal brigade,” he said. “Later on other infantry units started printing up shirts, and nowadays any course with 15 participants prints up shirts.”

From time to time, officers complain. “Sometimes the soldiers do things that are inside jokes that only they get, and sometimes they do something foolish that they take to an extreme,” Yisrael explained. “There have been a few times when commanding officers called and said, ‘How can you print things like that for soldiers?’ For example, with shirts that trashed the Arabs too much. I told them it’s a private company, and I’m not interested in the content. I can print whatever I like. We’re neutral. There have always been some more extreme and some less so. It’s just that now more people are making shirts.”

Race to be unique

Evyatar Ben-Tzedef, a research associate at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism and former editor of the IDF publication Maarachot, said the phenomenon of custom-made T-shirts is a product of “the infantry’s insane race to be unique. I, for example, had only one shirt that I received after the Yom Kippur War. It said on it, ‘The School for Officers,’ and that was it. What happened since then is a product of the decision to assign every unit an emblem and a beret. After all, there used to be very few berets: black, red or green. This changed in the 1990s. [The shirts] developed because of the fact that for bonding purposes, each unit created something that was unique to it.

“These days the content on shirts is sometimes deplorable,” Ben-Tzedef explained. “It stems from the fact that profanity is very acceptable and normative in Israel, and that there is a lack of respect for human beings and their environment, which includes racism aimed in every direction.”

Yossi Kaufman, who moderates the army and defense forum on the Web site Fresh, served in the Armored Corps from 1996 to 1999. “I also drew shirts, and I remember the first one,” he said. “It had a small emblem on the front and some inside joke, like, ‘When we die, we’ll go to heaven, because we’ve already been through hell.'”

Kaufman has also been exposed to T-shirts of the sort described here. “I know there are shirts like these,” he says. “I’ve heard and also seen a little. These are not shirts that soldiers can wear in civilian life, because they would get stoned, nor at a battalion get-together, because the battalion commander would be pissed off. They wear them on very rare occasions. There’s all sorts of black humor stuff, mainly from snipers, such as, ‘Don’t bother running because you’ll die tired’ – with a drawing of a Palestinian boy, not a terrorist. There’s a Golani or Givati shirt of a soldier raping a girl, and underneath it says, ‘No virgins, no terror attacks.’ I laughed, but it was pretty awful. When I was asked once to draw things like that, I said it wasn’t appropriate.”

The IDF Spokesman’s Office comments on the phenomenon: “Military regulations do not apply to civilian clothing, including shirts produced at the end of basic training and various courses. The designs are printed at the soldiers’ private initiative, and on civilian shirts. The examples raised by Haaretz are not in keeping with the values of the IDF spirit, not representative of IDF life, and are in poor taste. Humor of this kind deserves every condemnation and excoriation. The IDF intends to take action for the immediate eradication of this phenomenon. To this end, it is emphasizing to commanding officers that it is appropriate, among other things, to take discretionary and disciplinary measures against those involved in acts of this sort.”

Shlomo Tzipori, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves and a lawyer specializing in martial law, said the army does bring soldiers up on charges for offenses that occur outside the base and during their free time. According to Tzipori, slogans that constitute an “insult to the army or to those in uniform” are grounds for court-martial, on charges of “shameful conduct” or “disciplinary infraction,” which are general clauses in judicial martial law.

Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, of Bar-Ilan University, author of “Identities in Uniform: Masculinities and Femininities in the Israeli Military,” said that the phenomenon is “part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront. I think that ever since the second intifada there has been a continual shift to the right. The pullout from Gaza and its outcome – the calm that never arrived – led to a further shift rightward.

“This tendency is most strikingly evident among soldiers who encounter various situations in the territories on a daily basis. There is less meticulousness than in the past, and increasing callousness. There is a perception that the Palestinian is not a person, a human being entitled to basic rights, and therefore anything may be done to him.”

Could the printing of clothing be viewed also as a means of venting aggression?

Sasson-Levy: “No. I think it strengthens and stimulates aggression and legitimizes it. What disturbs me is that a shirt is something that has permanence. The soldiers later wear it in civilian life; their girlfriends wear it afterward. It is not a statement, but rather something physical that remains, that is out there in the world. Beyond that, I think the link made between sexist views and nationalist views, as in the ‘Screw Haniyeh’ shirt, is interesting. National chauvinism and gender chauvinism combine and strengthen one another. It establishes a masculinity shaped by violent aggression toward women and Arabs; a masculinity that considers it legitimate to speak in a crude and violent manner toward women and Arabs.”

Col. (res.) Ron Levy began his military service in the Sayeret Matkal elite commando force before the Six-Day War. He was the IDF’s chief psychologist, and headed the army’s mental health department in the 1980s.

Levy: “I’m familiar with things of this sort going back 40, 50 years, and each time they take a different form. Psychologically speaking, this is one of the ways in which soldiers project their anger, frustration and violence. It is a certain expression of things, which I call ‘below the belt.'”

Do you think this a good way to vent anger?

Levy: “It’s safe. But there are also things here that deviate from the norm, and you could say that whoever is creating these things has reached some level of normality. He gives expression to the fact that what is considered abnormal today might no longer be so tomorrow.”

Below: A T-shirt printed at the request of an IDF soldier in the sniper unit reading ‘I shot two kills.

IDF_Ishot2kills{i.e Israeli Soldier celebrating killing of shows Muslim Palestinian Women }

{One example of many “celebration” tee shirts celebrating bombing Mosques, killing women and children and other non combatants }




<> Breaking The Silence Former Israeli Soldiers Call Gaza War Reckless

STEVE WEIZMAN | 07/15/09 03:27 PM |

JERUSALEM — Israeli soldiers who fought in last winter’s Gaza War say the military used Palestinians as human shields, improperly fired incendiary white phosphorous shells over civilian areas and used overwhelming firepower that caused needless deaths and destruction, according to a report released Wednesday.

The testimonies were by far the strongest allegations to come from war veterans that the army used excessive force during the three-week offensive and echoed claims already leveled by Palestinian and human rights groups. The military rebutted the report, saying the accounts were anonymous and impossible to verify.

The accounts of 26 war veterans were collected by Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli army reservists critical of their country’s treatment of Palestinians. They described demolishing buildings, vandalizing homes and using more than essential firepower, given the relatively light resistance they encountered. One said the army needlessly used white phosphorous, a masking agent that can cause severe burns, for smokescreens. Others said regulations for opening fire were vague, and that soldiers were expected to do whatever was necessary to protect themselves.

“There were no clear red lines,” one soldier told the group. “If you’re not sure, kill. Fire power was insane,” said another.

Military officers have acknowledged that rules of engagement were relaxed to minimize army casualties but insisted civilians were never targeted.

Israel launched the blistering offensive last December after thousands of rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on southern Israel over an eight-year period. More than 1,400 Palestinians, including at least 900 civilians, were killed in the fighting, thousands of homes were destroyed and Gaza’s infrastructure was battered, according to Gaza health officials and human rights groups. Israel puts the death toll closer to 1,100 and says most were armed fighters. Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians who died from rocket fire.

Wednesday’s report was sure to fuel a debate that still rages six months after the offensive over whether Israel violated the rules of war. International rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have said the degree of force and heavy civilian death toll constituted war crimes, and the U.N. has launched a probe, headed by a respected war crimes prosecutor, into the actions of Israel and Hamas. Human rights groups say Hamas committed war crimes by firing rockets at civilian areas in Israel.

Israel maintains that responsibility for the carnage lies with Hamas, which it says cached ammunition in schools and mosques, blended in with the general population and used civilian areas and public buildings for cover.

The Israeli military said it “regrets the fact that yet another human rights organization is presenting to Israel and the world a report based on anonymous and general testimonies, without investigating their details or credibility.” The military also said that since no identifying details were given, it was impossible to verify the accounts. It urged soldiers to come forward and register official complaints.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated his belief that the Israeli military “is one of the world’s most moral armies and operates according to the highest moral code.”

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, said the report “reflects the crimes committed in Gaza,” and called on “human rights bodies and international groups” to put Israel’s leaders on trial.

Wednesday’s 110-page report, which also included videotaped testimonies in which soldiers’ faces were blurred out, did not represent a cross-section of the army. Rather, they were troops who approached the group or were reached through acquaintances of group members. Two were junior officers and the rest were lower-ranking personnel. It did not examine Hamas’ actions.

Many questioned the overwhelming use of force. One soldier said the army used weapons like mortars and white phosphorous “to show off its strength.” Another soldier said white phosphorus artillery shells were used to ignite a house suspected of housing munitions. “The house went up in flames,” he said.

Israel has said it used white phosphorus munitions only outside of crowded areas and only as a smokescreen to protect forces. But New York-based Human Rights Watch says Israel fired white phosphorous shells indiscriminately over densely populated areas in what amounts to a war crime.

Breaking the Silence said it decided to protect the identity of the soldiers, noting that many are still in the military and could face punishment for speaking out. But spokesman Mikhael Manekin said the accounts included enough information for the army to figure out which units were involved.

“If there is ever an inquiry, the witnesses will gladly testify,” he said. An internal military probe earlier this year found no systematic wrongdoing on the part of the army.

A few other soldiers have come forward with similar second-hand testimony since the operation. But overall, the Israeli public believes the Gaza operation was necessary to halt the rocket fire and think their military is singled out for unfair criticism.

Some testimonies provided a glimpse at the complex battlefield the soldiers faced as they pushed into densely populated territory, fearing booby-trapped houses and alleyway ambushes and unable to tell civilians from combatants. Hamas had promised to make Gaza a “graveyard” for the Israelis.

One soldier quoted his commander as saying, “I am not willing to allow a soldier of mine to risk himself by hesitating.”

But most focused on what they saw as improper behavior, like the vandalism of Palestinian property or the use of civilians as human shields – a practice the army itself has banned.

“Sometimes the force would enter while placing rifle barrels on a civilian’s shoulder, advancing into a house and using him as a human shield. Commanders said these were the instructions and we had to do it,” one soldier said.

Another said that soldiers would shoot at houses and water tanks from boredom.

“At one point, an officer decided to give a grenade-throwing training exercise. He put the soldiers in a house and they threw grenades inside until it was completely destroyed,” he said. Other accounts described soldiers drawing obscene graffiti on the walls of occupied houses, or using bulldozers to systematically destroy homes.

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<> Netanyahu’s attempts to silence Breaking the Silence

Posted on August 8 2009 by Rob Lipton under Censorship , Free speech , Gaza , Israeli peace groups.

Netanyahu’s attempts to silence Breaking the Silence

Netanyahu has asked Spain, Britain and The Netherlands to stop directly funding the Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence (BTS).  BTS has been releasing IDF soldier testimony on the invasion/massacre in Gaza.  The accounts by the soldiers are harrowing and document war crimes.  The Israeli government claims that governmental support of “politicized” NGOs undermines democracy in the Jewish state.  Netanyahu is    “contemplating legislation that would ban foreign government funding for groups such as Breaking the Silence.”   The main argument is that foreign governmental funding of non-governmental institutions that are ostensibly working “against” the interests of the duly elected government are undemocratic.  Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s senior political adviser, was quoted as saying that funding from foreign embassies for the group amounted to “blatant and unacceptable” intervention in Israel’s internal affairs.

But Don Futterman (program director, Israel, of the Moriah Fund, a private American foundation working in Israel to support civil society and democracy, immigrant absorption and education.) has a different take,

“If our defense minister (Avigor Lieberman) wants us to live up to the claim that the IDF is “the most moral army on earth,” he should welcome soldiers who speak out about illegal acts that they have witnessed or were asked to perform. In our post-war rush to elections, we unfortunately – and perhaps, conveniently – skipped over any discussion concerning the morality of what the army has done. But even our fears of one-sided international condemnation of our actions in Gaza cannot justify official attempts to silence the messenger, especially when that messenger is us.”

He also argues that: BTS is not an advocacy organization, It is made up of IDF reservists who have served in the territories during their regular military service over the last nine years. In addition to recognizing the harm we are doing to our Palestinian neighbors, the organization urges us to look closely at the damage we are doing to our own soldiers when they are asked to engage in acts of questionable morality or legality. BTS gathers and then publicizes testimony in both words and pictures from soldiers who are willing to come forward. The organization makes every effort to check the veracity of these testimonies, and will not publish any soldier’s comments unless it has corroborating testimony from at least one other reliable source.”

Indeed, a senior Israeli official objected to friendly nations funding “opposition bodies” inside Israel. IDF soldiers are now considered “in opposition” who do not go along with the government line on Gaza. Futterman, in my opinion gets to the heart of this matter.

“Presumably, what the official meant is that the government and the IDF find intolerable opposition to their attempts to control the discourse concerning Israel’s behavior in the territories”

Democracy is not just the process of voting, selecting representation etc, it is also about discourse freely exchanged.

“Some Jewish organizational officials counter that a ban on foreign government support of NGOs is more characteristic of a dictatorship, and would undermine U.S. efforts to support NGOs in Iran and other countries with poor human rights records.

One senior official at a centrist Jewish organization said such an initiative was profoundly counterintuitive, considering how much the Israeli and Jewish establishments had reaped from Western government backing for NGOs assisting Jews in the Soviet Union during the Cold War — and how such support continues today in Iran and the former Soviet Union.

“It’s a little surprising,” said the official, who spoke anonymously to avoid embarrassing Israel’s government. “All over the world, NGOs are accused of taking other governments’ dollars and being tainted by that — the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the National Republican Institute. If the Israeli government says we’re going to only let certain human rights groups operate, it makes it harder to make our case” elsewhere.”

The good news is that the government’s heavy handed attempts to silence BTS has only emboldened soldiers to come forward.

Futterman continues:

our government (Israel) should welcome other expressions of foreign support for our civil society, not attempt to control it. If the United Kingdom or Spain or any other state wants to be a true friend to Israeli democracy, it will renew its commitment to BTS.

Akiva Elder also brings up the point from Gush Shalom that:

“the discriminatory blocking of European government funding to a specific group of legal and legitimate NGOs may well result in a public backlash in the EU, which would force your government to cut all funding to Israeli NGOs, including to universities and hospitals.”

Further, such NGO mettling could effect Chrisian Zionist organizations in the EU supporting settlement activity in the West Bank.

Presently, partially as a result of this effort to stop the funding of BTS there is a move by EU based human rights groups to pressure EU governments and the European commission to stop all funding to Israeli NGO’s. This is a definite “shoot yourself in the foot moment.” Not that surprising for the Netanyahu/Lieberman government, but certainly something that would have real effects on Israeli civil society.

Some of the arguments in support of such a ban are either manifest-destiny-loony or racist. For example, one “pro Israel” critic of such NGO support said that “the difference is that Israel is a first world democracy — democracies meddling in the business of other democracies is inappropriate.”   By implication, those places

defined, by whatever arbitrary process, as not being first world can be meddled with because they are not democratic so its okay for first world democracies to act undemocratically as long as they are doing so in undemocratic/non-first world counties.

Its really the cliché about who’s ox is being gored, trying to limit such support in a supposedly democratic system in order to limit the free speech rights of a specific group will almost always end badly and undermines the core tenants of any functioning democratic system.

