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Borger writes: "Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence."


Truth About Israel's Secret Nuclear Arsenal

By Julian Borger, Guardian UK

18 January 14


Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won't come clean?

eep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran's atomic projects are under constant international monitoring.

The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It's just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing.

Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence.

When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as "outdated and childish" a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason.

Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of "opacity" by avoiding all mention of the issue. In 2009, when a veteran Washington reporter, Helen Thomas, asked Barack Obama in the first month of his presidency if he knew of any country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, he dodged the trapdoor by saying only that he did not wish to "speculate".

UK governments have generally followed suit. Asked in the House of Lords in November about Israeli nuclear weapons, Baroness Warsi answered tangentially. "Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. We have regular discussions with the government of Israel on a range of nuclear-related issues," the minister said. "The government of Israel is in no doubt as to our views. We encourage Israel to become a state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]."

But through the cracks in this stone wall, more and more details continue to emerge of how Israel built its nuclear weapons from smuggled parts and pilfered technology.

The tale serves as a historical counterpoint to today's drawn-out struggle over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The parallels are not exact – Israel, unlike Iran, never signed up to the 1968 NPT so could not violate it. But it almost certainly broke a treaty banning nuclear tests, as well as countless national and international laws restricting the traffic in nuclear materials and technology.

The list of nations that secretly sold Israel the material and expertise to make nuclear warheads, or who turned a blind eye to its theft, include today's staunchest campaigners against proliferation: the US, France, Germany, Britain and even Norway.

Meanwhile, Israeli agents charged with buying fissile material and state-of-the-art technology found their way into some of the most sensitive industrial establishments in the world. This daring and remarkably successful spy ring, known as Lakam, the Hebrew acronym for the innocuous-sounding Science Liaison Bureau, included such colourful figures as Arnon Milchan, a billionaire Hollywood producer behind such hits as Pretty Woman, LA Confidential and 12 Years a Slave, who finally admitted his role last month.

"Do you know what it's like to be a twentysomething-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting," he said in an Israeli documentary.

Milchan's life story is colourful, and unlikely enough to be the subject of one of the blockbusters he bankrolls. In the documentary, Robert de Niro recalls discussing Milchan's role in the illicit purchase of nuclear-warhead triggers. "At some point I was asking something about that, being friends, but not in an accusatory way. I just wanted to know," De Niro says. "And he said: yeah I did that. Israel's my country."

Milchan was not shy about using Hollywood connections to help his shadowy second career. At one point, he admits in the documentary, he used the lure of a visit to actor Richard Dreyfuss's home to get a top US nuclear scientist, Arthur Biehl, to join the board of one of his companies.

According to Milchan's biography, by Israeli journalists Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, he was recruited in 1965 by Israel's current president, Shimon Peres, who he met in a Tel Aviv nightclub (called Mandy's, named after the hostess and owner's wife Mandy Rice-Davies, freshly notorious for her role in the Profumo sex scandal). Milchan, who then ran the family fertiliser company, never looked back, playing a central role in Israel's clandestine acquisition programme.

He was responsible for securing vital uranium-enrichment technology, photographing centrifuge blueprints that a German executive had been bribed into temporarily "mislaying" in his kitchen. The same blueprints, belonging to the European uranium enrichment consortium, Urenco, were stolen a second time by a Pakistani employee, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who used them to found his country's enrichment programme and to set up a global nuclear smuggling business, selling the design to Libya, North Korea and Iran.

For that reason, Israel's centrifuges are near-identical to Iran's, a convergence that allowed Israeli to try out a computer worm, codenamed Stuxnet, on its own centrifuges before unleashing it on Iran in 2010.

Arguably, Lakam's exploits were even more daring than Khan's. In 1968, it organised the disappearance of an entire freighter full of uranium ore in the middle of the Mediterranean. In what became known as the Plumbat affair, the Israelis used a web of front companies to buy a consignment of uranium oxide, known as yellowcake, in Antwerp. The yellowcake was concealed in drums labelled "plumbat", a lead derivative, and loaded onto a freighter leased by a phony Liberian company. The sale was camouflaged as a transaction between German and Italian companies with help from German officials, reportedly in return for an Israeli offer to help the Germans with centrifuge technology.

When the ship, the Scheersberg A, docked in Rotterdam, the entire crew was dismissed on the pretext that the vessel had been sold and an Israeli crew took their place. The ship sailed into the Mediterranean where, under Israeli naval guard, the cargo was transferred to another vessel.

