Article in al Jazeera, October 26, 2013, on Israel's Nuclear Arsenal
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - How many times must this story be retold? It is common knowledge in the United States, in Europe, in the Arab World, indeed in the entire world. The international press has been reporting on it since the late 1960s. The historical details of the story are also well known. In 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower gave Israel its first small nuclear reactor at Nahal Sorek; in 1964, the French built for Israel its much larger and major Dimona nuclear reactor in the Naqab (Negev) Desert; in 1965, Israel stole 200 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from the United States through its spies at the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation company in Pennsylvania; in 1968, Israel hijacked a Liberian ship in international waters and stole its 200-ton shipment of yellowcake. Israel has possessed nuclear bombs since the early 1970s. Despite official US denials, Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, reportedly prepared to launch 13 nuclear bombs on Syria and Egypt in 1973 and was stopped short of committing this genocidal act when Henry Kissinger gave Israel the most massive weapons airlift in history at the time to reverse the course of the 1973 war (as Time Magazine reported the story). Israel has had an ongoing nuclear weapons collaboration with the South African Apartheid regime for decades, which only ended with the collapse of the regime in 1994.
Since then, experts have estimated that Israel has upwards of 400 nuclear devices, including thermonuclear weapons with megaton range, as well as neutron bombs, tactical nuclear weapons, and suitcase nukes. It also has the missile delivery systems to launch them with a reach of 11,500km (which can reach beyond Iran). Israel also has submarines that are capable of launching nuclear attacks as well as jet fighters that can deliver Israel’s nuclear cargo.
Israel has diligently prevented its neighbours from even acquiring nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes. It violated international law by bombing the Iraqi French-built Osirak nuclear reactor still under construction in 1981 in an unprovoked raid even though the reactor was going to be used, according to the French and Iraqi governments, for peaceful scientific purposes. Israel also bombed what intelligence reports allege was a North Korean nuclear reactor under construction in Syria in 2007. Israel’s Mossad has also been linked to the assassination of numerous Egyptian, Iraqi, and Iranian nuclear scientists over the decades. Israel continues to refuse to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses to allow members of the International Atomic Energy Commission to inspect its Dimona reactor.
Israel, a predatory and aggressive country that has consistently launched wars on all its neighbours since its establishment, expelled hundreds of thousands of people, created millions of Palestinian, Lebanese, and Egyptian refugees, murdered tens of thousands of civilians and used internationally-banned weapons (from napalm to phosphorous bombs, to name the most notorious cases), continues to occupy the Palestinian territories and the Palestinian people in violation of international law, is governed by a foundational anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racist state ideology to which all its leaders, governing structures, and institutions adhere, as does its popular and political culture and a variety of its laws. Indeed, Israel not only consistently launches wars against its neighbours but also urges world powers to invade these neighbours as well, and in the meanwhile sponsors anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racist campaigns of hatred in the United States and across Europe in addition to integrating such racism in its school and university curricula and much of its cultural production.
Israel’s protector, the United States, is the only country on Earth that has ever deliberately used nuclear bombs against civilian populations and continues to defend this decision 66 years after this genocidal act, and inculcates its population, in its school curricula and in the media, to defend it. The United States has also made certain that Israel’s nuclear arsenal would not ever be discussed at the UN Security Council despite persistent proposals over the decades to discuss it. Indeed, the United States insistence on keeping Israel’s nuclear capability an open "secret" is engineered, among other things, to keep United States aid to Israel flowing, especially as a key legal condition of receiving such aid is for recipient countries to be signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel refuses to sign.
Yet the United States and Israel, which have been the major threats to world peace and indeed the major global warmongers since World War II, insist on telling the world that Iran, a country whose current regime never invaded any country (but was rather invaded by Saddam’s Iraq in 1981 at the behest of the dictatorial ruling Gulf oil-rich families and their US and French sponsors), is a threat to world peace were it to possess a nuclear device.
The racist policies of the United States as to who should get to possess nuclear weapons and who should not (according to racial criteria of whether they are European or of European stock or not) aside, it must be made clear that the extent to which there is a nuclear race in the Middle East, it is one fostered by Israel’s warmongering and its possession of such weapons of mass destruction. If the Middle East is to be a nuclear-free zone, then the international effort to rid it of such weapons must begin with Israel, which is the only country in the region that possesses these weapons, and not with Iran who may or may not be developing them.