Robert Lipton of > MuzzleWatch Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy

<> Group that exposed ‘IDF crimes’ in Gaza slams Israel bid to choke off its funds

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

Last update – 17:22 26/07/2009

An organization that alleged Israeli troops used Palestinians as human shields in Gaza accused the Foreign Ministry on Sunday of “endangering democracy,” following a Haaretz report that the ministry had asked the Netherlands to freeze funds to the group.

Acting on instructions from the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Harry Knei-Tal, met last week with the director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry and complained about the Dutch embassy’s funding of Breaking the Silence.

The group said Sunday that the ministry and the establishment were conducting a “witch hunt…only a part of which was exposed in the Haaretz report,” that it claimed was testimony to the “erosion of democratic culture in the State of Israel.”

Breaking the Silence added: “The attempts to silence voices from Israeli civil society are dangerous. As opposed to reports, the IDF has never denied the [validity of the] testimonies and it and the foreign ministry’s virulent reaction… only strengthens the position of the testifying soldiers, who are not willing to be exposed.”

“It looks like the ministry draws ideas from shady regimes, in which those who point out internal failures are considered traitors.”

In the meeting last week between Knei-Tal and the director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Israeli ambassador suggested that the Netherlands’ funding of the organization should be terminated, according to a source.

“The Dutch taxpayer’s money could be better used to promote peace and human rights,” the source quoted Knei-Tal as saying.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen – considered one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in the European Union – did not know that the embassy in Tel Aviv was funding Breaking the Silence. He learned about it after the organization’s funding sources were published in an article in The Jerusalem Post.

Sources say Verhagen reproached senior figures in the Dutch Foreign Ministry upon learning this and gave instructions to launch an internal investigation on the matter. It showed that the embassy in Israel gave Breaking the Silence 19,995 euros to help put together its 2009 report, which discusses Operation Cast Lead and was released earlier this month. Had this figure been five euros higher, it would have required approval from The Hague.

The director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry told the Israeli ambassador that in light of the probe, funding for Breaking the Silence would be reevaluated because of the political sensitivities of the issues covered by the organization.

Breaking the Silence, which was founded by Israel Defense Forces veterans, has collected what it says are damning testimonies from soldiers who took part in the January offensive against Hamas in Gaza. The report contains almost 30 anonymous testimonies.

An Israeli diplomat said that in the meeting last week, Knei-Tal said Israel was a democratic country and that such funds should go to places without democracy. Breaking the Silence was a legal and legitimate organization, he said, according to sources, but its funding by the Dutch was unreasonable “in light of the political sensitivities.”

According to a senior Israeli official: “A friendly government cannot fund opposition bodies. We are not a third world country.”

The director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry said Spain had also funded Breaking the Silence. A diplomat in Jerusalem said Breaking the Silence had also been funded by the British government. Israel has not yet approached Spain or Britain on the matter.

<> See also the Official breaking the Silence website of IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers  :

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<> Few Examples: Kidnappings, Beatings, Murders and Hangings Attacks by the Irgun and Stern Gang

<>  UN releases Gaza attack photos

…The United Nations has released images of what it believes are white phosphorus munitions raining down on one of its compounds during Israel’s war on Gaza….

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported a brigade of paratroop reservists fired about 20 white phosphorus shells into the built-up area of Beit Lahiya on January 17, which landed in the UN-run compound where the two Palestinian children were killed and severe burns were inflicted on 14 other people.

Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, has accused Israel of war crimes over its use of the munitions in heavily populated areas….

Below: UN released picture of white phosphorous


See also

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<> Soldier says rabbis pushed “religious war” in Gaza

Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:54am EDT

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Rabbis in the Israeli army told battlefield troops in January’s Gaza offensive they were fighting a “religious war” against gentiles, according to one army commander’s account published Friday.

“Their message was very clear: we are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land,” he said.

The account by Ram, a pseudonym to shield the soldier’s identity, was published by the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper in the second day of revelations that have rocked the Israeli military. ( “Shooting and Crying, 2009”).

They were leaked from a Feb 13 meeting of armed forces members to share their Gaza experiences.

Some veterans, alumni of an Israel Defense Force (IDF) military academy, told of the killing of civilians and their impression that deep contempt for Palestinians pervaded the ranks of the Israeli forces….

<> >>>>>>  64% of Israelis want Temple rebuilt –  Even half of secular Jews say time is right

Whats that again:

What??! – AGAIN PLEASE?! I missed that since its too


64% of Israelis want Temple Built – Even half of

Secular Jews say time is right


Posted: August 01, 2009 12:40 am Eastern © 2009 WorldNetDaily

….Nearly two-thirds of Israelis say the time is right to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple, according to a Ynet-Gesher survey. Even half of non-religious Jews favor rebuilding the Holy Temple – an idea politically unthinkable in Israel just 10 or 20 years ago. The poll was release on the saddest day on the Jewish calendar – the fasting day of Tisha B’Av, or the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It commemorates a series of tragedies that befell the Jewish people all on the same day, most significantly the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, which occurred about 656 years apart on the same day. Jewish tradition calls for the reading

of Lamentations…..The rebuilding of the Temple is an extremely controversial idea in Israel because currently Jewish access to the Temple Mount is restricted by the Muslim Waqf, which was granted administrative authority over the Jews’ holiest sites, which are occupied by Muslim shrines. Some Jewish leaders believe access to Jews should be restricted until the Third Temple is built…..

<> Jews hail birth of red cow as sign to start third temple

By Con Coughlin in Jerusalem

THE birth of a red heifer in Israel is being hailed by religious Jews as a sign from God that work can soon begin on building the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

A team of rabbinical experts last week confirmed that the animal, born six months ago on a religious kibbutz near the north Israeli port of Haifa, meets the correct Biblical criteria for a genuine holy cow. According to the Book of Numbers (XIX: 2-7), the animal is needed for an ancient Jewish purification ritual.

“The Lord hath commanded saying: Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke,” says the fourth book of the Old Testament, also part of Jewish holy scripture, the Torah.

The heifer will be slaughtered and burned, and its ashes made into a liquid paste and used in a ceremony which religious Jews believe they must undergo before they can enter the old Temple site in Jerusalem to start building a new structure. Since Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Roman emperor Titus in AD 70, no flawless red heifer has been born within the biblical land of Israel, according to rabbinical teaching.

The birth of the animal, to a black-and-white mother and a dun-coloured bull, is being hailed as a “miracle” by activists who want to rebuild the Third Temple and prepare the way for the Jewish messiah’s entry to Jerusalem. The faithful will need to wait until the heifer is at least three before it can be used in a ritual sacrifice. That would enable religious Jews to start the new millennium (a Christian event, but still regarded as portentous) in a state of purity.

News of the red heifer’s appearance, however, will not be well received by Muslims. The site of the old Jewish temples in the Holy City is now occupied by one of Islam’s holiest shrines, the Dome of the Rock. Jewish extremists want to destroy the Dome and the adjoining Al-Aqsa mosque to make way for a new temple. In 1985 a group of Jewish terrorists were jailed in Israel for planning to destroy the Dome with high explosives.

But Jewish activists say they regard it as their divine mission to build a new Temple. “We have been waiting 2,000 years for a sign from God, and now he has provided us with a red heifer,” said Yehudah Etzion, the ringleader of the Eighties’ plot to blow up the Dome, who was present at last week’s inspection of the red heifer at Kfar Hassidim. “There were a couple of little white hairs which worried us, but the rabbis are satisfied that it is the red heifer referred to in the Bible,” said Mr Etzion.

Red Heifer

<> The Mystery of the Red Heifer: Divine Promise of Purity by Rabbi Chaim Richman

and Below: >>>> hmm,,,


Above: Future vision of Temple Mount (Haram al-Quds – Masjid al-Aqsa- Masjid as-Sakhrah) according to > under tomorrow in>  gallery

3rd temple-0-0

Above: another view of this dream


Above: cartoon on Israeli excavations and archeological digs in Jerusalem


Above: Al-Haram Al-Qudsi:  Masjid al-Aqsa and Masjid as-Sakhrah in the Sacred City of Jerusalem


Above: Jerusalem: the Holy City

<> Only ONE thing stands in their way: Allah’s protection of the faithful Muslims, and all praise if for Allah.


>>>>>> <>  Hmmm,,,,, some of the US teens are of the Israeli illegal and legal settlers,,,,

US TEENS Join Hardline Israel Settlers

(Newser Summary) – Young Americans are joining a movement of hardline Jewish settlers who vow to battle both the Israeli army and Palestinian militants to protect West Bank settlements, Matt McAllester writes in Details. Tired of pleading and rock-throwing, they say they plan to fight fire with fire, shooting at Israeli troops, if necessary, and bombing Palestinians. “If they use violence, then we’re justified doing the same,” says a 21-year-old Brooklynite. “A lot of kids have got no authority, just them and God out there on the hills,” says an older settler.

“I very much believe I’m a threat to my own government,” says a 15-year-old Israeli who grew up in New Rochelle, New York, now in a militant group called Hilltop Youth.  “There will be no giving up.”  Others advocate destroying the mosque on the Temple Mount to spark an all-out Arab-Israeli war, which would no doubt draw in US forces. Quips one settler: “How does it feel to meet a Jewish terrorist?”—Neal Colgrass

> excerpts from original article:


U.S. kids aren’t going to Israel just to live on a kibbutz these days—some of these are willing to take on the Israeli military in the West Bank

… There are now more than a quarter of a million Jewish settlers living among almost 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank—and many of the radicals resisting Obama’s wishes are American. The approximately 100,000 U.S. immigrants in the West Bank and Israel have been influential from the beginning of the movement, and many of them have been among the most extreme of the pioneers: Kahane founded a political party that was deemed racist and banned from the Knesset before he was assassinated in Manhattan in 1990; Brooklyn-born Baruch Goldstein shot dead 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994; and a group of settlers in Hebron, whose spokesman is New Jersey–born David Wilder, was involved in a violent confrontation with the Israeli military last year….

…”God’s with me,” he says. “This land has been ours forever.”…
… Like many other hard-line settlers, Lenny is not hesitant to express views that most Israelis would consider abhorrent.

….”I want them to bomb all of Gaza, even if they kill all the civilians,” Lenny says. “You have to firebomb all of Gaza and not let one Jew get hurt.”….

….”We can erase them in no time,” Yehuda says of the Palestinians. “But the government won’t let us do it.”….

…”How does it feel to meet a Jewish terrorist?” asks Yekutiel Ben Yaakov, the guard-dog trainer, laughing, when we meet at a café in the large settlement of Ariel. ….

<> Website of note: Volunteering in Israel Defense Forces for overseas enthusiast from USA, UK etc is very easy and facilitated now, just visit: Mahal IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Volunteers org

Mahal IDF Volunteers org (how to volunteer for Israel Defense Forces)

Some excepts “….The following programs enable young Jews from all over the world to volunteer for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). The programs aim to contribute to Israel’s defense and to provide experienced and enthusiastic young leaders for Jewish communities…..

… statistics: 150,630 visits and 3,091,841 hits in the last 12 months – Mar 16, 2009….

…. Ministry of Defense/IDF rule allowing the enlistment of those non-Israelis through the IDF Mahal programs (i.e. without acquiring Israeli citizenship) who do not qualify for regular Mahal due to their close link to Israel – details here. – July 17, 2008….”

Volunteering Step-by-Step [i.e. non-Israeli overseas

enthusiasts  for IDF Israeli Defense Force]

[i.e. from overseas enthusiasts Volunteering in Israel Defense Forces] Mahal IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Volunteers org

The informations on this page refers to overseas non-Israeli volunteers eligible for the Mahal, Mahal Nahal Haredi and Mahal Hesder IDF programs. The process for overseas Israelis is similar…..





What is the White Elephant in the Nuclear Negotiation Room whose existence no one is willing to  even admit:


Israel has refused inspection of its nuclear facilities for 30 Years!!!

ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report 2009-10-04 22:44:00
TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that “Israel is number one threat to Middle East” with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.At a joint press conference with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.”Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses,” ElBaradei was quoted as saying.Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear capabilities, although it refuses to confirm or deny the allegation.”This (possession of nuclear arms) was the cause for some proper measures to gain access to its (Israel’s) power plants … and the U.S. president has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen,” said ElBaradei.ElBaradei arrived in Iran Saturday for talks with Iranian officials over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Leaders of the United States, France and Britain have condemned Iran’s alleged deception to the international community involving covert activities in its new underground nuclear site.

Last month, Iran confirmed that it is building a new nuclear fuel enrichment plant near its northwestern city of Qom. In reaction, the IAEA asked Tehran to provide detailed information and access to the new nuclear facility as soon as possible.

On Sunday, ElBaradei said the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran’s new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.

September 29, 2009

Chutzpah, Thy Name Is Israel

Posted by David Kramer on September 29, 2009 02:18 PM


The Israeli government has officially said that it “deplores” the vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) member states to call on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and submit their nuclear facilities to the same oversight as the rest of the world does. The vote narrowly passed, 49-45, and was generally opposed by Western nations while being supported by UN Security Council permanent members Russia and China, as well as most of the nations in the Middle East. The United States ambassador Glyn Davies publicly rejected the resolution, calling it “redundant” and claiming that calling on Israel to join the NPT as every other nation in the Middle East has unfairly singled them out.

The issue of Israel as a nuclear power and a non-signatory of the NPT has been controversial, and when a US State Department official said in May that the US wanted everyone to join the NPT Israel reacted with shock and outrage.

I guess as far as Israel is concerned, it’s “NPT for thee, but not for me.” Oh, but I keep forgetting—Israel “doesn’t have” any nuclear weapons.


Israeli DM Rejects Nuclear Arms Ban, Citing Muslims

Barak Insists “There Can Be No Debate on Nuclear Disarmament”

by Jason Ditz, September 17, 2009

Email This | Print This | // Share This | Comment | Antiwar Forum

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak insisted today that his government will not consider signing any treaty calling for a nuclear-free Middle East because of the “unruly” nature of the Muslim nations in the region.

Ehud Barak

Until the Muslim world from Marakesh (Morocco) to Bangladesh behaves like Western Europe, there can be no debate on nuclear disarmament,” Barak declared in an editorial published by Yedioth Ahronoth.

Israel is actually the only country in the Middle East which possesses a nuclear arsenal, though it only occasionally admits that this is the case. The nation launched a 1981 attack on Iraq over suspicions it might be attempting to acquire a nuclear weapon. It has already repeatedly threatened to attack Iran over its civilian nuclear program.

The IAEA assembly voted 100-1 today to support a nuclear free Middle East, with only Israel voting against the draft. The United States abstained though it insists that it supports the idea.

Israel ‘Deplores’ IAEA Call to Join NPT

US Rejects Vote, Canada Tries to Block Resolution

by Jason Ditz, September 18, 2009

Email This | Print This | // Share This | Comment | Antiwar Forum

The Israeli government has officially said that it “deplores” the vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) member states to call on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and submit their nuclear facilities to the same oversight as the rest of the world does.