US and British documents declassified last year also revealed a previously unknown Israeli purchase of about 100 tons of yellowcake from Argentina in 1963 or 1964, without the safeguards typically used in nuclear transactions to prevent the material being used in weapons.

Israel had few qualms about proliferating nuclear weapons knowhow and materials, giving South Africa's apartheid regime help in developing its own bomb in the 1970s in return for 600 tons of yellowcake.

Israel's nuclear reactor also required deuterium oxide, also known as heavy water, to moderate the fissile reaction. For that, Israel turned to Norway and Britain. In 1959, Israel managed to buy 20 tons of heavy water that Norway had sold to the UK but was surplus to requirements for the British nuclear programme. Both governments were suspicious that the material would be used to make weapons, but decided to look the other way. In documents seen by the BBC in 2005 British officials argued it would be "over-zealous" to impose safeguards. For its part, Norway carried out only one inspection visit, in 1961.

Israel's nuclear-weapons project could never have got off the ground, though, without an enormous contribution from France. The country that took the toughest line on counter-proliferation when it came to Iran helped lay the foundations of Israel's nuclear weapons programme, driven by by a sense of guilt over letting Israel down in the 1956 Suez conflict, sympathy from French-Jewish scientists, intelligence-sharing over Algeria and a drive to sell French expertise and abroad.

"There was a tendency to try to export and there was a general feeling of support for Israel," Andre Finkelstein, a former deputy commissioner at France's Atomic Energy Commissariat and deputy director general at the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Avner Cohen, an Israeli-American nuclear historian.

France's first reactor went critical as early as 1948 but the decision to build nuclear weapons seems to have been taken in 1954, after Pierre Mendès France made his first trip to Washington as president of the council of ministers of the chaotic Fourth Republic. On the way back he told an aide: "It's exactly like a meeting of gangsters. Everyone is putting his gun on the table, if you have no gun you are nobody. So we must have a nuclear programme."

Mendès France gave the order to start building bombs in December 1954. And as it built its arsenal, Paris solds material assistance to other aspiring weapons states, not just Israel.

"[T]his went on for many, many years until we did some stupid exports, including Iraq and the reprocessing plant in Pakistan, which was crazy," Finkelstein recalled in an interview that can now be read in a collection of Cohen's papers at the Wilson Centre thinktank in Washington. "We have been the most irresponsible country on nonproliferation."

In Dimona, French engineers poured in to help build Israel a nuclear reactor and a far more secret reprocessing plant capable of separating plutonium from spent reactor fuel. This was the real giveaway that Israel's nuclear programme was aimed at producing weapons.

By the end of the 50s, there were 2,500 French citizens living in Dimona, transforming it from a village to a cosmopolitan town, complete with French lycées and streets full of Renaults, and yet the whole endeavour was conducted under a thick veil of secrecy. The American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his book The Samson Option: "French workers at Dimona were forbidden to write directly to relatives and friends in France and elsewhere, but sent mail to a phony post-office box in Latin America."

The British were kept out of the loop, being told at different times that the huge construction site was a desert grasslands research institute and a manganese processing plant. The Americans, also kept in the dark by both Israel and France, flew U2 spy planes over Dimona in an attempt to find out what they were up to.

The Israelis admitted to having a reactor but insisted it was for entirely peaceful purposes. The spent fuel was sent to France for reprocessing, they claimed, even providing film footage of it being supposedly being loaded onto French freighters. Throughout the 60s it flatly denied the existence of the underground reprocessing plant in Dimona that was churning out plutonium for bombs.

Israel refused to countenance visits by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), so in the early 1960s President Kennedy demanded they accept American inspectors. US physicists were dispatched to Dimona but were given the run-around from the start. Visits were never twice-yearly as had been agreed with Kennedy and were subject to repeated postponements. The US physicists sent to Dimona were not allowed to bring their own equipment or collect samples. The lead American inspector, Floyd Culler, an expert on plutonium extraction, noted in his reports that there were newly plastered and painted walls in one of the buildings. It turned out that before each American visit, the Israelis had built false walls around the row of lifts that descended six levels to the subterranean reprocessing plant.

As more and more evidence of Israel's weapons programme emerged, the US role progressed from unwitting dupe to reluctant accomplice. In 1968 the CIA director Richard Helms told President Johnson that Israel had indeed managed to build nuclear weapons and that its air force had conducted sorties to practise dropping them.

The timing could not have been worse. The NPT, intended to prevent too many nuclear genies from escaping from their bottles, had just been drawn up and if news broke that one of the supposedly non-nuclear-weapons states had secretly made its own bomb, it would have become a dead letter that many countries, especially Arab states, would refuse to sign.