The racism of the Obama administration against Arabs and Muslims clearly knows no limits, but for the people of the Middle East (Arabs, Turks, and Iranians), Obama’s racist criteria are not terribly persuasive. To have or not to have nuclear weapons is a question of human security, as far as the people of the region are concerned, and not one of European racial privilege. While the US may not fear Israeli nukes, Israel’s neighbouring countries and their civilian populations have for decades been (and continue to be) terrorised by them; and for good reason. Once Obama learns this lesson, the people of the region will reconsider US credibility about its alleged concern about nuclear proliferation.
Joseph Massad is Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York.
The views expressed in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
Books Revealing Inside Information on Serious
Threats to the People and Sources Of
Great Harm in U.S. Government
Over a dozen highly detailed and documented books revealing a nation's leaders as riddled with corruption with a history of resulting tragedies. These are heavily details books written by granddaddy of corruption-exposing whistleblower Rodney Stich with input from an unprecedented number of key personnel involved in covert and overt activities. They provide the material for a peaceful "Arab Spring" outrage among courageous Americans. (These books are available in print and digital format at www.amazon.com; www.google.com; and other web sites. At each site, put "Rodney Stich" into the search box for a list of these books.
All of the books are available at amazon.com, in print and on digital formats, and at many other Internet sites. They bring together the various pieces of the puzzle to better understand the overall picture, and why the same conditions continue year after year. Information on the books by former government agent Rodney Stich.
Sampling of early books reviews.
Sampling of complimentary letters/faxes to author/activist Rodney Stich.
Bio on granddaddy of corruption exposing and corruption fighting whistleblowers.
These books are not-for-profit; they were first published when Stich had assets in the 1980s of about $10 million, and had no need for book profits. Department of Justice personnel and federal judges corruptly seized these assets that were "foolishly" being used to fund the exposure of the widespread corruption.
When a former key federal agent and his large group of other key people with direct knowledge in various government operations, with the background and credibility of Rodney Stich, provides such detailed information on corrupt actions by key officials in government, that had already resulted in such calamitous events, and cover-ups that insures a continuation of these matters, and there is total non-response, there has to be a matter of such grave implications in the governing structure of the United States that the matters are either being protected, possibly to protect the existing government oligarchy, or, the consequences are so horrendous that they are avoided like the "third rail."
Similarities Between German
People Under Adolf Hitler
And American People Under Another Oppressive Government Oligarchy
A poem written by Martin Niemoller, relating to how Germans tolerate Adolf Hitler is especially suitable to most Americans today:
First they came for the Jews, and I
did not speak out, because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller
Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) first supported the rise of Adolf Hitler, and then upon learning the truth, and objecting, he was imprisoned. He wrote a poem about the state of denial of Germans about what Hitler was doing. Probably no better example could be shown than what has been done to the American people, in their name, while they ignored the outrages.
The first step is to become informed. And with the vast cover-ups, disinformation, and blatant lying by U.S. politicians, media personnel, and political pundits, this requires a little effort. In searching for information, don't be misled by wild conspiracy theories, and go where facts can be found, including courageous (and foolish) insiders who speak out in defense of the country.
Sadly, fewer people read such books (preferring trivia reading), rarely read newspapers (which is one small step to becoming informed). Therefore, the future is bleak, made possible by the corruption detailed here and in the books, the cover-ups, and the public's indifference to their responsibilities.
International Consequences from Consequences
Corrupt Conduct of U.S. Ruling Oligarchy
Millions of killed civilians in foreign
countries and many more crippled and maimed from the serial lying rampant of
U.S. politicians and their shills.
Over a hundred thousand dead Americans and
triple that number of maimed and wounded GIs in wars started and continued,
since the end of World War II, on the basis of serial lying by U.S.
politicians and lying by bureaucrats. These wars include the U.S. invasions
Vietnam; Cambodia, Laos;
Syria; and more to come.
Decades of undermining foreign governments,
assassinating or attempting to assassinate foreign leaders, providing
training used against the people of other countries, and much more.
Self-serving and other conduct by U.S.
politicians that generated the greatest number of people in the world's
history wanting to kill Americans, and virtually no thought given by the
uninformed and sheep-like American public to the deadly consequences.
The killing, or murders, of people, including infants and children, using drones, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere.
The consequences will, naturally, be experienced by Americans, our children, for generations to come.
Another al Jazeera article:
negotiations this week in Geneva between Iran and the "P5+1" (the five
permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Britain, China,
France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany) offer a promising
vehicle for avoiding another destructive war.
The talks came on the heels of a
virtual uprising by the American people that stopped President Barack
Obama's plan to attack Syria, clearly demonstrating their desire to resolve
conflicts at the negotiation table rather than at the point of a gun.