The vote narrowly passed, 49-45, and was generally opposed by Western nations while being supported by UN Security Council permanent members Russia and China, as well as most of the nations in the Middle East.

The United States ambassador Glyn Davies publicly rejected the resolution, calling it “redundant” and claiming that calling on Israel to join the NPT as every other nation in the Middle East has unfairly singled them out.

Canada went one step further, trying to block the vote entirely and condemning it as “unbalanced.” Votes on similar resolutions had been successfully blocked in 2007 and 2008, but this year’s attempt at blocking it failed.

The issue of Israel as a nuclear power and a non-signatory of the NPT has been controversial, and when a US State Department official said in May that the US wanted everyone to join the NPT Israel reacted with shock and outrage.

Related Stories

Below: Nuclear Explosion


Nuclear Explosion at Bikini Atoll Above: Nuclear Explosion “experiment” at Bikini Atoll


Above: Some of the Devastation from the Atomic Bomb in Japan in 1945:

In Hiroshima, an estimated 80,000 people were killed in a split second. Some 13 square kilometres of the city were obliterated. By December, at least another 70,000 people had died from radiation and injuries. Three days after Hiroshima’s destruction, the US dropped an Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, resulting in the deaths of at least 70,000 people before the year was out. Since 1945, tens of thousands more residents of the two cities have continued to suffer and die from radiation-induced cancers, birth defects and still births, etc etc.




EXCLUSIVE: Secret U.S.-Israel nuclear accord in jeopardy

Eli Lake Wednesday, May 6, 2009


President Obama’s efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons threaten to expose and derail a 40-year-old secret U.S. agreement to shield Israel’s nuclear weapons from international scrutiny, former and current U.S. and Israeli officials and nuclear specialists say.

The issue will likely come to a head when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mr. Obama on May 18 in Washington. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to seek assurances from Mr. Obama that he will uphold the U.S. commitment and will not trade Israeli nuclear concessions for Iranian ones.

Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, speaking Tuesday at a U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Israel should join the treaty, which would require Israel to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

“Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, … remains a fundamental objective of the United States,” Ms. Gottemoeller told the meeting, according to Reuters.

• Sidebar: America has protected Israeli nuke program for 40 years
• Click here to see the National Security Archives at George Washington University.
• Click here to download the May 4 statement by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee of 2010 NPT Review Conference.
• Click here to download a PDF of a memo that has been declassified by the Nixon library.

She declined to say, however, whether the Obama administration would press Israel to join the treaty.

A senior White House official said the administration considered the nuclear programs of Israel and Iran to be unrelated “apples and oranges.”

Asked by The Washington Times whether the administration would press Israel to join the NPT, the official said, “We support universal adherence to the NPT. [It] remains a long-term goal.”

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Avner Cohen, author of “Israel and the Bomb” and the leading expert outside the Israeli government on the history of Israel’s nuclear program, said Mr. Obama’s “upcoming meeting with Netanyahu, due to the impending discussions with Iran, will be a platform for Israel to ask for reassurances that old understandings on the nuclear issue are still valid.”

For the past 40 years, Israel and the U.S. have kept quiet about an Israeli nuclear arsenal that is now estimated at 80 to 200 weapons. Israel has promised not to test nuclear weapons while the U.S. has not pressed Israel to sign the nuclear NPT, which permits only five countries – the U.S., France, Britain, China and Russia – to have nuclear arms.

The U.S. also has opposed most regional calls for a “nuclear-free Middle East.” The accord was forged at a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Nixon on Sept. 25, 1969, according to recently released documents, but remains so secret that there is no explicit record of it. Mr. Cohen has referred to the deal as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” because it commits both the U.S. and Israel never to acknowledge in public Israels nuclear arsenal.

When asked what the Obama administration’s position was on the 1969 understanding, the senior White House official offered no comment.

Over the years, demands for Israel to come clean have multiplied.

The Iran factor

Iranian leaders have long complained about being subjected to a double standard that allows non-NPT members India and Pakistan, as well as Israel, to maintain and even increase their nuclear arsenals but sanctions Tehran, an NPT member, for not cooperating fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

On Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign MinisterMohammad Ali Hosseini told a U.N. meeting preparing for a major review of the NPT next year that nuclear cooperation by the U.S., France and Britain with Israel is “in total disregard with the obligations under the treaty and commitments undertaken in 1995 and 2000, and a source of real concern for the international community, especially the parties to the treaty in the Middle East.”

The Obama administration is seeking talks with Iran on its nuclear program and has dropped a precondition for negotiations that Iran first suspend its uranium enrichment program.

“What the Israelis sense, rightly, is that Obama wants to do something new on Iran and this may very well involve doing something new about Israel’s program,” said Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington think tank.

Bruce Riedel, a former senior director for the Middle East and South Asia on the White House National Security Council, said, “If you’re really serious about a deal with Iran, Israel has to come out of the closet. A policy based on fiction and double standards is bound to fail sooner or later. What’s remarkable is that it’s lasted so long.” Mr. Riedel headed the Obama administration’s review of strategy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan but does not hold a permanent administration position and has returned to private life as a scholar at the Brookings Institution.

The open secret

Elliott Abrams, deputy national security adviser for the George W. Bush administration, said that administration resisted international efforts to pressure Israel on the nuclear front.

“We did not want to accept any operational language that would put Israel at a disadvantage and raise the question of whether Israel was a nuclear power,” he said. “That was not a discussion that we thought was helpful. We allowed very general statements about the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East as long that language was hortatory.”

Israel began its nuclear program shortly after the state was founded in 1948 and produced its first weapons, according to Mr. Cohen’s book, on the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli defense doctrine considers the nuclear arsenal to be a strategic deterrent against extinction. But its nuclear monopoly is increasingly jeopardized by Iranian advances and the possibility that Iran’s program could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region.

Israel’s arsenal has also been an open secret for decades, despite the fact that Israeli law forbids Israeli journalists from referring to the state’s nuclear weapons unless they quote non-Israeli sources.

In 1986, the Israeli nuclear scientist, Mordecai Vanunu disclosed in the Sunday Times of London photographs and the first insider account of Dimona, the location of Israels primary nuclear facility. Israel responded by convicting him of treason. He was released in 2004 after spending 18 years in prison but has continued to talk about the program on occasion. The government has barred Mr. Vanunu from leaving Israel.

‘Nuclear-free’ zone

References to a “nuclear-free Middle East,” meanwhile, have cropped up increasingly in international resolutions and conferences. For example, the 1991 U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, which sanctioned Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, noted “the objective of achieving balanced and comprehensive control of armaments in the region.” More recently, a March 2006 IAEA resolution, in referring Iran to the Security Council, noted “that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.”

U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia also have pressed the U.S. to link Israel’s weapons to Iran’s as part of a plan to implement a nuclear-free Middle East.

A proposal to introduce a Security Council resolution declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone and calling for sanctions against those countries that did not comply was broached in a 2006 strategic dialogue between Saudi Arabia and the United States, said Turki al-Faisal, who was Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

“When I talked to American officials about that when I was ambassador here, and before that to British officials in the U.K., the immediate response was, ‘Israel is not going to accept,’ ” Prince Turki told editors and reporters of The Washington Times last month. “And my immediate response was, ‘So what?’ If Israel doesnt accept, it doesnt mean its a bad idea.”

A balancing act

Mr. Netanyahu, whose meeting with Mr. Obama on May 18 will be the first since both took office, raised the issue of the nuclear understanding during a previous tenure as prime minister.

Israeli journalists and officials said Mr. Netanyahu asked for a reaffirmation and clarification of the Nixon-Meir understanding in 1998 at Wye River, where the U.S. mediated an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Netanyahu wanted a personal commitment from President Clinton because of concerns about a treaty that Mr. Clinton supported to bar production of fissile materials that can be used to make weapons. Israel was worried that the treaty would apply to de facto nuclear states, including Israel, and might oblige it to allow inspections of Dimona.

In 2000, Israeli journalist Aluf Benn disclosed that Mr. Clinton at Wye River promised Mr. Netanyahu that “Israels nuclear capability will be preserved.” Mr. Benn described as testy an exchange of letters between the two leaders over the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. He said Mr. Netanyahu wrote Mr. Clinton: “We will never sign the treaty, and do not delude yourselves – no pressure will help. We will not sign the treaty because we will not commit suicide.”

The Bush administration largely dropped the treaty in its first term and reopened negotiations in its second term with a proposal that did not include verification.

The Obama agenda

Mr. Obama has made nuclear disarmament a bigger priority in part to undercut Iran’s and North Korea’s rationale for proliferation. His administration has begun negotiations with Russia on a new treaty to reduce U.S. and Russian arsenals. He also has expressed support for the fissile material treaty.

“To cut off the building blocks needed for a bomb, the United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons,” he said last month in Prague. “If we are serious about stopping the spread of these weapons, then we should put an end to the dedicated production of weapons-grade materials that create them.”

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington think tank, said such a treaty would be the first step toward limiting the Israeli nuclear program.

“The question is how much of a priority is this for the Obama administration?” he said.

John R. Bolton, a former U.N. ambassador and undersecretary of state, said Israel was right to be concerned.

“If I were the Israeli government, I would be very worried about the Obama administration’s attitude on their nuclear deterrent,” he said. “You can barely raise the subject of nuclear weapons in the Middle East without someone saying: ‘What about Israel?’ If Israel’s opponents put it on the table, it is entirely possible Obama will pick it up.”

Asked about the issue, Jonathan Peled, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said, “We don’t discuss the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel.” The White House had no immediate comment.

However, Ms. Gottemoeller endorsed the concept of a nuclear-free Middle East in a 2005 paper that she co-authored, “Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security.”

“Instead of defensively trying to ignore Israels nuclear status, the United States and Israel should proactively call for regional dialogue to specify the conditions necessary to achieve a zone free of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons,” she wrote.

The paper recommends that Israel take steps to disarm in exchange for its neighbors getting rid of chemical and biological weapons programs as well as Iran forgoing uranium enrichment.

• Barbara Slavin and Erin Spiegel contributed to this report from Washington.



America has protected Israeli nuke program for 40 years

By Eli Lake

The origins of the U.S. shield of Israel’s nuclear program date to a 1969 summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, documents released in the past few years show.

There is no one piece of paper that actually describes the accord. However, the closest acknowledgment of the deal came in 2007, when the Nixon Library declassified many of the papers of former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. A July 7, 1969, memorandum to Mr. Nixon titled, “Israeli Nuclear Program,” said that by the end of 1970, Israel would likely have 24 to 30 French surface-to-surface missiles, 10 of which would have nuclear warheads.

Mr. Kissinger, who later became secretary of state, wrote that ideally, the U.S. would prefer Israel to have no nuclear weapons, but that was not attainable.

He added that “public knowleadge is almost as dangerous as possession itself,” arguing that an Israeli announcement of its arsenal or a nuclear test could prompt the Soviet Union to offer Arab states a nuclear guarantee.

“What this means is that: While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact,” Mr. Kissinger wrote.

In December 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted publicly at this reality.

Responding to a question about the Iranian program in light of Israels nuclear arsenal, he said: “Israel is a democracy, Israel doesn’t threaten any country with anything, never did. The most that we tried to get for ourselves is to try to live without terror, but we never threaten another nation with annihilation. Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they [Iran] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?”


Wait a minute!!!!

Isn’t the USA prohibited by law from providing funds to countries engaged in nuclear proliferation?

YES it is ,,,

Nevertheless billions go to Israel in aid every year, and it is the largest recipient of USA aid: EVERY YEAR!

US Taxpayers money, again US law (unless the president want to circumvent it of course, his prerogative), and the stated US policy of nuclear non-proliferation.



Nuclear weapons and Israel


Israeli Nukes, US Foreign Aid and the Symington Amendment

(i.e. “strategic ambiguity” meaning, sort of like don’t ask don’t tell policy)


The following document case file reveals the slow decline of  the policy of “strategic ambiguity” whereby US and Israeli officials deny the existence of the Israeli nuclear weapons arsenal in order to continue unfettered US military aid.

Document/File Date Contents
1960 (PDF) CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate released on June 5, 2009.  Israel’s nukes and role in foreign policy “assertiveness.””Possession of a nuclear weapon capability, or even the prospect of achieving it, would clearly give Israel a greater sense of security, self-confidence, and assertiveness…Israel would be less inclined than ever to make concessions…”
1963 President John F. Kennedy insists on US inspections of Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor in a secret letter to Prime Minister Levi Eskol.
1970 Treaty on the Non proliferation of Nuclear Weapons enters into force.
1976 The US passes the Symington Amendment of  1976. Symington Amendment prohibits most U.S. foreign aid to any country found trafficking in nuclear enrichment equipment or technology outside international safeguards. Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
1977 Glenn Amendment of 1977 calls for an end to aid to countries that import reprocessing technology.
1986 The Sunday Times publishes “The secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal/ Atomic technician Mordechai Vanunu reveals secret weapons production.”
2008 Former president Jimmy Carter names Israel as a nuclear weapons power.
2008 The US Army names Israel as a nuclear weapons power.
2009 AIPAC and ZOA lobby for $2.775 billion in US military aid for Israel
2009 Congress advised (via fax) that US aid is governed by the Symington Amendment.
2009 President Barak Obama advised (via letter) that US aid is governed by the Symington Amendment





Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army

The Counterproliferation Papers

Future Warfare Series No. 2

USAF Counterproliferation Center

Air War College

Air University

Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

September 1999

The Counterproliferation Papers Series was established by the USAF Counterproliferation Center to provide information and analysis to U.S. national security policy-makers and USAF officers to assist them in countering the threat posed by adversaries equipped with weapons of mass destruction.  Copies of papers in this series are available from the USAF Counterproliferation Center, 325 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6427.  The fax number is (334) 953-7538; phone (334) 953-7538.

Counterproliferation Paper No. 2
USAF Counterproliferation Center
Air War College

Air University
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama 36112-6427

The internet address for the USAF Counterproliferation Center is:



Disclaimer i

The Author ii

Acknowledgments iii

Abstract iv

I.  Introduction 1

II.  1948-1962:  With French Cooperation 3

III.  1963-1973:  Seeing the Project Through to Completion 9

IV.  1974-1999:  Bringing the Bomb Up the Basement Stairs 15

Appendix:  Estimates of the Israeli Nuclear Arsenal 23

Notes 25


The views expressed in this publication are those solely of the author and are not a statement of official policy or position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or the USAF Counterproliferation Center.

The Author

Colonel Warner D. “Rocky” Farr, Medical Corps, Master Flight Surgeon, U.S. Army, graduated from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama before becoming the Command Surgeon, U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  He also serves as the Surgeon for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, and the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.  With thirty-three years of military service, he holds an Associate of Arts from the State University of New York, Bachelor of Science from Northeast Louisiana University, Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas, and has completed medical residencies in aerospace medicine, and anatomic and clinical pathology.  He is the only army officer to be board certified in these three specialties.  Solo qualified in the TH-55A Army helicopter, he received flight training in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft as part of his USAF School of Aerospace Medicine residency.