The Johnson White House decided to say nothing, and the decision was formalised at a 1969 meeting between Richard Nixon and Golda Meir, at which the US president agreed to not to pressure Israel into signing the NPT, while the Israeli prime minister agreed her country would not be the first to "introduce" nuclear weapons into the Middle East and not do anything to make their existence public.

In fact, US involvement went deeper than mere silence. At a meeting in 1976 that has only recently become public knowledge, the CIA deputy director Carl Duckett informed a dozen officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the agency suspected some of the fissile fuel in Israel's bombs was weapons-grade uranium stolen under America's nose from a processing plant in Pennsylvania.

Not only was an alarming amount of fissile material going missing at the company, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (Numec), but it had been visited by a veritable who's-who of Israeli intelligence, including Rafael Eitan, described by the firm as an Israeli defence ministry "chemist", but, in fact, a top Mossad operative who went on to head Lakam.

"It was a shock. Everyody was open-mouthed," recalls Victor Gilinsky, who was one of the American nuclear officials briefed by Duckett. "It was one of the most glaring cases of diverted nuclear material but the consequences appeared so awful for the people involved and for the US than nobody really wanted to find out what was going on."

The investigation was shelved and no charges were made.

A few years later, on 22 September 1979, a US satellite, Vela 6911, detected the double-flash typical of a nuclear weapon test off the coast of South Africa. Leonard Weiss, a mathematician and an expert on nuclear proliferation, was working as a Senate advisor at the time and after being briefed on the incident by US intelligence agencies and the country's nuclear weapons laboratories, he became convinced a nuclear test, in contravention to the Limited Test Ban Treaty, had taken place.

It was only after both the Carter and then the Reagan administrations attempted to gag him on the incident and tried to whitewash it with an unconvincing panel of enquiry, that it dawned on Weiss that it was the Israelis, rather than the South Africans, who had carried out the detonation.

"I was told it would create a very serious foreign policy issue for the US, if I said it was a test. Someone had let something off that US didn't want anyone to know about," says Weiss.

Israeli sources told Hersh the flash picked up by the Vela satellite was actually the third of a series of Indian Ocean nuclear tests that Israel conducted in cooperation with South Africa.

"It was a fuck-up," one source told him. "There was a storm and we figured it would block Vela, but there was a gap in the weather – a window – and Vela got blinded by the flash."

The US policy of silence continues to this day, even though Israel appears to be continuing to trade on the nuclear black market, albeit at much reduced volumes. In a paper on the illegal trade in nuclear material and technology published in October, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) noted: "Under US pressure in the 1980s and early 1990s, Israel … decided to largely stop its illicit procurement for its nuclear weapons programme. Today, there is evidence that Israel may still make occasional illicit procurements – US sting operations and legal cases show this."

Avner Cohen, the author of two books on Israel's bomb, said that policy of opacity in both Israel and in Washington is kept in place now largely by inertia. "At the political level, no one wants to deal with it for fear of opening a Pandora's box. It has in many ways become a burden for the US, but people in Washington, all the way up to Obama will not touch it, because of the fear it could compromise the very basis of the Israeli-US understanding."

In the Arab world and beyond, there is growing impatience with the skewed nuclear status quo. Egypt in particular has threatened to walk out of the NPT unless there is progress towards creating a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. The western powers promised to stage a conference on the proposal in 2012 but it was called off, largely at America's behest, to reduce the pressure on Israel to attend and declare its nuclear arsenal.

"Somehow the kabuki goes on," Weiss says. "If it is admitted Israel has nuclear weapons at least you can have an honest discussion. It seems to me it's very difficult to get a resolution of the Iran issue without being honest about that." your social media marketing partner