However, Israel and its allies in the US Congress continue to lobby against a deal that would meet Iran in the middle, insisting on a "zero-enrichment" policy that is a deal-breaker for Iran.
The Israeli cabinet said in a statement Tuesday that "Israel does not oppose Iran having a peaceful nuclear energy programme. But as has been demonstrated in many countries, from Canada to Indonesia, peaceful programmes do not require uranium enrichment or plutonium production. Iran's nuclear weapons programme does."
The elephant in the room
The Israeli cabinet's statement is more than ironic, in light of Israel's own nuclear-weapons programme - often called the world's "worst-kept secret" because of the taboo surrounding any public discussion of its existence.
The Washington Post's Walter Pincus is one of the few journalists openly questioning this obvious hypocrisy. He writes, "When the Israeli prime minister asked (at the UN), 'Why would a country that claims to only want peaceful nuclear energy, why would such a country build hidden underground enrichment facilities?' I thought Dimona."
Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona, a city in the Negev desert, reportedly has six underground floors dedicated to activities such as plutonium extraction and production of tritium and lithium-6, for use in nuclear weapons.
Whereas Iran has signed the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), giving the international community the right to demand inspections and controls, Israel has not - and is therefore not subject to external oversight.
According to Avner Cohen, author of "Israel's Bargain with the Bomb," David Ben-Gurion began planning how to arm Israel with a nuclear shield even before the creation of the Jewish state, soon after the US dropped its own atomic payload on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The first president of Israel took action to initiate a nuclear development project by the end of the new state's first decade, with its successful "birth" on the eve of its 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The US government got wind of the project and objected strenuously. But when the Israelis brought it to fruition regardless of the onjection and refused to give up their new arsenal, a covert agreement was struck between Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon - rather like the old US policy of "don't ask, don't tell" for gays in the military. The Israelis agreed to keep their newfound strength under wraps, and the US pledged to pretend it didn't exist.
Cohen uses the Hebrew term amimut (opacity) to describe the taboo that developed within Israel around any sort of public acknowledgement of its nuclear arsenal - which estimates peg at up to 200 warheads. To this day, there is total censorship within Israel of any mention that the weapons exist, and the United States actively plays along.
Edward Snowden's predecessor
In fact, there is an eerie similarity between the stories of Israeli whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician who revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons programme to the British press in 1986, and Edward Snowden. Both held junior positions in organisations serving the defence industry, in which they had access to sensitive national secrets. Both became convinced their employers were responsible for immoral acts and decided to violate their oaths of secrecy to tell the world about them. They both shared what they learned with a British newspaper and set off an international storm. And both have been persecuted since then by their governments in retaliation for their leaks.
While Snowden has so far evaded his government, Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. Although released in 2004, he has been subjected to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement, including several re-arrests for giving interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. Yet, just as activists, foreign governments and others would never have known the US government is tapping their emails and phone calls without Snowden, the world would have known very little - if anything - about Israel's weapons of mass destruction without Vanunu.
Blowback from Israel's nuclear lead
Although Israel, the US and its European allies continue to dance around the subject, Israel's nuclear capacity is widely known and has changed the dynamics in the region in dangerous ways. On September 19, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that "Syria came into possession of chemical weapons as an alternative to Israel's nuclear weapons." It's also worth noting that while Israel was one of the first countries to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, it remains one of only six countries that has not ratified it.
Some analysts believe that Israel's insistence on zero enrichment for Iran is designed to ensure that no deal is struck at all - allowing Israel to maintain its military superiority in the region.
"Netanyahu ultimately fears the
success of diplomacy, not its failure," explains Trita Parsi, founder and
president of the National Iranian American Council, in
"Israel…understands that a resolution to the nuclear standoff would
significantly reduce US-Iranian tensions and open up opportunities for
collaboration between the two former allies. This is what Israelis refer to
as the fear of abandonment - that, once the nuclear issue is resolved or
contained, Washington will shift its focus to other matters while Israel
will be stuck in the region facing a hostile Iran, without the United States
by its side."
Neither the world, nor Israel, is served legally or morally by continuing to condone a practice of don't ask-don't tell for an issue that is so central to global security and safety. As long as Israel refuses to acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons or even that it has produced weapons-grade materials, it is difficult, if not impossible, to engage it in any meaningful arms control or other nuclear-related diplomacy. It certainly makes it impossible to move towards a nuclear-free Middle East - a goal to which the entire international community should aspire, and that has been endorsed by the new Iranian president.
Isn't it time for the world to start asking, and for Israel to tell?
Pam Bailey is a freelance journalist and activist who has lived and worked in the Gaza Strip.