Colonel Farr was a Master Sergeant Special Forces medic prior to receiving a direct commission to second lieutenant.  He is now the senior Special Forces medical officer in the U.S. Army with prior assignments in the 5th, 7th, and 10th Special Forces Groups (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in Vietnam, the United States, and Germany.  He has advised the 12th and 20th Special Forces Groups (Airborne) in the reserves and national guard, served as Division Surgeon, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama.


I would like to acknowledge the assistance, guidance and encouragement from my Air War College (AWC) faculty research advisor, Dr. Andrew Terrill, instructor of the Air War College Arab-Israeli Wars course.  Thanks are also due to the great aid of the Air University librarians.  The author is also indebted to Captain J. R. Saunders, USN and Colonel Robert Sutton, USAF. Who also offered helpful suggestions.


This paper is a history of the Israeli nuclear weapons program drawn from a review of unclassified sources.  Israel began its search for nuclear weapons at the inception of the state in 1948.  As payment for Israeli participation in the Suez Crisis of 1956, France provided nuclear expertise and constructed a reactor complex for Israel at Dimona capable of large-scale plutonium production and reprocessing.  The United States discovered the facility by 1958 and it was a subject of continual discussions between American presidents and Israeli prime ministers.  Israel used delay and deception to at first keep the United States at bay, and later used the nuclear option as a bargaining chip for a consistent American conventional arms supply.  After French disengagement in the early 1960s, Israel progressed on its own, including through several covert operations, to project completion. Before the 1967 Six-Day War, they felt their nuclear facility threatened and reportedly assembled several nuclear devices.  By the 1973 Yom Kippur War Israel had a number of sophisticated nuclear bombs, deployed them, and considered using them.  The Arabs may have limited their war aims because of their knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons.  Israel has most probably conducted several nuclear bomb tests.  They have continued to modernize and vertically proliferate and are now one of the world’s larger nuclear powers.  Using “bomb in the basement” nuclear opacity, Israel has been able to use its arsenal as a deterrent to the Arab world while not technically violating American nonproliferation requirements.

The Third Temple’s Holy of Holies:
Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

Warner D. Farr

I. Introduction

This is the end of the Third Temple.

– Attributed to Moshe Dayan

during the Yom Kippur War[1]

As Zionists in Palestine watched World War II from their distant sideshow, what lessons were learned?  The soldiers of the Empire of Japan vowed on their emperor’s sacred throne to fight to the death and not face the inevitability of an American victory.  Many Jews wondered if the Arabs would try to push them into the Mediterranean Sea.  After the devastating American nuclear attack on Japan, the soldier leaders of the empire reevaluated their fight to the death position.  Did the bomb give the Japanese permission to surrender and live?  It obviously played a military role, a political role, and a peacemaking role.  How close was the mindset of the Samurai culture to the Islamic culture?  Did David Ben-Gurion take note and wonder if the same would work for Israel?[2]  Could Israel find the ultimate deterrent that would convince her opponents that they could never, ever succeed?  Was Israel’s ability to cause a modern holocaust the best way to guarantee never having another one?

The use of unconventional weapons in the Middle East is not new.  The British had used chemical artillery shells against the Turks at the second battle of Gaza in 1917.  They continued chemical shelling against the Shiites in Iraq in 1920 and used aerial chemicals in the 1920s and 1930s in Iraq.[3]

Israel’s involvement with nuclear technology starts at the founding of the state in 1948.  Many talented Jewish scientists immigrated to Palestine during the thirties and forties, in particular, Ernst David Bergmann.  He would become the director of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission and the founder of Israel’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons.  Bergmann, a close friend and advisor of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, counseled that nuclear energy could compensate for Israel’s poor natural resources and small pool of military manpower.  He pointed out that there was just one nuclear energy, not two, suggesting nuclear weapons were part of the plan.[4]  As early as 1948, Israeli scientists actively explored the Negev Desert for uranium deposits on orders from the Israeli Ministry of Defense.  By 1950, they found low-grade deposits near Beersheba and Sidon and worked on a low power method of heavy water production.[5]

The newly created Weizmann Institute of Science actively supported nuclear research by 1949, with Dr. Bergmann heading the chemistry division.  Promising students went overseas to study nuclear engineering and physics at Israeli government expense.  Israel secretly founded its own Atomic Energy Commission in 1952 and placed it under the control of the Defense Ministry.[6]   The foundations of a nuclear program were beginning to develop.

II. 1948-1962: With French Cooperation

It has always been our intention to develop a nuclear potential.

– Ephraim Katzir[7]

In 1949, Francis Perrin, a member of the French Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear physicist, and friend of Dr. Bergmann visited the Weizmann Institute.  He invited Israeli scientists to the new French nuclear research facility at Saclay.  A joint research effort was subsequently set up between the two nations.  Perrin publicly stated in 1986 that French scientists working in America on the Manhattan Project and in Canada during World War II were told they could use their knowledge in France provided they kept it a secret.[8]  Perrin reportedly provided nuclear data to Israel on the same basis.[9] One Israeli scientist worked at the U.S. Los Alamos National Laboratory and may have directly brought expertise home.[10]

After the Second World War, France’s nuclear research capability was quite limited.  France had been a leading research center in nuclear physics before World War II, but had fallen far behind the U.S., the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and even Canada.  Israel and France were at a similar level of expertise after the war, and Israeli scientists could make significant contributions to the French effort.  Progress in nuclear science and technology in France and Israel remained closely linked throughout the early fifties.  Israeli scientists probably helped construct the G-1 plutonium production reactor and UP-1 reprocessing plant at Marcoule.[11]  France profited from two Israeli patents on heavy water production and low-grade uranium enrichment.[12]  In the 1950s and into the early 1960s, France and Israel had close relations in many areas.  France was Israel’s principal arms supplier, and as instability spread through French colonies in North Africa, Israel provided valuable intelligence obtained from contacts with sephardic Jews in those countries.

The two nations collaborated, with the United Kingdom, in planning and staging the Suez Canal-Sinai operation against Egypt in October 1956.  The Suez Crisis became the real genesis of Israel’s nuclear weapons production program.  With the Czech-Egyptian arms agreement in 1955, Israel became worried.  When absorbed, the Soviet-bloc equipment would triple Egyptian military strength.  After Egypt’s President Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran in 1953, Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion ordered the development of chemical munitions and other unconventional munitions, including nuclear.[13]  Six weeks before the Suez Canal operation, Israel felt the time was right to approach France for assistance in building a nuclear reactor.  Canada had set a precedent a year earlier when it had agreed to build a 40-megawatt CIRUS reactor in India.  Shimon Peres, the Director-General of the Defense Ministry and aide to Prime Minister (and Defense Minister) David Ben-Gurion, and Bergmann met with members of the CEA (France’s Atomic Energy Commission).  During September 1956, they reached an initial understanding to provide a research reactor.  The two countries concluded final agreements at a secret meeting outside Paris where they also finalized details of the Suez Canal operation.[14]

For the United Kingdom and France, the Suez operation, launched on October 29, 1956, was a total disaster.  Israel’s part was a military success, allowing it to occupy the entire Sinai Peninsula by 4 November, but the French and British canal invasion on 6 November was a political failure.  Their attempt to advance south along the Suez Canal stopped due to a cease-fire under fierce Soviet and U.S. pressure.  Both nations pulled out, leaving Israel to face the pressure from the two superpowers alone.  Soviet Premier Bulganin and President Khrushchev issued an implicit threat of nuclear attack if Israel did not withdraw from the Sinai.

On 7 November 1956, a secret meeting was held between Israeli foreign minister Golda Meir, Shimon Peres, and French foreign and defense ministers Christian Pineau and Maurice Bourges-Manoury.  The French, embarrassed by their failure to support their ally in the operation, found the Israelis deeply concerned about a Soviet threat.  In this meeting, they substantially modified the initial understanding beyond a research reactor.  Peres secured an agreement from France to assist Israel in developing a nuclear deterrent.  After further months of negotiation, agreement was reached for an 18-megawatt (thermal) research reactor of the EL-3 type, along with plutonium separation technology.  France and Israel signed the agreement in October 1957.[15]  Later the reactor was officially upgraded to 24 megawatts, but the actual specifications issued to engineers provided for core cooling ducts sufficient for up to three times this power level, along with a plutonium plant of similar capacity.  Data from insider reports revealed in 1986 would estimate the power level at 125-150 megawatts.[16]  The reactor, not connected to turbines for power production, needed this increase in size only to increase its plutonium production.  How this upgrade came about remains unknown, but Bourges-Maunoury, replacing Mollet as French prime minister, may have contributed to it.[17]  Shimon Peres, the guiding hand in the Israeli nuclear program, had a close relationship with Bourges-Maunoury and probably helped him politically.[18]

Why was France so eager to help Israel?  DeMollet and then de Gaulle had a place for Israel within their strategic vision.  A nuclear Israel could be a counterforce against Egypt in France’s fight in Algeria.  Egypt was openly aiding the rebel forces there.  France also wanted to obtain the bomb itself.  The United States had embargoed certain nuclear enabling computer technology from France.  Israel could get the technology from America and pass it through to France.  The U.S. furnished Israel heavy water, under the Atoms for Peace program, for the small research reactor at Soreq.  France could use this heavy water.  Since France was some years away from nuclear testing and success, Israeli science was an insurance policy in case of technical problems in France’s own program.[19]  The Israeli intelligence community’s knowledge of past French (especially Vichy) anti-Semitic transgressions and the continued presence of former Nazi collaborators in French intelligence provided the Israelis with some blackmail opportunities.[20]  The cooperation was so close that Israel worked with France on the preproduction design of early Mirage jet aircraft, designed to be capable of delivering nuclear bombs.[21]

French experts secretly built the Israeli reactor underground at Dimona, in the Negev desert of southern Israel near Beersheba.  Hundreds of French engineers and technicians filled Beersheba, the biggest town in the Negev.  Many of the same contractors who built Marcoule were involved.  SON (a French firm) built the plutonium separation plants in both France and Israel.  The ground was broken for the EL-102 reactor (as it was known to France) in early 1958.

Israel used many subterfuges to conceal activity at Dimona.  It called the plant a manganese plant, and rarely, a textile plant.  The United States by the end of 1958 had taken pictures of the project from U-2 spy planes, and identified the site as a probable reactor complex.  The concentration of Frenchmen was also impossible to hide from ground observers.  In 1960, before the reactor was operating, France, now under the leadership of de Gaulle, reconsidered and decided to suspend the project.  After several months of negotiation, they reached an agreement in November that allowed the reactor to proceed if Israel promised not to make nuclear weapons and to announce the project to the world.  Work on the plutonium reprocessing plant halted.  On 2 December 1960, before Israel could make announcements, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that Israel had a secret nuclear installation.  By 16 December, this became public knowledge with its appearance in the New York Times.  On 21 December, Ben-Gurion announced that Israel was building a 24-megawatt reactor “for peaceful purposes.”[22]

Over the next year, relations between the U.S. and Israel became strained over the Dimona reactor.  The U.S. accepted Israel’s assertions at face value publicly, but exerted pressure privately.  Although Israel allowed a cursory inspection by well known American physicists Eugene Wigner and I. I. Rabi, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion consistently refused to allow regular international inspections.  The final resolution between the U.S. and Israel was a commitment from Israel to use the facility for peaceful purposes, and to admit an U.S. inspection team twice a year.  These inspections began in 1962 and continued until 1969.  Inspectors saw only the above ground part of the buildings, not the many levels underground and the visit frequency was never more than once a year.  The above ground areas had simulated control rooms, and access to the underground areas was kept hidden while the inspectors were present.  Elevators leading to the secret underground plutonium reprocessing plant were actually bricked over.[23]  Much of the information on these inspections and the political maneuvering around it has just been declassified.[24]

One interpretation of Ben-Gurion’s “peaceful purposes” pledge given to America is that he interpreted it to mean that nuclear weapon development was not excluded if used strictly for defensive, and not offensive purposes.  Israel’s security position in the late fifties and early sixties was far more precarious than now.  After three wars, with a robust domestic arms industry and a reliable defense supply line from the U.S., Israel felt much more secure.  During the fifties and early sixties a number of attempts by Israel to obtain security guarantees from the U.S. to place Israel under the U.S. nuclear umbrella like NATO or Japan, were unsuccessful.  If the U.S. had conducted a forward-looking policy to restrain Israel’s proliferation, along with a sure defense agreement, we could have prevented the development of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

One common discussion in the literature concerns testing of Israeli nuclear devices.  In the early phases, the amount of collaboration between the French and Israeli nuclear weapons design programs made testing unnecessary.  In addition, although their main efforts were with plutonium, the Israelis may have amassed enough uranium for gun-assembled type bombs which, like the Hiroshima bomb, require no testing.  One expert postulated, based on unnamed sources, that the French nuclear test in 1960 made two nuclear powers not one—such was the depth of collaboration.]25]   There were several Israeli observers at the French nuclear tests and the Israelis had “unrestricted access to French nuclear test explosion data.”[26]    Israel also supplied essential technology and hardware.[27]  The French reportedly shipped reprocessed plutonium back to Israel as part of their repayment for Israeli scientific help.

However, this constant, decade long, French cooperation and support was soon to end and Israel would have to go it alone.

III. 1963-1973: Seeing the Project to Completion

To act in such a way that the Jews who died in the gas chambers would be the last Jews to die without defending themselves.

– Golda Meir[28 ]

Israel would soon need its own, independent, capabilities to complete its nuclear program.  Only five countries had facilities for uranium enrichment: the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, and China.  The Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, or NUMEC, in Apollo, Pennsylvania was a small fuel rod fabrication plant.  In 1965, the U.S. government accused Dr. Zalman Shapiro, the corporation president, of “losing” 200 pounds of highly enriched uranium.  Although investigated by the Atomic Energy Commission, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other government agencies and inquiring reporters, no answers were available in what was termed the Apollo Affair.[29]   Many remain convinced that the Israelis received 200 pounds of enriched uranium sometime before 1965.[30]  One source links Rafi Eitan, an Israeli Mossad agent and later the handler of spy Jonathan Pollard, with NUMEC.[31]   In the 1990s when the NUMEC plant was disassembled, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found over 100 kilograms of plutonium in the structural components of the contaminated plant, casting doubt on 200 pounds going to Israel.[32]

The joint venture with France gave Israel several ingredients for nuclear weapons construction: a production reactor, a factory to extract plutonium from the spent fuel, and the design.  In 1962, the Dimona reactor went critical; the French resumed work on the underground plutonium reprocessing plant, and completed it in 1964 or 1965.  The acquisition of this reactor and related technologies was clearly intended for military purposes from the outset (not “dual-use”), as the reactor has no other function.  The security at Dimona (officially the Negev Nuclear Research Center) was particularly stringent.  For straying into Dimona’s airspace, the Israelis shot down one of their own Mirage fighters during the Six-Day War.  The Israelis also shot down a Libyan airliner with 104 passengers, in 1973, which had strayed over the Sinai.[33]  There is little doubt that some time in the late sixties Israel became the sixth nation to manufacture nuclear weapons.  Other things they needed were extra uranium and extra heavy water to run the reactor at a higher rate.  Norway, France, and the United States provided the heavy water and “Operation Plumbat” provided the uranium.