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+73 # Archie1954 2014-01-18 13:50
Every time an Israeli official opens his or her mouth out comes a lie so who cares if they deny or don't?
+64 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-01-18 15:04
Same thing happens when an American official opens her or his mouth---out comes a lie. Problem is, when your Representative lies and does not vote as the people want (serving instead the wealthy 'donors') we vote them back in office time after time. We believe that this is our only choice because the other corporately funded party is so awful. By this act of fear, we damn our nation to a corrupt government that feels no need to heed the voice of the people. Until we pay attention and our 'rep' votes for somethning that makes us angry---we have to STAND UP and use that rightious anger to kick that corporate lackey out of office. We need representatives with honor, ethics and a sense of compassion for the poor people of this nation.
+1 # intheEPZ 2014-01-23 09:41
And what is this if not a lie? "The list of nations that secretly sold Israel the material and expertise to make nuclear warheads, or who turned a blind eye to its theft, include today's STAUNCHEST CAMPAIGNERS against proliferation: the US, France, Germany, Britain and even Norway. NOT!!! We are the biggest suppliers of dangerous nuclear technology. Just as you cannot make war to win peace, you can't make nukes to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons. Whether you are Iran or India or Japan, whose pre-deployed nuclear weapons have destroyed the genetic health of an entire nation. Nukes = Insanity.
+23 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-18 16:06
I've often wondered why this country "imported" a middle eastern religous philosophy, the Old Testament and the New. Had we not importd this philosophy, Israel, when those never ending trouble maker politicians "poop in their own nest" and the nest of others, they would have to clean up their own mess. A thousands of years old wandering tribe decided to rule the world and frankly is doing just that. I am a Deist and I'll die that way.
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-01-19 13:38
But the USA also imported the old Roman Imperial philosophy & religion - as the obsession with temple architecture for public buildings, disguised as the 'Greek Revival', demonstrates; & that set of beliefs is what dominates still.
+11 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-19 14:04
Reminds me of Ben Frankln's story, "How To Steal A Horse Based On Truth." Man needs a horse. Finds one far out in the countryside. Wants the horse. Cases the family's habits. When they come and go. Decides Sunday is the best time as the farmer and his family leave for church early in the morning. Arrive home after lunch. During this time interval, he steals the horse "based on truth." How so? The thief's passionate desire to steal the horse was greater than his fear of getting caught. Bush and Cheney did the same thing, Iraq war. The big heist in Iraq. Government sent 8 billion dollars to that country. Neatly wrapped in cellophane, loaded on pallets. The money simply disappeared. The theft was "reported" but not investigated. Bush buys an approximate 100,000 acre ranch in another country not far from a U.S. military base and is entitled to "protection" by the U.S. government. Is "truth" a relative concept? All successful robberies are based on "truth." You get to decide.
0 # blizmo1 2014-01-21 12:04
Quoting Archie1954:
Every time an Israeli official opens his or her mouth out comes a lie so who cares if they deny or don't?


This passes for rationality, not out and out racism?
+1 # shagar 2014-01-23 08:30
Quoting blizmo1:
Quoting Archie1954:
Every time an Israeli official opens his or her mouth out comes a lie so who cares if they deny or don't?


This passes for rationality, not out and out racism?

It may not pass for rationality, but it appears not to be trying for that effect. Rather it is an exasperated expression of hopelessness, that comes when bombarded by lies and deceit and double standards. Sure its directed at Israel. Shameful. But isn't it time that this duplicity was called for what it is, and not just in blogs and comments, but by people of good will (and Power?) everywhere. The entire screwed up hypocritical mess of local and world politics can never be resolved until the sociopaths that pretend to be our, and their leaders, here or in Israel or anywhere else, are denounced for being the liars that theyrepeatedly show themselves to be.
And what then is that? out and out naivete?. where does one start?
+37 # ormondotvos 2014-01-18 14:01
5000 years of stealthy manipulation of governments.

So, what's new?
+25 # JohnBoanerges 2014-01-18 14:03
All Governments Lie - Izzy Stone - no exceptions for Zionists. Only fools follow/believe them. STOP supporting/payi ng allegiance/taxe s/attention to them. Join/ Support wagingnonviolen The end is near. Help make it peaceful, please.
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-19 14:44
You say, "The end is near." Please don't include me. When the "end is near" is when the sun exhausts its supply of hydrogen. Think we know (except the Republicans) that the sun is a nuclear furnace. Converts hydrogen into helium. When the hydrogen is gone, so are we.
+47 # Underledge 2014-01-18 14:54
Israel's "god's chosen people" will cause World War III.
+45 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-01-18 15:10
They are doing their best but if we can stop our government from funding their military forces maybe we can prevent World War III. Congress just voted to give that apartheid nation millions more in military aid to steal the land of the Palestinians and to keep them in that ever shrinking open air prison. We must inform the Israelis that if they attack any nation the United States WILL NOT JOIN IN THAT INTERNATIONAL CRIME.
+36 # Sweet Pea 2014-01-18 15:12
The biggesst fear is that it will posiblbly destroy life as we know it all over the World! Humans are on the track to destroy their own selves. I pity the next generation.
+35 # Deist 2014-01-18 15:36
Israel is based on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and doesn't even have a constitution due to religious reasons. The Hebrew Bible/OT is also what the war-mongering neoconservative movement is based on ( ) If you read the Hebrew Bible/OT objectively you quickly see it's a blue print for Israel to rule the world. For example, Deuteronomy 7:6 says God chose the Hebrews/Jews "above all people that are upon the face of the earth" and Deuteronomy 28:1 has God saying to Israel, "the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth." And any Gentile nation that does not serve Israel, according to Isaiah 60:12, "shall perish" and will be "utterly wasted." It's plainly evident that Israeli's believe this nonsense and the teachings of their Bible when Israeli PM Netanyahu makes comments about Israel's capital being Jerusalem for over 3,000 years.