After the 1967 war, France stopped supplies of uranium to Israel.  These supplies were from former French colonies of Gabon, Niger, and the Central Africa Republic.[34]  Israel had small amounts of uranium from Negev phosphate mines and had bought some from Argentina and South Africa, but not in the large quantities supplied by the French.  Through a complicated undercover operation, the Israelis obtained uranium oxide, known as yellow cake, held in a stockpile in Antwerp.  Using a West German front company and a high seas transfer from one ship to another in the Mediterranean, they obtained 200 tons of yellow cake.  The smugglers labeled the 560 sealed oil drums “Plumbat,” which means lead, hence “Operation Plumbat.”[35]  The West German government may have been involved directly but remained undercover to avoid antagonizing the Soviets or Arabs.[36]  Israeli intelligence information on the Nazi past of some West German officials may have provided the motivation.[37]

Norway sold 20 tons of heavy water to Israel in 1959 for use in an experimental power reactor.  Norway insisted on the right to inspect the heavy water for 32 years, but did so only once, in April 1961, while it was still in storage barrels at Dimona.  Israel simply promised that the heavy water was for peaceful purposes.  In addition, quantities much more than what would be required for the peaceful purpose reactors were imported.  Norway either colluded or at the least was very slow to ask to inspect as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules required.[38]  Norway and Israel concluded an agreement in 1990 for Israel to sell back 10.5 tons of the heavy water to Norway.  Recent calculations reveal that Israel has used two tons and will retain eight tons more.[39]

Author Seymour Hersh, writing in the Samson Option says Prime Minister Levi Eshkol delayed starting weapons production even after Dimona was finished.[40]  The reactor operated and the plutonium collected, but remained unseparated.  The first extraction of plutonium probably occurred in late 1965.  By 1966, enough plutonium was on hand to develop a weapon in time for the Six-Day War in 1967.  Some type of non-nuclear test, perhaps a zero yield or implosion test, occurred on November 2, 1966.  After this time, considerable collaboration between Israel and South Africa developed and continued through the 1970s and 1980s.  South Africa became Israel’s primary supplier of uranium for Dimona. A Center for Nonproliferation Studies report lists four separate Israel-South Africa “clandestine nuclear deals.”  Three concerned yellowcake and one was tritium.[41]  Other sources of yellowcake may have included Portugal.[42]

Egypt attempted unsuccessfully to obtain nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union both before and after the Six-Day War.  President Nasser received from the Soviet Union a questionable nuclear guarantee instead and declared that Egypt would develop its own nuclear program.[43 ] His rhetoric of 1965 and 1966 about preventive war and Israeli nuclear weapons coupled with overflights of the Dimona rector contributed to the tensions that led to war.  The Egyptian Air Force claims to have first overflown Dimona and recognized the existence of a nuclear reactor in 1965.[44 ] Of the 50 American HAWK antiaircraft missiles in Israeli hands, half ringed Dimona by 1965.[45]   Israel considered the Egyptian overflights of May 16, 1967 as possible pre-strike reconnaissance.  One source lists such Egyptian overflights, along with United Nations peacekeeper withdrawal and Egyptian troop movements into the Sinai, as one of the three “tripwires” which would drive Israel to war.[46]  There was an Egyptian military plan to attack Dimona at the start of any war but Nasser vetoed it.[47]  He believed Israel would have the bomb in 1968.[48]  Israel assembled two nuclear bombs and ten days later went to war.[49]  Nasser’s plan, if he had one, may have been to gain and consolidate territorial gains before Israel had a nuclear option.[50]  He was two weeks too late.

The Israelis aggressively pursued an aircraft delivery system from the United States.  President Johnson was less emphatic about nonproliferation than President Kennedy-or perhaps had more pressing concerns, such as Vietnam.  He had a long history of both Jewish friends and pressing political contributors coupled with some first hand experience of the Holocaust, having toured concentration camps at the end of World War II.[51]  Israel pressed him hard for aircraft (A-4E Skyhawks initially and F-4E Phantoms later) and obtained agreement in 1966 under the condition that the aircraft would not be used to deliver nuclear weapons.  The State Department attempted to link the aircraft purchases to continued inspection visits.  President Johnson overruled the State Department concerning Dimona inspections.[52]  Although denied at the time, America delivered the F-4Es, on September 5, 1969, with nuclear capable hardware intact.[53]

The Samson Option states that Moshe Dayan gave the go-ahead for starting weapon production in early 1968, putting the plutonium separation plant into full operation.  Israel began producing three to five bombs a year.  The book Critical Mass asserts that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel’s first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War.[54]  Avner Cohen in his recent book, Israel and the Bomb, agrees that Israel had a deliverable nuclear capability in the 1967 war.  He quotes Munya Mardor, leader of Rafael, the Armament Development Authority, and other unnamed sources, that Israel “cobbled together” two deliverable devices.[55]

Having the bomb meant articulating, even if secretly, a use doctrine.  In addition to the “Samson Option” of last resort, other triggers for nuclear use may have included successful Arab penetration of populated areas, destruction of the Israeli Air Force, massive air strikes or chemical/biological strikes on Israeli cities, and Arab use of nuclear weapons.[56]

In 1971, Israel began purchasing krytrons, ultra high-speed electronic switching tubes that are “dual-use,” having both industrial and nuclear weapons applications as detonators.  In the 1980s, the United States charged an American, Richard Smith (or Smyth), with smuggling 810 krytrons to Israel.[57]  He vanished before trial and reportedly lives outside Tel Aviv.  The Israelis apologized for the action saying that the krytrons were for medical research.[58]  Israel returned 469 of the krytrons but the rest, they declared, had been destroyed in testing conventional weapons.  Some believe they went to South Africa.[59]  Smyth has also been reported to have been involved in a 1972 smuggling operation to obtain solid rocket fuel binder compounds for the Jericho II missile and guidance component hardware.[60]  Observers point to the Jericho missile itself as proof of a nuclear capability as it is not suited to the delivery of conventional munitions.[61]

On the afternoon of 6 October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in a coordinated surprise attack, beginning the Yom Kippur War.  Caught with only regular forces on duty, augmented by reservists with a low readiness level, Israeli front lines crumbled.  By early afternoon on 7 October, no effective forces were in the southern Golan Heights and Syrian forces had reached the edge of the plateau, overlooking the Jordan River.  This crisis brought Israel to its second nuclear alert.

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, obviously not at his best at a press briefing, was, according to Time magazine, rattled enough to later tell the prime minister that “this is the end of the third temple,” referring to an impending collapse of the state of Israel.  “Temple” was also the code word for nuclear weapons.  Prime Minister Golda Meir and her “kitchen cabinet” made the decision on the night of 8 October.  The Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs.  The number and in fact the entire story was later leaked by the Israelis as a great psychological warfare tool.  Although most probably plutonium devices, one source reports they were enriched uranium bombs.  The Jericho missiles at Hirbat Zachariah and the nuclear strike F-4s at Tel Nof were armed and prepared for action against Syrian and Egyptian targets.  They also targeted Damascus with nuclear capable long-range artillery although it is not certain they had nuclear artillery shells.[62]

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was notified of the alert several hours later on the morning of 9 October.  The U.S. decided to open an aerial resupply pipeline to Israel, and Israeli aircraft began picking up supplies that day.  Although stockpile depletion remained a concern, the military situation stabilized on October 8th and 9th as Israeli reserves poured into the battle and averted disaster.  Well before significant American resupply had reached Israeli forces, the Israelis counterattacked and turned the tide on both fronts.

On 11 October, a counterattack on the Golan broke the back of Syria’s offensive, and on 15 and 16 October, Israel launched a surprise crossing of the Suez Canal into Africa.  Soon the Israelis encircled the Egyptian Third Army and it was faced with annihilation on the east bank of the Suez Canal, with no protective forces remaining between the Israeli Army and Cairo.  The first U.S. flights arrived on 14 October.[63]  Israeli commandos flew to Fort Benning, Georgia to train with the new American TOW anti-tank missiles and return with a C-130 Hercules aircraft full of them in time for the decisive Golan battle.  American commanders in Germany depleted their stocks of missiles, at that time only shared with the British and West Germans, and sent them forward to Israel.[64]

Thus started the subtle, opaque use of the Israeli bomb to ensure that the United States kept its pledge to maintain Israel’s conventional weapons edge over its foes.[65]  There is significant anecdotal evidence that Henry Kissinger told President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to “going nuclear.”[66]

A similar Soviet pipeline to the Arabs, equally robust, may or may not have included a ship with nuclear weapons on it, detected from nuclear trace emissions and shadowed by the Americans from the Dardanelles.  The Israelis believe that the Soviets discovered Israeli nuclear preparations from COSMOS satellite photographs and decided to equalize the odds.[67]  The Soviet ship arrived in Alexandria on either 18 or 23 October (sources disagree), and remained, without unloading, until November 1973.  The ship may have represented a Soviet guarantee to the Arab combatants to neutralize the Israeli nuclear option.[68]  While some others dismiss the story completely, the best-written review article concludes that the answer is “obscure.”  Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev threatened, on 24 October, to airlift Soviet airborne troops to reinforce the Egyptians cut off on the eastern side of the Suez Canal and put seven Soviet airborne divisions on alert.[69]  Recent evidence indicates that the Soviets sent nuclear missile submarines also.[70]  Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine claimed that the two Soviet SCUD brigades deployed in Egypt each had a nuclear warhead.  American satellite photos seemed to confirm this.  The U.S. passed to Israel images of trucks, of the type used to transport nuclear warheads, parked near the launchers.[71]  President Nixon’s response was to bring the U.S. to worldwide nuclear alert the next day, whereupon Israel went to nuclear alert a third time.[72]  This sudden crisis quickly faded as Prime Minister Meir agreed to a cease-fire, relieving the pressure on the Egyptian Third Army.

Shimon Peres had argued for a pre-war nuclear demonstration to deter the Arabs.  Arab strategies and war aims in 1967 may have been restricted because of a fear of the Israeli “bomb in the basement,” the undeclared nuclear option.  The Egyptians planned to capture an eastern strip next to the Suez Canal and then hold.  The Syrians did not aggressively commit more forces to battle or attempt to drive through the 1948 Jordan River border to the Israeli center.  Both countries seemed not to violate Israel proper and avoided triggering one of the unstated Israeli reasons to employ nuclear weapons.[73]  Others discount any Arab planning based on nuclear capabilities.[74]  Peres also credits Dimona with bringing Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem to make peace.[75]  This position was seemingly confirmed by Sadat in a private conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman.[76]

At the end of the Yom Kippur War (a nation shaking experience), Israel has her nuclear arsenal fully functional and tested by a deployment.  The arsenal, still opaque and unspoken, was no longer a secret, especially to the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.

IV. 1974-1999: Bringing the Bomb up the Basement Stairs

Never Again!

– Reportedly welded on the
first Israeli nuclear bomb[77]

Shortly after the 1973 war, Israel allegedly fielded considerable nuclear artillery consisting of American 175 mm and 203 mm self-propelled artillery pieces, capable of firing nuclear shells.  If true, this shows that Dimona had rapidly solved the problems of designing smaller weapons since the crude 1967 devices.  If true, these low yield, tactical nuclear artillery rounds could reach at least 25 miles.  The Israeli Defense Force did have three battalions of the 175mm artillery (36 tubes), reportedly with 108 nuclear shells and more for the 203mm tubes.  Some sources describe a program to extend the range to 45 miles.  They may have offered the South Africans these low yield, miniaturized, shells described as, “the best stuff we got.”[78]  By 1976, according to one unclassified source, the Central Intelligence Agency believed that the Israelis were using plutonium from Dimona and had 10 to 20 nuclear weapons available.[79]

In 1972, two Israeli scientists, Isaiah Nebenzahl and Menacehm Levin, developed a cheaper, faster uranium enrichment process.  It used a laser beam for isotope separation.  It could reportedly enrich seven grams of Uranium 235 sixty percent in one day.[80]  Sources later reported that Israel was using both centrifuges and lasers to enrich uranium.[81]

Questions remained regarding full-scale nuclear weapons tests.  Primitive gun assembled type devices need no testing.  Researchers can test non-nuclear components of other types separately and use extensive computer simulations.  Israel received data from the 1960 French tests, and one source concludes that Israel accessed information from U.S. tests conducted in the 1950s and early 1960s.  This may have included both boosted and thermonuclear weapons data.[82]  Underground testing in a hollowed out cavern is difficult to detect.  A West Germany Army Magazine, Wehrtechnik, in June 1976, claimed that Western reports documented a 1963 underground test in the Negev.  Other reports show a test at Al-Naqab, Negev in October 1966.[83]

A bright flash in the south Indian Ocean, observed by an American satellite on 22 September 1979, is widely believed to be a South Africa-Israel joint nuclear test.  It was, according to some, the third test of a neutron bomb.  The first two were hidden in clouds to fool the satellite and the third was an accident—the weather cleared.[84]  Experts differ on these possible tests.  Several writers report that the scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory believed it to have been a nuclear explosion while a presidential panel decided otherwise.[85]  President Carter was just entering the Iran hostage nightmare and may have easily decided not to alter 30 years of looking the other way.[86]  The explosion was almost certainly an Israeli bomb, tested at the invitation of the South Africans.  It was more advanced than the “gun type” bombs developed by the South Africans.[87]  One report claims it was a test of a nuclear artillery shell.[88]  A 1997 Israeli newspaper quoted South African deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad, as confirming it was an Israeli test with South African logistical support.[89]

Controversy over possible nuclear testing continues to this day.  In June 1998, a Member of the Knesset accused the government of an underground test near Eilat on May 28, 1998.  Egyptian “nuclear experts” had made similar charges.  The Israeli government hotly denied the claims.[90]

Not only were the Israelis interested in American nuclear weapons development data, they were interested in targeting data from U.S. intelligence.  Israel discovered that they were on the Soviet target list.  American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard obtained satellite-imaging data of the Soviet Union, allowing Israel to target accurately Soviet cities.  This showed Israel’s intention to use its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent political lever, or retaliatory capability against the Soviet Union itself.  Israel also used American satellite imagery to plan the 7 June 1981 attack on the Tammuz-1 reactor at Osiraq, Iraq.  This daring attack, carried out by eight F-16s accompanied by six F-15s punched a hole in the concrete reactor dome before the reactor began operation (and just days before an Israeli election).  It delivered 15 delay-fused 2000 pound bombs deep into the reactor structure (the 16th bomb hit a nearby hall).  The blasts shredded the reactor and blew out the dome foundations, causing it to collapse on the rubble.  This was the world’s first attack on a nuclear reactor.[91]

Since 19 September 1988, Israel has worked on its own satellite recon- naissance system to decrease reliance on U.S. sources.  On that day, they launched the Offeq-1 satellite on the Shavit booster, a system closely related to the Jericho-II missile.  They launched the satellite to the west away from the Arabs and against the earth’s rotation, requiring even more thrust.  The Jericho-II missile is capable of sending a one ton nuclear payload 5,000 kilometers.  Offeq-2 went up on 3 April 1990.  The launch of the Offeq-3 failed on its first attempt on 15 September 1994, but was successful 5 April 1995.[92]

Mordechai Vanunu provided the best look at the Israeli nuclear arsenal in 1985 complete with photographs.[93]  A technician from Dimona who lost his job, Vanunu secretly took photographs, immigrated to Australia and published some of his material in the London Sunday Times.  He was subsequently kidnapped by Israeli agents, tried and imprisoned.  His data shows a sophisticated nuclear program, over 200 bombs, with boosted devices, neutron bombs, F-16 deliverable warheads, and Jericho warheads.[94]   The boosted weapons shown in the Vanunu photographs show a sophistication that inferred the requirement for testing.[95]  He revealed for the first time the underground plutonium separation facility where Israel was producing 40 kilograms annually, several times more than previous estimates.  Photographs showed sophisticated designs which scientific experts say enabled the Israelis to build bombs with as little as 4 kilograms of plutonium.  These facts have increased the estimates of total Israeli nuclear stockpiles (see Appendix A).[96]  In the words of one American, “[the Israelis] can do anything we or the Soviets can do.”[97]  Vanunu not only made the technical details of the Israeli program and stockpile public but in his wake, Israeli began veiled official acknowledgement of the potent Israeli nuclear deterrent.  They began bringing the bomb up the basement stairs if not out of the basement.

Israel went on full-scale nuclear alert again on the first day of Desert Storm, 18 January 1991.  Seven SCUD missiles were fired against the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa by Iraq (only two actually hit Tel Aviv and one hit Haifa).  This alert lasted for the duration of the war, 43 days.  Over the course of the war, Iraq launched around 40 missiles in 17 separate attacks at Israel.  There was little loss of life: two killed directly, 11 indirectly, with many structures damaged and life disrupted.[98]  Several supposedly landed near Dimona, one of them a close miss.[99]  Threats of retaliation by the Shamir government if the Iraqis used chemical warheads were interpreted to mean that Israel intended to launch a nuclear strike if gas attacks occurred.  One Israeli commentator recommended that Israel should signal Iraq that “any Iraqi action against Israeli civilian populations, with or without gas, may leave Iraq without Baghdad.”[100]  Shortly before the end of the war the Israelis tested a “nuclear capable” missile which prompted the United States into intensifying its SCUD hunting in western Iraq to prevent any Israeli response.[101]  The Israeli Air Force set up dummy SCUD sites in the Negev for pilots to practice on—they found it no easy task.[102]  American government concessions to Israel for not attacking (in addition to Israeli Patriot missile batteries) were:

  • Allowing Israel to designate 100 targets inside Iraq for the coalition to destroy,
  • Satellite downlink to increase warning time on the SCUD attacks (present and future),
  • “Technical parity with Saudi jet fighters in perpetuity.”[103]

All of this validated the nuclear arsenal in the minds of the Israelis.  In particular the confirmed capability of Arab states without a border with Israel, the so-called “second tier” states, to reach out and touch Israel with ballistic missiles confirmed Israel’s need for a robust first strike capability.][104]  Current military contacts between Israel and India, another nuclear power, bring up questions of nuclear cooperation.[105]  Pakistani sources have already voiced concerns over a possible joint Israeli-Indian attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.[106]  A recent Parameters article speculated on Israel’s willingness to furnish nuclear capabilities or assistance to certain states, such as Turkey.[107]   A retired Israeli Defense Force Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Amnon Shahak, has declared, “all methods are acceptable in withholding nuclear capabilities from an Arab state.”[108]

As the Israeli bomb comes out of the basement, open discussion, even in Israel, is occurring on why the Israelis feel they need an arsenal not used in at least two if not three wars.  Avner Cohen states: “It [Israel] must be in a position to threaten another Hiroshima to prevent another holocaust.”[109]  In July 1998 Shimon Peres was quoted in the Jordan Times as saying, “We have built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima, but to have an Oslo,”[110] referring to the peace process.

One list of current reasons for an Israeli nuclear capability is:

  • To deter a large conventional attack,
  • To deter all levels of unconventional (chemical, biological, nuclear) attacks,
  • To preempt enemy nuclear attacks,
  • To support conventional preemption against enemy nuclear assets,
  • To support conventional preemption against enemy non-nuclear (conventional, chemical, biological) assets,
  • For nuclear warfighting,
  • The “Samson Option” (last resort destruction).[111]

The most alarming of these is the nuclear warfighting.  The Israelis have developed, by several accounts, low yield neutron bombs able to destroy troops with minimal damage to property.[112]  In 1990, during the Second Gulf War, an Israeli reserve major general recommended to America that it “use non-contaminating tactical nuclear weapons” against Iraq.[113]  Some have speculated that the Israelis will update their nuclear arsenal to “micronukes” and “tinynukes” which would be very useful to attack point targets and other tactical or barrier (mining) uses.[114]  These would be very useful for hardened deeply buried command and control facilities and for airfield destruction without exposing Israeli pilots to combat.[115]  Authors have made the point that Israeli professional military schools do not teach nuclear tactics and would not use them in the close quarters of Israel.  Many Israeli officers have attended American military schools where they learned tactical use in crowded Europe.[116]

However, Jane’s Intelligence Review has recently reported an Israeli review of nuclear strategy with a shift from tactical nuclear warheads to long range missiles.[117]  Israel always has favored the long reach, whether to Argentina for Adolph Eichmann, to Iraq to strike a reactor, Entebbe for hostages, Tunisia to hit the PLO, or by targeting the Soviet Union’s cities.  An esteemed Israeli military author has speculated that Israel is pursuing an R&D program to provide MIRVs (multiple independent reentry vehicles) on their missiles.[118]

The government of Israel recently ordered three German Dolphin Class 800 submarine, to be delivered in late 1999.  Israel will then have a second strike capability with nuclear cruise missiles, and this capability could well change the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.[119]  Israeli rhetoric on the new submarines labels them “national deterrent” assets.  Projected capabilities include a submarine-launched nuclear missile with a 350-kilometer range.[120]  Israel has been working on sea launch capability for missiles since the 1960s.[121]  The first basing options for the new second-strike force of nuclear missile capable submarines include Oman, an Arab nation with unofficial Israeli relations, located strategically near Iran.[122]  A report indicates that the Israel Defense Ministry has formally gone to the government with a request to authorize a retaliatory nuclear strike if Israel was hit with first strike nuclear weapons.  This report comes in the wake of a recent Iran Shihab-3 missile test and indications to Israel that Iran is two to three years from a nuclear warhead.[123]  Israeli statements stress that Iran’s nuclear potential would be problem to all and would require “American leadership, with serious participation of the G-7 . . . .”[124]

A recent study highlighted Israel’s extreme vulnerability to a first strike and an accompanying vulnerability even to a false alarm.[125]  Syria’s entire defense against Israel seems to rest on chemical weapons and warheads.[126]   One scenario involves Syria making a quick incursion into the Golan and then threatening chemical strikes, perhaps with a new, more lethal (protective-mask-penetrable) Russian nerve gas if Israel resists.[127]  Their use would drive Israel to nuclear use.  Israeli development of an anti- missile defense, the Arrow, a fully fielded (30-50[128]) Jericho II ballistic missile, and the soon-to-arrive strategic submarine force, seems to have produced a coming change in defense force structure.  The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, quotes the Israeli Chief of Staff discussing the establishment of a “strategic command to . . . prepare an adequate response to the long term threats. . . ”[129]

The 1994 accord with Jordan, allowing limited Israeli military presence in Jordanian skies, could make the flying distance to several potential adversaries considerably shorter.[130]  Israel is concerned about Iran’s desire to obtain nuclear weapons and become a regional leader, coupled with large numbers of Shiite Moslems in southern Lebanon.  The Israeli Air Force commanding general issued a statement saying Israel would “consider an attack” if any country gets “close to achieving a nuclear capability.”[131]  The Israelis are obviously considering actions capable of stopping such programs and are buying aircraft such as the F-15I with sufficient operational range.  At the first delivery of these 4,000 kilometer range fighters, the Israeli comment was, “the aircraft would help counter a growing nuclear threat.”[132]  They consider such regional nation nuclear programs to be a sufficient cause for war.  Their record of accomplishment is clear: having hit the early Iraqi nuclear effort, they feel vindicated by Desert Storm.  They also feel that only the American and Israeli nuclear weapons kept Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from using chemical or biological weapons against Israel.[133]

Israel, like Iran, has desires of regional power.  The 1956 alliance with France and Britain might have been a first attempt at regional hegemony.  Current debate in the Israeli press considers offering Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and perhaps Syria (after a peace agreement) an Israeli nuclear umbrella of protection.[134]  A nuclear Iran or Iraq might use its nuclear weapons to protect some states in the region, threaten others, and attempt to control oil prices.[135]

Another speculative area concerns Israeli nuclear security and possible misuse.  What is the chain of decision and control of Israel’s weapons?  How susceptible are they to misuse or theft?  With no open, frank, public debate on nuclear issues, there has accordingly been no debate or information on existing safeguards.  This has led to accusations of “monolithic views and sinister intentions.”[1360]  Would a right wing military government decide to employ nuclear weapons recklessly?  Ariel Sharon, an outspoken proponent of “Greater Israel” was quoted as saying, “Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.”[137]  Could the Gush Emunim, a right wing religious organization, or others, hijack a nuclear device to “liberate” the Temple Mount for the building of the third temple?  Chances are small but could increase as radicals decry the peace process.[138]  A 1997 article reviewing the Israeli Defense Force repeatedly stressed the possibilities of, and the need to guard against,  a religious, right wing military coup, especially as the proportion of religious in the military increases.[139 ]

Israel is a nation with a state religion, but its top leaders are not religious Jews.  The intricacies of Jewish religious politics and rabbinical law do affect their politics and decision processes.  In Jewish law, there are two types of war, one obligatory and mandatory (milkhemet mitzvah) and the one authorized but optional (milkhemet reshut).[140]  The labeling of Prime Minister Begin’s “Peace for Galilee” operation as a milchemet brera (“war of choice”) was one of the factors causing it to lose support.[141]  Interpretation of Jewish law concerning nuclear weapons does not permit their use for mutual assured destruction.  However, it does allow possession and threatening their use, even if actual use is not justifiable under the law.  Interpretations of the law allow tactical use on the battlefield, but only after warning the enemy and attempting to make peace.  How much these intricacies affect Israeli nuclear strategy decisions is unknown.[142]

The secret nature of the Israeli nuclear program has hidden the increasing problems of the aging Dimona reactor and adverse worker health effects.  Information is only now public as former workers sue the government.  This issue is now linked to continued tritium production for the boosted anti-tank and anti-missile nuclear warheads that Israeli continues to need.  Israel is attempting to obtain a new, more efficient, tritium production technology developed in India.[143]

One other purpose of Israeli nuclear weapons, not often stated, but obvious, is their “use” on the United States.  America does not want Israel’s nuclear profile raised.[144]  They have been used in the past to ensure America does not desert Israel under increased Arab, or oil embargo, pressure and have forced the United States to support Israeli diplomatically against the Soviet Union.  Israel used their existence to guarantee a continuing supply of American conventional weapons, a policy likely to continue.[145]

Regardless of the true types and numbers (see Appendix A) of Israeli nuclear weapons, they have developed a sophisticated system, by myriad methods, and are a nuclear power to be reckoned with.  Their nuclear ambiguity has served their purposes well but Israel is entering a different phase of visibility even as their nuclear capability is entering a new phase.  This new visibility may not be in America’s interest.[146]  Many are predicting the Israeli nuclear arsenal will become less useful “out of the basement” and possibly spur a regional arms race.  If so, Israel has a 5-10 year lead time at present before mutual assured destruction, Middle East style, will set in.  Would regional mutual second strike capability, easier to acquire than superpower mutual second strike capability, result in regional stability?  Some think so.[147]   Current Israeli President Ezer Weizman has stated “the nuclear issue is gaining momentum [and the] next war will not be conventional.[148]

Appendix A

Estimates of the Israeli Nuclear Arsenal


1.  Hersh, Seymour M.,  The Samson Option.  Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (New York: Random House, 1991), 223.

2.  Aronson, Slomo and Brosh, Oded,  The Politics and Strategy of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East, the Opacity Theory, and Reality, 1960-1991-An Israeli Perspective (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1992), 20.

3.  Karsh, Efraim,  Between War and Peace: Dilemmas of Israeli Security (London, England: Frank Cass, 1996), 82.

4.  Cohen, Avner,  Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 16.

5.  Cordesman, Anthony,  Perilous Prospects: The Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli Military Balance (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1996), 118.

6.  Pry, Peter,  Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1984), 5-6.

7.  Quoted in Weissman, Steve and Krosney, Herbert.  The Islamic Bomb: The Nuclear Threat to Israel and the Middle East.  (New York, New York: Times Books, 1981), 105.

8.  “Former Official Says France Helped Build Israel’s Dimona Complex.”  Nucleonics Week October 16, 1986, 6.

9.  Milhollin, Gary,  “Heavy Water Cheaters.”  Foreign Policy (1987-88): 101-102.

10.  Cordesman, 1991, 127.

11.  Federation of American Scientists,  “Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program.” 10 December 1997, n.p.  On-line.  Internet, 27 October 1998.  Available from

12.  Nashif, Taysir N.,  Nuclear Weapons in Israel (New Delhi: S. B. Nangia Books, 1996), 3.

13.  Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, 48-49.

14.  Bennett, Jeremy,  The Suez Crisis.  BBC Video.  n.d.  Videocassette and Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi.  Every Spy a Prince.  The Complete History of Israel’s Intelligence Community.  (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), 63-69.

15.  Weissman and Krosney, 112.

16.  “Revealed: The Secrets of Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal” (London) Sunday Times No. 8,461, 5 October 1986, 1, 4-5.

17.  Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, 57-59.

18.  Peres, Shimon,  Battling for Peace.  A Memoir (New York, New York: Random House, 1995), 122.

19.  Pry, 10.

20.  Loftus, John and Aarons, Mark,  The Secret War Against the Jews.  How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People (New York, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1994), 287-303.

21.  Green, Stephen,  Taking Sides.  America’s Secret Relations with a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1984), 152.

22.  Cohen, Avner,  “Most Favored Nation.”  The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 51, no. 1 (January-February 1995): 44-53.

23.  Hersh, The Samson Option, 196.

24.  See Cohen, Avner,  “Israel’s Nuclear History: The Untold Kennedy-Eshkol Dimona Correspondence.”  Journal of Israeli History, 1995 16, no. 2, 159-194 and Cohen, Avner, Comp.  “Recently Declassified 1963 Correspondence between President Kennedy and Prime Ministers Ben-Gurion and Eshkol.”  Journal of Israeli History, 1995 16, no. 2, 195-207.  Much of the documentation has been posted to http:\

25.  Weissman  and Krosney, op. cit.,114-117

26.  Cohen, op. cit.,  Israel and the Bomb, 82-83.

27.  Spector, Leonard S.,  The Undeclared Bomb (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Publishers, 1988), 387 (n.22).