To diffuse these problems and to reduce religious violence we need to take the advice of Thomas Paine who wrote in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition that we need a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism.

Progress! Bob Johnson
+26 # DurangoKid 2014-01-18 15:43
Which is the tail and which is the dog here?
-13 # spiritcallsus 2014-01-18 15:45
+31 # reiverpacific 2014-01-18 15:46
Same ol' hypocritical double-speak and selective condemnation.
Anybody but an idiot or a reactionary -same thing generally- would find it nauseating that these countries who have the most planet-destroyi ng arsenals, get all uptight about one who is even attempting to achieve a small measure of the same technology.
Mind you, for my own part, I just wish these blinkered fools in all governments who claim to represent those who voted for them and pay them to do the opposite, would collectively drop ALL nuclear everything for whatever reasons they choose to give, whether it be Iran, Israel (especially under Nutty-yahoo's LIKUD), the UK -which under Cameron's Tory/Lib-Dem' corrupt coalition, has just decided to build ANOTHER plant, and where the first major meltdown occurred at Windscale in 1957 (although they claim to be beyond reproach as safety monitors) and all the others.
If they can ignore the roiling menace that is Fukushima and Japan's whitewashing of the danger, they are obviously either wantonly, callously ignorant of the possible consequences, in the pay of (corrupt) nuclear industry, or most likely both.
"They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse". Sitting Bull (Tatanka Leyoté), Hunkpapa Lakota spiritual leader.
And it's only gotten worse since then!
-25 # ahollman 2014-01-18 15:53
Most rules have rare exceptions for compelling reasons. I suggest one here: while I'd like a complete end to nuclear weapons, right now, I find it reasonable for Israel to possess them as a last-resort deterrent against genocidal extermination.

I'm no Zionist, am appalled at what the Israelis do to the Palestinians, and want a 2-state solution. Still, Israel's appalling acts are not genocide. In contrast, Israel has been the object of visceral hatred and and public, inflammatory, anti-Semitic statements of explicitly genocidal intent from middle east states since 1948.

Consider: 4 Arab-initiated wars intended to "wipe Israel off the map" - in 1948, '56, '67 and '73, and nearly a fifth in '78. Terrorist attacks against Jews all over the world and suicide attacks in Israel. Refusal to recognize Israel's existence, even omitting it from maps.

Israel, a tiny country, has resettled millions of persecuted Jews from all over the world. In contrast, the "great Arab nation", of far more land and 300 million people, has left its "Palestinian brothers" (then 500,000, now 4 million, no mention of women) to rot since 1948, refused citizenship to those who wished to immigrate, and used them as a cause celebre to hide the incompetence, corruption, criminality and human rights violations of its own regimes.

Name 1 nation in danger of extermination by Israel. Neither Israel's treatment of Palestinians nor its past, equally atrocious occupation of southern Lebanon come even close.
+31 # Deist 2014-01-18 16:58
Palestine is in danger of not even being born due to Israel's hatred of Palestinians and based on its false sense of Bible-based superiority.

In fact, Israel's "holy" book, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, is so full of hatred for all Gentiles it even says Jews can own Gentiles and our children as slaves. Leviticus 25:44-46 teaches, "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour."

This type of mentality causes religious violence as does many teachings in the Christian Bible and the Quran. It's time to leave these ancient "holy" scriptures and move forward with our innate God-given reason.

Progress! Bob Johnson
-10 # stannadel 2014-01-19 06:36
Leviticus preaches lots of crap (like killing someone who mixes linen & wool), none of which is enforced in Israel. This argument is just classic Jew hatred, something many of the original Deists like Paine and Voltaire took over from their Christian predecessors. This poster is just continuing that tradition.
+27 # pvanderv 2014-01-18 18:14
Why are words more important than actions? One country actually HAS been wiped off the map: Palestine.
+7 # 22dragon 2014-01-19 21:49
Quoting pvanderv:
Why are words more important than actions? One country actually HAS been wiped off the map: Palestine.