28.  Quoted in Stevens, Elizabeth.  “Israel’s Nuclear Weapons—A Case Study.”  14 pages.  On line. Internet, 23 October 1998.  Available from

29.  Green, Taking Sides, 148-179 and Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, 1990, 197-198.

30.  Weissman and Krosney, 119-124.

31.  Black, Ian and Morris, Benny,  Israel’s Secret Wars.  A history of Israel’s Intelligence Services (New York, New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), 418-419.

32.  Hersh,  257.

33.  Green, Stephen,  Living by the Sword: America and Israel in the Middle East, 1968-1987 (London: Faber, 1988), 63-80.

34.  Cordesman, 1991, 120.

35.  Weissman and Krosney, 124-128 and Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, 1990, 198-199.

36.  Spector, The Undeclared Bomb, 395(n. 57).98-199

37.  Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, 1990, 58.

38.  Milhollin, 100-119.

39.  Stanghelle, Harold,  “Israel to sell back 10.5 tons.”  Arbeiderbladet, Oslo, Norway, 28 June 1990 in: Center for Nonproliferation Studies, “Nuclear Developments,” 28 June 1990, 34-35; on-line, Internet 22 November 1998, available from

40.  Hersh, op. cit., 139.

41.  Center for Nonproliferation Studies.  “Israeli Friends,” ISIS Report, May 1994, 4; on-line, Internet 22 November 1998, available from

42.  Abecasis, Rachel,  “Uranium reportedly offered to China, Israel.”  Radio Renascenca, Lisbon, 9 December 1992 quoted in Center for Nonproliferation, “Proliferation Issues,” 23 December, 1992, 25; on-line, Internet 22 November 1998, available from

43.  Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, op. cit., 231-232 and 256-257.

44.  Nordeen, Lon O., Nicolle, David,  Phoenix over the Nile (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1996), 192-193.

45.  O’Balance, Edgar, The Third Arab-Israeli War (London: Faber and Faber, 1972), 54.

46.  Brecher, Michael, Decision in Crisis.  Israel, 1967 and 1973 (Berkley, California: University of California Press, 1980), 104, 230-231.

47.  Cohen, Avner.  “Cairo, Dimona, and the June 1967 War.”  Middle East Journal 50, no. 2 (Spring 1996), 190-210.

48.  Creveld, Martin van.  The Sword and the Olive.  A Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force (New York, New York: Public Affairs, 1998), 174.

49.  Burrows, William E. and Windrem, Robert, Critical Mass.  The Dangerous Race for Superweapons in a Fragmenting World (New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 282-283.

50.  Aronson, Shlomo,  Israel’s Nuclear Options, ACIS Working Paper No. 7. Los Angeles, California: University of California Center for Arms Control and International Security, 1977, 3, and Sorenson, David S., “Middle East Regional Studies-AY99,”  Air War College: Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, 542.

51.  Hersh, op. cit., 126-128.

52.  Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, op. cit., 210-213.

53.  Spector, Leonard S.,  “Foreign-Supplied Combat Aircraft: Will They Drop the Third World Bomb?”  Journal of International Affairs 40, no. 1(1986): 145 (n. 5) and Green, Living by the Sword, op. cit., 18-19.

54.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 280.

55.  Cohen, op. cit.,  Israel and the Bomb, 237.

56.  Ibid.,  273-274.

57.  Milhollin, op. cit., 103-104.

58.  Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, Friend in Deed:  Inside the U.S.-Israel Alliance (New York New York: Hyperion, 1994), 299.

59.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 464-465 and Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, op. cit., 1990, 304-305.

60.  Spector, The Undeclared Bomb, op. cit., 179.

61.  Dowty, Alan.  “Israel and Nuclear Weapons.”  Midstream 22, no. 7 (November 1976), 8-9.

62.  Hersh, op. cit., 217, 222-226, and Weissman and Krosney, op. cit., 107.

63.  Green, op. cit., Living by the Sword, 90-99.

64.  Loftus and Aarons, op. cit., 316-317.

65  Smith, Gerard C. and Cobban, Helena.  “A Blind Eye To Nuclear Proliferation.”  Foreign Affairs  68, no. 3(1989), 53-70.

66.  Hersh, op. cit., 230-231.

67.  O’Balance, Edgar, No Victor, No Vanquished.  The Yom Kippur War (San Rafael, California: Presido Press, 1978), 175.

68.  Ibid.,  234-235 and Aronson, S, op. cit., 15-18.

69.  Spector, The Undeclared Bomb, op. cit., 396 (n. 62); Garthoff, Raymond L.,  Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institute, 1994), 426, n76 and Bandmann, Yona and Cordova, Yishai.  “The Soviet Nuclear Threat Towards the Close of the Yom Kippur War.”  Jerusalem Journal of International Relations 1980 5, no. 1, 107-9.

70.  Cherkashin, Nikolai, “On Moscow’s Orders.”  Russian Life, 39, no. 10 (October 1996), 13-15.

71.  Brownlow, Cecil.  “Soviets poise three-front global drive.  Nuclear weapons in Egypt, artillery buildup at Guantanamo, Communist concentrations in Vietnam aimed at political gains.” Aviation Week and Space Technology 99, no. 19 (5 November 1973), 12-14; Holt, Robert.  “Soviet Power Play.”  Aviation Week and Space Technology 99, no. 19 (5 November 1973), 7 and Gur-Arieh, Danny, “A non-Conventional Look at Israel During ’73 War.”  IsraelWire Tuesday, October 6, 1998 17, 23; on-line, Internet 20 November 1998, available from

72.  Hersh, op. cit., 321-235.

73.  Creveld, 1998, op. cit., 220-221.

74.  Evron, Yair, Israel’s Nuclear Dilemma (Ithaca, New York: Cornell Publishing, 1994), 62-74.

75.  Cohen, Avner,  “Peres:  Peacemaker, Nuclear Pioneer.”  The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  52, no. 3 (May/June 1996), 16-17 and Aronson, S, op. cit., 11-12.

76.  Karsh, op. cit., 86.

77.  Quoted in Hersh, op. cit., 180 and Stevens, op. cit., 1-14.

78.  Hersh, op. cit., 216, 276 and  Kaku, Michio.  “Contingency Plans: Nuclear Weapons after the Cold War.”  In Altered States: A Reader in the New World Order, Bennis, Phyllis and Moushabeck, Michel, Eds. (New York, New York: 1993), 66.

79.  Weissman and Krosney, op. cit., 109.

80.  Gillette, Robert, “Uranium Enrichment: Rumors of Israeli Progress with Lasers.”  Science 183, no. 4130 (22 March 1974), 1172-1174.

81.  Barnaby, Frank, The Invisible Bomb:  The Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East (London: I. B. Tauris, 1988), 25.

82.  “Israel: The Covert Connection.”  Frontline, PBS Network, May 16, 1989, quoted in Spector, Leonard S., and McDonough, Mark G., with Medeiros, Evan S.,  Tracking Nuclear Proliferation.  A Guide in Maps and Charts, 1995 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1995).

83.  Nashif, Taysir N., Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East: Dimensions and Responsibilities (Princeton, New Jersey: Kingston Press, 1984), 22-23.

84.  Hersh, op. cit., 216.

85.  Barnaby, Frank,  “Capping Israel’s Nuclear Volcano,” Between War and Peace.  Dilemmas of Israeli Security, edited by Efraim Karsh (London, England: Frank Cass, 1996), 98.

86.  Hersh, op. cit., 271-275.

87.  Nashif, op. cit., 32.

88.  Gaffney, Mark, Dimona:  The Third Temple?  The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation (Brattleboro, Vermont: Amana Books, 1989), 100-101.

89.  Pedatzur, Re’uven, “South African Statement On Nuclear Test Said to Serve Israel,”  Ha’aretz, 29 July 1997.  On line:  Internet, 22 November 1998 and Kelley, Robert.  “The Iraqi and South African Nuclear W”ôNuclear Abstracts,” 1 March 1996, or on-line, Internet, 22 November 1998, both available from

90.  “Was there a Nuclear Test near Eilat?”  IsraelWire, 16 June 1998, or on line Internet, 22 November, 1998, available from and “Deputy Defense Minister Denies Israeli Nuclear Testing.”  Israeli Wire, June 18, 1998, or on-line.  Internet, 13 October 1998, available from

91.  McKinnon, Dan.  Bullseye One Reactor.  The Story of Israel’s Bold Surprise Air Attack That Destroyed Iraqi’s Nuclear Bomb Facility (Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1987).

92.  “Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Report on the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Moscow, 1993.”  Journal of Palestine Studies XXII, no. 4 (Summer 1993): 135-140; Creveld, Martin van,  Nuclear Proliferation and the Future Of Conflict (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 105; and Clark, Philip. “ôThird successful Israeli satellite launch.”  Jane’s Intelligence Review 7, no. 6 (June 1995), 25-26.

93.  Sunday Times, London, op. cit., 1,4-5.

94.  Toscano, Louis,  Triple Cross: Israel, the Atomic Bomb and the Man Who Spilled the Secrets (New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1990).

95.  Green, Living by the Sword, op. cit., 134.

96.  Spector, The Undeclared Bomb, op. cit., 165-166.

97.  Hersh, op. cit., 291.

98.  Levran, Aharon,  Israeli Strategy after Desert Storm: Lessons from the Second Gulf War (London: Frank Cass, 1997), 1-10.

99.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 278.

100.  Cohen, Avner and Miller, Marvin,  Nuclear Shadows in the Middle East: Prospects for Arms Control in the Wake of the Gulf Crisis (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990), 10.

101.  Aronson and Brosh, op. cit., 276.

102.  Raviv and Melman, op. cit., 399.

103.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 297n and Creveld, 1998, op. cit., 321-322.

104.  Levran, op. cit., 8-10.

105.  Ahmar, Moonis,  “Pakistan and Israel: Distant Adversaries or Neighbors?”  Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, 1996, 20, no.1, 43-44.

106.  “Nuclear proliferation didn’t start in 1998 . . .and not in Pakistan nor with Islam,”  Middle East Realities, or on-line,  Internet, 21 September 1998, available from

107.  Garrity, Patrick J.  “The Next Nuclear Questions.”  Parameters, XXV, no. 4 (Winter 1995-96), 92-111.

108.  Cohen, Eliezer.  Israel’s best defense: the First Full Story of the Israeli Air Force,  (New York, New York: Random House, 1993), 495.

109.  Cohen and Miller, op. cit., 18.

110.  “Before Meeting with King, Peres Claims Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal was built for Peace,” Jordan Times, July 14, 1998.  Quoted in Sorenson, op. cit., 542.

111.  Beres, Louis Rene,  “Israel’s Bomb in the Basement: A revisiting of `Deliberate Ambiguity’ vs. `Disclosure’, Between War and Peace:  Dilemmas of Israeli Security, edited by Efraim Harsh (London, England: Frank Cass, 1996), 113-133.

112.  Hersh, op. cit., 319.

113.  Amos, Deborah, Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World (New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 105.

114.  Dowler, Thomas W. and Howard II, Joseph H., “Countering the threat of the well-armed tyrant: A modest proposal for small nuclear weapons,”  Strategic Review, XIX, no. 4 (Fall 1991), 34-40.

115.  Beres, Louis Rene,  “Israel’s bomb in the basement: A revisiting of `Deliberate Ambiguity’ vs. `Disclosure.’ ”  In Karsh, Efraim, op. cit., Editor,  Between War and Peace: Dilemmas of Israeli Security (London, England: Frank Cass, 1996), 116.

116.  Cordesman, op. cit., 1996, 265.

117.  Hough, Harold, “Israel reviews its nuclear deterrent,”  Jane’s Intelligence Review 10, no.11 (November 1998), 11-13.

118.  Creveld, op. cit., 1993, 105.

119.  Burrows, and Windrem, op. cit., 311-312 and “Israel begins test of nuclear missile submarines,”  The Irish Times, July 2, 1998, or on-line, Internet, 24 December 1998,  available from

120.  Melman, Yossi, “Swimming with the Dolphins,”  Ha’aretz, Tuesday, June 9, 1998, and “Report: Israel to get Subs with Nuclear Strike Capability,”  Jerusalem Post, I July 3, 1998, 3 and Sorenson, op. cit., 543.

121.  Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi, op. cit., 1990, 344-345, 422-423.

122.  Shahak, Israel,  Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (London: Pluto Press, 1997), 72-73.

123.  Davis, Douglas,  “Defense Officials Said Urging Nuclear Second-Strike Capability,”  Jerusalem Post, 6 August 1998, 3; or on-line, Internet, 22 November 1998, available from

124.  Inbar, Efraim, “Israel’s security in a new international environment,” in Karsh, Efraim, Editor, Between War and Peace: Dilemmas of Israeli Security (London, England: Frank Cass, 1996), 41.

125.  Hough, Harold,  “Could Israel’s Nuclear Assets Survive a First Strike?”  Jane’s Intelligence Review, September 1997, 407-410.

126.  Terrill, W. Andrew,  “The Chemical Warfare Legacy of the Yemen War.”  Comparative Strategy, 10 (1991), 109-119.

127.  Boyne, Sean, “Across the Great Divide.  Will Assad go for the Golan?”  Jane’s Intelligence Review, 10, no. 4 (April 1998), 21-24 and Cordesman, 1996, op. cit., 254.

128.  Cordesman, op. cit., 1996, 243.

129,  Harel, Amos and Barzilai, Amnon,  “Mordechai says Arrow alone cannot protect against missiles,”  Ha’aretz, 13 January 1999, or on-line,  Internet, 13 January 1999,  available from

130.  Shahak, op. cit., 78-79.

131.  Chubin, Shahram, “Does Iran Want Nuclear Weapons?”  Survival 37, no. 1 (Spring 1995), 91-93.

132.  O’Sullivan, Arich, “New F-15I Warplanes Expand Israel’s Reach,” The Jerusalem Post, 19 January 1997, or on-line, Internet 22 November 1998, available from

133.  Karsh, op. cit., 9.

134.  Shahak, op. cit., 4-5.

135.  Garrity, op. cit., 92-111.

136.  Dowty, op. cit., 8.

137.  Gaffney, op. cit., 165.

138.  Ibid., 37-38 and Friedman, Robert I.  Zealots for Zion:  Inside Israel’s West Bank Settlement Movement (New York, New York: Random House, 1992), 132-52.

139.  Blanche, Ed,  “Is the Myth Fading for the Israeli Army? — Part 1.”  Jane’s Intelligence Review, 8, no. 12 (December 1996), 547-550 and Blanche, Ed.  “Is the myth fading for the Israeli Army? — Part 2,”  Jane’s Intelligence Review 9, no. 1 (January 1997), 25-28.

140.  Cohen, Stuart A.,  The Scroll or the Sword?  Dilemmas of Religion and Military Service in Israel (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997), 11-24.

141.  Creveld, op. cit., 1998, 298.

142.  Broyde, Michael J.,  “Fighting the War and the Peace: Battlefield Ethics, Peace Talks, Treaties, and Pacifism in the Jewish Tradition,” or on-line,  Internet, 20 November 1998, available from

143.  Hough, Harold, op. cit., 1998, 11-12 and Berger, Julian,  “Court Fury At Israeli Reactor.”  Guardian, 13 October 1997, in Center for Nonproliferation, “Nuclear Abstracts,” 13 October 1997, or on-line, Internet, 22 November 1998, available from

144.  Creveld, op. cit., 1998, 252.

145.  Valry, Nicholas,  “Israel’s Silent Gamble with the Bomb,”  New Scientist (12 December 1974), 807-09.

146.  Harden, Major James D.,  Israeli Nuclear Weapons and War in the Middle East,  Master’s Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, December 1997.

147.  Dowdy, op. cit., 20.

148.  Aronson, Geoffrey,  “Hidden Agenda: US-Israeli Relations and the Nuclear Question,” Middle East Journal, 46, no. 4 (Autumn 1992), 619-630.

149.  Data from Time, 12 April 1976, quoted in Weissman and Krosney, op. cit., 107.

150.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 280 and Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, op. cit., 273-274.

151.  Tahtinen, Dale R.,  The Arab-Israel Military Balance Today (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1973), 34.

152.  “How Israel Got the Bomb.”  Time, 12 April 1976, 39.

153.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 302.

154.  Kaku, op. cit., 66 and Hersh, op. cit., 216.

155.  Valéry, op. cit., 807-09.

156.  Data from CIA, quoted in Weissman and Krosney, op. cit., 109.

157.  Ottenberg, Michael, “Estimating Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities,” Command, 30 (October 1994), 6-8.

158.  Pry, op. cit., 75.

159.  Ibid., 111.

160.  Data from NBC Nightly News, quoted in Milhollin, op. cit., 104 and Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 308.

161.  Data from Vanunu quoted in Milhollin, op. cit., 104.

162.  Harkavy, Robert E.  “After the Gulf War: The Future of the Israeli Nuclear Strategy,” The Washington Quarterly (Summer 1991), 164.

163.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 308.

164.  Albright, David, Berkhout, Frans and Walker, William, Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996.  World Inventories, Capabilities, and Policies (New York: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute And Oxford University Press, 1997), 262-263.

165.  Hough, Harold,  “Israel’s Nuclear Infrastructure,”  Jane’s Intelligence Review 6, no. 11 (November 1994), 508.

166.  Ibid., 262-263.

167.  Spector, and McDonough, with Medeiros, op. cit., 135.

168.  Burrows and Windrem, op. cit., 283-284.

169.  Cordesman, op. cit., 1996, 234.

170.  Ibid., 234.

171.  Ibid., 230, 243.

172.  Brower, Kenneth S., “A Propensity for Conflict:  Potential Scenarios and Outcomes of War in the Middle East,”  Jane’s Intelligence Review, Special Report no. 14,  (February 1997), 14-15.

173.  Albright, Berkhout, and Walker, op. cit., 262-263.

USAF Counterproliferation Center

The USAF Counterproliferation Center was established in 1998 to provide education and research to the present and future leaders of the USAF, and thereby help them better prepare to counter the threat from weapons of mass destruction.

Barry R. Schneider, Director
USAF Counterproliferation Center
325 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6427k

(334) 953-7538 (DSN (493-7538)

Email:  Barry.Schneider@maxwell,


BELOW: Israeli nuclear bomb factory


BELOW: IKONOS image of the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona


See the image at:




<> Top Sweden newspaper says IDF kills Palestinians for their organs


By Morten Berthelsen and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: IDF Jewish World


A leading Swedish newspaper reported this week that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs, a claim that prompted furious condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitic blood libel from a rival publication.

“They plunder the organs of our sons,” read the headline in Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, which devoted a double spread in its cultural section to the article.

(Click here for the original article in Swedish)

The report quotes Palestinian claims that young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israel Defense Forces, and their bodies returned to the families with missing organs.

“‘Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,’ relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied,” writes author Donald Boström in his report.

Boström’s article makes a link to the recent exposure of an alleged crime syndicate in New Jersey. The syndicate includes several American rabbis, and one Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, who faces charges of conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant.

(Click here for the opinion piece in Swedish)

Boström also cites an incident of alleged organ snatching from 1992, during the time of the first Palestinian intifada. He says that the IDF seized a young man known for throwing stones at Israeli troops in the Nablus area, who was shot in the chest, both legs, and the stomach before being taken to a military helicopter which transported him to “a place unknown to his loved ones”.

Five nights later, Boström says, the young man’s body was returned, wrapped in green hospital sheets.

“The sharp sounds from the shovels were mixed with the occasional laughter from the soldiers who were joking with each other, waiting to go home. When Bilal was put into his grave, his chest was revealed and suddenly it became clear to the present what abuse he had been put through. Bilal was far from the only one who was buried cut-up from his stomach to his chin and the speculations about the reason why had already started,” he writes.

But the liberal Sydsvenskan – southern Sweden’s major daily – had harsh criticism for the rival paper, running an opinion piece under the headline “Antisemitbladet” (a play on the name Aftonbladet).

“We have heard the story before, in one form or the other. It follows the traditional pattern of conspiracy theory: a great number of loose threads that the theorist tempts the reader to tie into a neat knot without having been provided with any proven connection whatsoever,” writes leading columnist Mats Skogkär of Sydsvenskan.

“Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors. That is all it takes. After all we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don’t we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything,” the opinion piece says. “Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: ‘Anti-Semitism’ No, no, just criticism of Israel.”

The Foreign Ministry reacted angrily on Tuesday to the report. Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said the newspaper’s decision to publish the story is “a mark of disgrace” for the Swedish press.

“In a democratic country, there should be no place for dark blood libels out of the Middle Ages of this type,” Palmor said. “This is an article that shames Swedish democracy and the entire Swedish press.”

A Foreign Ministry official said that Israel’s embassy in Stockholm have communicated a harsh condemnation to the Swedish government and the newspaper itself.


Anna Ekström and Mikael Tossavainen contributed to this report

|<>| hmm,,, is there a connection to the New Jersey Rabbi organ transplant and money laundering ring??

<> Rabbi Caught in New Jersey Corruption Sting Called Himself Kidney ‘Matchmaker’

Saturday, July 25, 2009       AP

July 23: FBI agents lead arrested suspects from their headquarters as part of a corruption investigation in Newark, N.J.

NEWARK, N.J. —  Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn called himself a “matchmaker,” but his business wasn’t romance.

Instead, authorities say, he brokered the sale of black-market kidneys, buying organs from vulnerable people from Israel for $10,000 and selling them to desperate patients in the U.S. for as much as $160,000.

The alleged decade-long scheme, exposed this week by an FBI sting, rocked the nation’s transplant industry. If true, it would be the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S., transplant experts said Friday.

“There’s certainly cross-national activity, but it hasn’t touched the United States or we haven’t known about it until now,” said University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, who is co-directing a U.N. task force on international organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum was arrested Thursday, 10 days after meeting in his basement with a government informant and an FBI agent posing as the informant’s secretary. The agent claimed to be searching for a kidney for a sick uncle on dialysis who was on a transplant list at a Philadelphia hospital.

// “I am what you call a matchmaker,” Rosenbaum said in a secretly recorded conversation. “I bring a guy what I believe, he’s suitable for your uncle.” Asked how many organs he had brokered, he said: “Quite a lot,” the most recent two weeks earlier.

As part of the scheme, the organ donors were brought from Israel to this country, where they underwent surgery to remove the kidneys, authorities said. Prosecutors did not identify which hospitals in the U.S. received the donors and their kidneys.

“The allegations about an organ trafficking ring in the United States are appalling,” said John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

Israel Medical Association spokeswoman Orna Cohen said the organization had no reports there of Israelis selling organs. “If it’s true, then it’s shocking,” she said.

Related Stories

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israel’s national police force, said Israeli police were not involved in the investigation, and he would not comment further.

Under 1984 federal law, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly buy or sell organs for transplant. The practice is illegal just about everywhere else in the world, too.

But demand for kidneys far outstrips the supply, with 4,540 people dying in the U.S. last year while waiting for a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. As a result, there is a thriving black market for kidneys around the world.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, an anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of an upcoming book on human organ trafficking, said that she has been tracking the Brooklyn-connected ring for 10 years and that her contacts in Israel have called Rosenbaum “the top man” in the United States.

Scheper-Hughes said she was told Rosenbaum carried a gun, and when a potential organ seller would get cold feet, Rosenbaum would use his finger to simulate firing a gun at the person’s head.

Scheper-Hughes said she was also told that some of the kidney transplants using sellers procured by Rosenbaum were performed at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The hospital said it is aware Rosenbaum has been charged but that its transplant screening process is rigorous and that it assesses each donor’s motivation.

“All donors are clearly advised that it is against the law to receive money or gifts for being an organ donor,” spokeswoman Brenda Perez wrote in an e-mail. “… The pre-transplant evaluation may not detect premeditated and skillful attempts to subvert and defraud the evaluation process.”

Rosenbaum was arrested in a sweeping federal case that began as an investigation into money laundering and trafficking in kidneys and fake designer bags. It mushroomed into a political corruption probe, culminating in the arrests this week of 44 people, including three New Jersey mayors, various other officials, and five rabbis. The politicians and rabbis were not accused of involvement in the organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum, 58, is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, where he told neighbors he was in the construction business.

For someone who was not a surgeon, Rosenbaum seemed in his recorded conversations to have a thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of kidney donations, including how to fool hospitals into believing the donor was acting solely out of compassion for a friend or loved one.

He was recorded saying that money had to be spread around liberally, to Israeli doctors, visa preparers and those who cared for the organ donors in this country. “One of the reasons it’s so expensive is because you have to shmear (pay others) all the time,” he was quoted as saying.

“So far, I’ve never had a failure,” he bragged on tape. “I’m doing this a long time.”

At a 2008 meeting with the undercover agent, Rosenbaum claimed he had an associate who worked for an insurance company in Brooklyn who could take the recipient’s blood samples, store them on dry ice and send them to Israel, where they would be tested to see if they matched the prospective donor, authorities said.

Four checks totaling $10,000, a down payment on the fictitious uncle’s new kidney, were deposited in the bank account of a charity in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.

An after-hours phone call to Rosenbaum’s lawyer, Ronald Kleinberg, was not immediately returned Friday.

Dr. Francis Delmonico, a Harvard professor, transplant surgeon and board member of the National Kidney Foundation’s Board of Directors, said similar trafficking is going on elsewhere around the world. He said an estimated 10 percent of kidney transplants — 5,000 to 6,000 each year — are done illegally. Hot spots are Pakistan, the Philippines and China, where it is believed organs are obtained from executed prisoners, he said.

Caplan, the University of Pennsylvania ethicist, said he expects the U.N. task force to make recommendations in October that would hold hospitals worldwide accountable for establishing the origins of each organ they transplant and whether it was freely donated without compensation.

“There is a black market, almost exclusively in kidneys,” Caplan said. “All international medical groups and governments ought to condemn any marketing in body parts. It’s simply too exploitative of the poor and vulnerable. The quality of the organs is questionable. People lie to get the money. The middle men are irresponsible and often criminals. They don’t care about the people who sell.”

Scheper-Hughes said her research has uncovered hundreds of cases of illegal organ transactions brokered by and for Israelis in Israel, South Africa, Turkey and other countries, with sellers recruited from poor communities in Moldova, Brazil and elsewhere.

In 2003 and 2004, 17 people were arrested in Brazil and South Africa on suspicion of participating in an international human organ trafficking organization. Investigators said Brazilians who passed a medical checkup were flown to South Africa, where their kidneys were extracted.

A few transplant surgeons support changing the law to allow a system of regulated compensation to increase the pool of donor kidneys.

Arthur Matas, a transplant surgeon who directs the kidney transplant service at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said donors could be compensated with some combination of lifetime access to medical care, life insurance, a tax credit, help with college and a small direct payment.

“It would minimize the extraordinary black market and exploitation of impoverished people internationally,” Matas said.

Martin Weinfeld, who lives around the corner from Rosenbaum in Brooklyn, said the allegations bring shame on the community.

“It puts a bad name on good people,” he said. “Religion is supposed to be about God, helping others, not about the cash.”

Rabbi 1_61_072409_nj_corruptionAP:

July 23: FBI agents lead arrested suspects from their headquarters as part of a corruption investigation in Newark, N.J.,2933,534838,00.html


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Secret Cooperation Israel Deploys Nuclear Weapons on German-Built Submarines

The Dolphin class submarines are built for Israel in a shipyard in Kiel (March 2012 photo).Zoom


The Dolphin class submarines are built for Israel in a shipyard in Kiel (March 2012 photo).

A German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel, and three more are planned. Now SPIEGEL has learned that Israel is arming the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The German government has known about Israel’s nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its official denials.

Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities, SPIEGEL has learned. According to extensive research carried out by the magazine, Israel is equipping submarines that were built in the northern German city of Kiel and largely paid for by the German government with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The missiles can be launched using a previously secret hydraulic ejection system. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told SPIEGEL that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years.”


In the past, the German government has always stuck to the position that it is unaware of nuclear weapons being deployed on the vessels. Now, however, former high-ranking officials from the German Defense Ministry, including former State Secretary Lothar Rühl and former chief of the planning staff Hans Rühle, have told SPIEGEL that they had always assumed that Israel would deploy nuclear weapons on the submarines. Rühl had even discussed the issue with the military in Tel Aviv. 

Israel has a policy of not commenting officially on its nuclear weapons program. Documents from the archives of the German Foreign Ministry make it clear, however, that the German government has known about the program since 1961. The last discussion for which there is evidence took place in 1977, when then-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt spoke to then-Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan about the issue.

The submarines are built by the German shipyard HDW in Kiel. Three submarines have already been delivered to Israel, and three more will be delivered by 2017. In addition, Israel is considering ordering its seventh, eighth and ninth submarines from Germany.

The German government recently signed the contract for the delivery of the sixth vessel. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, Chancellor Angela Merkel made substantial concessions to the Israelis. Not only is Berlin financing one-third of the cost of the submarine, around €135 million ($168 million), but it is also allowing Israel to defer its payment until 2015.

Merkel had tied the delivery of the sixth submarine to a number of conditions, including a demand that Israel stop its expansionist settlement policy and allow the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip, which is partially financed with German money. So far, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met none of the terms.

Check back on SPIEGEL International on Monday for the full English-language version of SPIEGEL’s cover story on Germany’s cooperation with Israel over its submarine program.



See also

“Everyone Wanted a Piece of the Action”

The Kidney Broker and the Money Laundering Rabbis


<> If Americans knew about Palestine Israel org

An excellent websites of factual presentation of comparisons



>>>>> Blowback: blown not too far back. Or is it a blowing towards us.

Ideas to open up the thread for discussion and conversation.

Truth and justice will prevail.

The truthful, just and righteous shall inherit the earth.




Each piece of truth is like finding a diamond, a pearl;  and the truth will set you free

seek, ask, reflect, repent,

Ask and you will receive

<> ()<> () <>




One Response to Israel : past, present, and future (and nukes etc of course)

  1. Roslyn Mrozoski says:

    The most difficult thing is to find a blog with unique and fresh content but your blog is different. Bravo.

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