And has been pushed-into-the -sea: The Dead Sea on one side, and the Mediterranian on the other. Divided and conquered....
+26 # reiverpacific 2014-01-18 18:32
Another blinkered, head-in-the-san d rationalist.
Smarter and more involved people than thee or me refer to Palestine as "The biggest open-air prison in the world".
All I know is that I have several grieving Palestinian friends who can't go home.
Aside from their nuclear arsenal, even YOU must be aware that Israel has been building walls like the Berlin one to segregate the country at will, bulldozing people's homes to colonize more land, devastating millennia-old olive groves, kidnapping Palestinians, including children, at will and generally acting like it's big-bro' US as a rogue nation.
And o' aye -can you say "Rachel Corrie"??
Listen to "Palestine today" radio sometime -if you can handle it!
-14 # ahollman 2014-01-19 01:05
An RSN article described the history of Israel’s nuclear program. I responded that I want a world free of nukes, want a 2-state solution, and am appalled at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. However, given the genocidal rhetoric and action directed against Israel since its creation, I justified Israel having nuclear weapons as a last-ditch deterrent against extermination. No one responded to that.

Responses to me were hysterical, non-factual and irrational. They will neither eliminate nukes nor get a just peace.

Deist quotes Leviticus as justifying Israelis making slaves of “Gentiles”. The passage is old and irrelevant, the term “Gentiles” was created much later, and Israel has not made slaves of Palestinians. He suggests that we use our “innate God-given reason”, an inherent contradiction.

I wrote, “Name 1 nation in danger of extermination by Israel”. Pvanderv wrote that Palestine has been wiped off the map. Palestine has never been a country. The last time that area was a country, it was Israel. Since then, it has been occupied by the Romans, Christian Crusaders, and the Ottoman and British Empires.

Reiverpacific writes that Israel has turned the occupied territories into an open-air prison. I think a bantustan is a more accurate description; a prison has guards on the inside. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians violates their human rights, but is is neither genocidal nor exterminative. Most middle east countries’ policies toward Israel have been and are both.
+17 # Texas Aggie 2014-01-19 13:01
That the main effort at genocide by the Israelis is by starvation rather than directly killing the Palestinians doesn't mean it isn't genocide. The Israelis have been blockading Palestinians for years preventing the importation of food. They have been taking their farm land, destroying their irrigation systems, cutting off their water, cutting down their orchards, preventing them from working their farms or herding their sheep, This is a deliberate policy aimed at extermination of the Palestinians, and genocide is the only word that describes it adequately.
+15 # reiverpacific 2014-01-19 17:09
@ "hollman" briefly.
You've ignored my core examples.
If that's not "Genocidal" tell me what is. All my American Indian friends recognize the scorched earth tactics and symbols of hatred all too well and are pulling for Palestine as are most Irish, especially from the "Wee North".
Israel has earned the distrust rather that hatred of it's neighbors -other than a few extreme fringe factions- and under LIKUD are pretty looney fringe themselves, going as far as telling John Kerry off for trying to get both sides to the table.
And Israel is the only nuclear armed country in the region. That's a pretty heavy tilt in their favor, as well as their air force, Navy and other military branches all armed by Big Bro' US. It also has arguably the best trained covert murder apparatus in the world MOSSAD, who make the CIA look like chumps and which has murdered at least six Iranian senior scientists.
There's more but I rest my case.
0 # mjc 2014-01-24 15:11
Several people responded to you but you don't consider their response valid so I am asking, why would Israel having nukes be a last ditch deterrent against extermination? They have a superior military force to any country in the region. They are in no way subject to any sort of extermination UNLESS ALL the Arabs states with an axe to grind against Israel decide to merge their distrust, hate, racist attitudes about Israelis/Jews and attempt some sort of military action. Then Israel would have the edge but unifying the Arabs in the Middle East is not some simple task; probably would never happen, especially now.
+8 # Dion Giles 2014-01-18 22:36
Ahollman: "Name 1 nation in danger of extermination by Israel."
OK, there are Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, the list continuing up the alphabet to Zambia and Zimbabwe along with the grabbing dregs of the globe who occupy Palestine by military force, calling themselves a "nation" and ceaselessly menacing all the real nations by bribing the rulers of the massively armed states to put their nukes at the disposal of the "God-chosen" occupiers to annihilate the populations, spreading to all populations worldwide.

The bribery is achieved by first bribing administrations to divert tax money into the rogue regime and from there to augment in stages the tandem flow of funds into traitors' pockets and their national budgets into military support for Israel. That's Israel's threat to all nations. They get their strategic blueprint from the Bible as readers here have shown.
-1 # stannadel 2014-01-19 06:38
This could be taken straight from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
0 # curmudgeon 2014-01-19 17:39
And what drug did Israeli intel provide .......

I want some...

The delusional grandeur that you are exhibiting is some kind of trip.
+2 # mjc 2014-01-20 09:16
It is the indigenous people of the region that Israel occupied and made their state, by UN degree and a series of wars, that need a deterrent against genocidal extermination.. .FROM THE ISRAELIS, unwittingly? supported by the US. Israel's treatment of Palestinians is atrocious as are its various policies of territorial expansion.
+43 # walt 2014-01-18 16:44
Meanwhile the USA has maintained sanctions on Iran for merely building nuclear facilities and Israel would gladly let us go to war to stop them! It just shows the power of their lobby over Congress.
-7 # unitedwestand 2014-01-18 17:08
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
+23 # JJMK3 2014-01-18 21:47
General ( Decorated Marine )Smedley Butler tried to tell us pre-WWII 1930's about how the War Machine was Making War & Obscene Profits will the common Men Died in War! Nearly 80 years ago the Media/Our own Government Silenced him....
+11 # Talk 2014-01-18 22:26
Don't we have a law on the books that prevents any business between the U.S. and
any new nuclear weapon holder?
+3 # Texas Aggie 2014-01-19 12:52
And you saw how well that worked with India when they got their bomb.
+8 # Charles H. Winslow 2014-01-18 22:37
Israel's small size (in territory) makes it nearly impossible for it to achieve a balance of threats with any nuclear enemy. Yet its reluctance to enter into serious peace talks and make any relevant territorial concessions to the Palestinians means that eventually a nuclear enemy will arise. Even if Israel has survivability for its nuclear strike force, it will still be vulnerable. If six Iranian bombs hit Israel, it will suffer more damage than if 84 Israeli bombs hit Iran (especially with fratricide being a real problem for the country firing first. But because it is vulnerable, Israel will have to strike first. But because Israel will have to strike first, its nuclear enemy will have to strike even firster. Got a problem here; sounds a bit escalatory. We need to inch our way toward a completely inspected binary nuclear regime, one in which the balance of terror would keep the peace and save Israel. I hope AIPAC will not prevent a few sane diplomats from beginning the long and difficult process.
+10 # antineocon 2014-01-19 03:41
Consider the historical threat of israel to use the " the sampson option"

Dont know what it is. Check out Sampson option on google. You will be shocked.
+17 # ericlipps 2014-01-19 06:59
In fact, US involvement went deeper than mere silence. At a meeting in 1976 that has only recently become public knowledge, the CIA deputy director Carl Duckett informed a dozen officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the agency suspected some of the fissile fuel in Israel's bombs was weapons-grade uranium stolen under America's nose from a processing plant in Pennsylvania.
And Israel is America's "only real friend in the Middle East"?

Friends don't steal from you.
+6 # Texas Aggie 2014-01-19 12:51
"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East." : John Sheehan
+2 # mjc 2014-01-20 09:19
Or attempt to blow up your navy vessels and crew, all to cover illicit military actions.
-3 # runningtab 2014-01-19 10:14
You live in a dangerous neighborhood. Drive-by shootings, gang warfare. So you get the best gun you can find - legally or not.

Your country lives in a dangerous geo-neighborhoo d. Rockets forever, suicide bombers, existential railing by the neighbors, actual armies crossing your borders. So you get the best guy you can find - legally or not. In this case, the best gun is a nuke.

Anyone surprised? Anyone got a problem with that? Personally, I think the best thing the Israelis could do is withdraw, take all the incoming, and never retaliate. World opinion would get off their backs shortly thereafter, recognize who the real warmakers are and take action to fix things up.
+8 # Edwina 2014-01-19 11:27
The problem is Western powers setting up a European Jewish state in a mixed, but mostly Muslim country. Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived in relative peace for hundreds of years before that -- since the Crusaders left or died out. Talk of "will to genocide" is one of the myths Zionists tell themselves to rationalize their treatment of Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, and to promote their expansionist agenda. A defense of the homeland is a more honest portrayal of the Palestinian and Arab response. Religion is a tangential issue: Palestine is the site of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish holy places, and the state of Israel would do itself a favor by respecting these. Instead, racist policies are causing many Palestinians, particularly Christians, to leave. The racism even extends to the Sephardim who, under Israeli rule, are treated as second-class citizens. None of this will be resolved by nuclear weapons. The question being posed is, "Who will dominate the Middle East?" If we insist on one group over another, there may be a genocide of all groups. Already, with the civil wars we have helped unleash by our intervention and sale of weapons in the Middle East & North Africa, there is massive death and displacement. We need an honest diplomacy, not a hypocritical one, full of threats of violence, and blather about Israel being a democracy.
+7 # RODNOX 2014-01-19 12:52
the biggest threat to the TRUTH.........
0 # handmjones 2014-01-19 14:05
The size of the country is of little consequence when threatened by a nuclear armed nation. There is only one country that is under serious and continuing bullying and nuclear threats. Until the government of that country does its duty and arms up with a credible deterrent there can be no real peace.
-7 # tahoevalleylines 2014-01-19 15:42
Cutting to the chase...

Signs in the heavens is part of the calculus around Israel, believe it or don't. Because of the unimaginably complex architecture of the Hebrew Scripture, fulfilled prophecy containing encrypted information in the words & letters - modern era strategic planners are reluctant to dismiss Israel's claims to homeland status.

On the heavenly signs alone, NASA website offers information on "TETRADS"; lunar eclipse events in close multiples of four in a short time span. Signs coincident with the Jew occurred circa 1492; 1948; 1967 & coming up, 2014 - 2014. The Christopher Columbus Tetrad was coincidental with the Jewish Expulsion Order, prompting many Jews to make the New World Journey, conveniently at hand thanks in part to Columbus...

Attempts to annihilate the Jew with vastlly superior Arab armies failed in 1948 & 1967. Interesting similarity of talking points used by Egypt's Nasser in 1967 and the Peaceful Muslim Republic of Iran in our time! Islam is lining up to "Jump The Wrong Outfit" soon. The poor bastards have Israel surrounded-

Maybe, as a letter above wisely observes, Israel's threatened pre-emption will be pre-empted? Or tried...

So, going back to the old scripture, ever a source of amusement to many hereabouts, we see in Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 fair warning to nations round about Israel. On the 2014 -2015 Tetrad series, NASA notes 4 dates absolutely spot on Jewish Holy Days.

+6 # mjc 2014-01-20 09:44
Israel got what it wanted. No explicit information on nuclear weapons and thus constant deniability, unmonitored and unknown numbers as to how many, BUT the sure knowledge of its neighbors and the rest of the world that Israel indeed DOES have nuclear weapons at his beck and call. They can't be called into question to sign a non-proliferati on agreement because they don't have the product...they say. The homeland the Israelis believe is their own was broken up and the Hebrews scattered to the winds either in captivity or as refugees to the various European regions/states. Many nations and their citizens were glad that the UN managed to find a place in the Middle East for the new nation of Israel, a long, hard accomplishment. The Israelis managed to ward off the various Arab armies that were determined for the state of Israel not to succeed. Perhaps it was that, not perhaps...led to the hard core Likud party and to the very conservative Israeli attitude/politi cal/religious philosophy that can't really define a democracy in the Israeli state. It is an apartheid state with certain religious groups more favored than others. Israel today is not the state that many of its founders dreamed of.
+2 # Jingze 2014-01-20 09:59
Israel is above the law.
-3 # blizmo1 2014-01-21 12:07
Easy to speculate when one is not surrounded by enemies sworn to one's destruction, with daily evidence of it... Big, doughy, protected Americans wedged between two weak neighbors and the world's biggest oceans.... Yeah.
+5 # Ausmar 2014-01-21 14:26
Those were enemies if Israel own making. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire the Palestineans were promised a state of their own were residing Jewish people would be accepted as full citizens. Instead Britain promoted the creation of the State of Israel, which then proceeded with the violent dislodgment of Palestineans, the gradual takeover of non Israely territory, and the establishment of an apartheid state. Is it any wonder that Israel's neighbors would become declared enemies of Israel?
+3 # Ausmar 2014-01-21 14:02
Isreal acquired its nuclear arsenal illegally and deceitfully, with the connivance of France and the US. It is the height of arrogance on the part of Israel and its supporters to threaten Iran with military action in order to put an end to a nuclear program which Iran, unlike Israel, is prepared to conduct transparently under IAEA supervision so as to guarrantee its declared peaceful aims. It is this duplicity and hypocrisy on the part of Israel, this utter disregard for equality and justice, that so much irks its Middle Eastern neighbors and which has all along prevented the establishment of normal relations with those countries.

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