Israel�s double nuclear standard is no standard at all
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
Feb 7, 2007, 01:19
This is old
history, but given the standard of public ignorance (SPI) it�s worth repeating.
Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu defied his own government while he
worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel�s secret nuclear installation
from 1976 to 1985.
tells us �he worked there at a time when Israel insisted it would not be the
first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.� What Vanunu discovered
was �that Israel had secretly developed an extensive nuclear program, hiding
its existence from the Israeli people and parliament, and the world.� And?
Vanunu put his life
where his convictions were and leaked both information and photos of Israel�s
nuclear weapons program to the Sunday
Times in London. His reward was that he was kidnapped by the Mossad, the
Israeli CIA, in Italy and thrown in prison for 18 years, 11 in solitary
confinement. He was released on April 21, 2004, under severe government
facility, by the way, contained an underground plutonium separation plant that
operated in complete secrecy.
As time passed,
Vanunu realized his work was part of Israel�s nuclear bomb program. In 1985,
troubled by what he knew, he took extensive photos of the factory before he
left Dimona. You can read the linked article for the whole story. The bottom
line was that by October 5, 1986, the publication date of the Sunday Times article, Israel had reached the status of a major nuclear
weapons power, with material for some 200 nuclear warheads of advanced design.
That is more than 20 years ago and no one has censored or surrounded Israel. In
fact, America had been kept in the dark just as the rest of the world was as
this program progressed.
So what is the
ruckus now about Iran building a nuclear power plant? In fact, as John Pilger
writes in Iran: The War Begins,
�In fact, Iran possess not a single nuclear weapon, nor has it ever threatened
to build one; the CIA estimate that, even given the political will, Iran is
incapable of building a nuclear weapon before 2017, at the earliest. Unlike
Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it was an original signatory, and has
allowed routine inspections under its legal obligations -- until gratuitous,
punitive measures were added in 2003, at the behest of Washington. No report by
the International Atomic Energy Agency has ever cited Iran for diverting its
civilian nuclear programme to military use.�
Ah, but let�s not
let the facts interfere with our lack of judgment. Let Bush and Company beat
the war drums and deploy carriers and marines to the Persian Gulf, and move US
attack aircraft to Turkey and other countries on Iran�s borders. How
reminiscent is this of the unfounded �wolf cries� that Saddam Hussein had
Weapons of Mass Destruction and was about to use them against us and the world?
Absolutely the same echo. And look at that disaster, as now the US, like a
wounded tiger, cornered by its own policy, roars menacingly at Iran, and
threatens the safety of the world.
But let us return
both to Iraq and Israel. During the same time Israel was amassing nuclear
warheads, in 1981, when the US had successfully managed to convince its boy,
Saddam, to attack Iran, and the war between Iraq and Iran was in progress, and
would be for eight years, yielding a million dead and 2 million displaced,
during this time none other than Israeli�s Prime Minister Menachim
Begin decided to bomb a French-built nuclear plant near Baghdad. Sacr�
bleu, what was he thinking?
Once again, Israeli
paranoia and self-righteousness sprung into action. Begin told us they believed
the reactor was designed to make nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. And what
were his hundreds of nuclear weapons built for, the Fourth of July? Also, this
was the world�s first air strike against a nuclear plant; thank you, Mr. Begin.
In fact, the above linked article tells us, �An undisclosed number of [American
built] F-15 interceptors and [American built] F-16 fighter bombers destroyed
the Osirak reactor 18 miles south of Baghdad, on the orders of Prime Minister
Menachem Begin. The army command said all the Israeli planes returned safely.�
Ah well, we wouldn�t want one of their boys to get hurt, would we?
In fact, the
70-megawatt uranium-powered reactor wasn�t even finished nor �had it been
stocked with nuclear fuel so there was no danger of a leak, according to
sources in the French atomic industry.� Well, at least someone was using his
Israeli government responded, �The atomic bombs which that reactor was capable of producing whether from
enriched uranium or from plutonium, would be of the Hiroshima size. Thus a
mortal danger to the people of Israel progressively arose.� Of course. And damn
the rest of the world, and sit on your stockpile, above and beyond any
international standard of proliferation, and attack others for far less than
Minister Jacques Chirac cultivated France�s relationship with Iraq during the
1970s, to keep a foothold in the region dominated by Anglos and Americans, and
to boost trade links with the oil-rich Iraq. More old history that has a way of
coming back to haunt us.
And so is Israel,
the US hammer in the Middle East, dying to let loose its cache of nuclear
warheads today on Iran, Iraq�s ex-enemy, as Iraq is also said now to be under
the influence of Iran, if you can follow all of that. For the record, Mr.
Chirac was vehemently against the USA and Britain going to war with Iraq over
the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Time has certainly proved him right.
Especially as the Libby case bounces around the news like another loose cannon,
threatening to reveal Cheney as the �outer� of Valerie Plame, the wife of
former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who first reported, after his mission to Niger,
that the notion of yellowcake uranium from Niger to Iraq for WMD was a lie;
yes, in a word, a lie.
But then so much of
what we (the US) do is built on falsehoods, inaccurate information,
half-truths, posturing. Not to mention the $3 billion for arms we pass to
Israel each year, plus the unsecured loans and �surplus� weapons that also find
their way to Israel.
Also, as I reported
in my Online Journal article of Jul
31, 2006, Following
Zakheim and Pentagon trillions to Israel and 9-11, the dual
Israeli/American citizen �Dov Zakheim, former Bush
appointee as Pentagon comptroller from May 4, 2001 to March 10, 2004, was
unable to explain the disappearance of $1 trillion. Actually, nearly three
years earlier, Donald Rumsfeld announced on September 10, 2001, that an audit
discovered $2.3 trillion was also missing from the Pentagon books. That story,
as I mentioned, was buried under 9-11�s rubble. The two sums disappeared on
Zakheim�s watch.� Could it be any or all of that money was passed to Israel?
that, could it be that PROMIS, the sophisticated intelligence database program
that could interface with data banks in other computers of other countries, was
given a �backdoor� developed by Israel and the US to spy on the very countries
that bought it to spy on other countries? See Ari Ben-Menashe�s
fascinating tale on that possible quid pro quo and its unholy alliance. It
seems Israel goes to the core of our own shadow of violence and duplicity. So
it�s no wonder that our standard for Israeli action is double, which equates to
no standard at all.
outcomes of these behaviors for both countries are an equal danger to the rest
of the world. And it�s about time that we seriously question this alliance,
which has contributed as well to the relentless and brutal colonization of
Palestine by Israel. In fact, it seems to be working overtime as the author of
its own disaster. In seeking �never again� to be a victim, Israel has become a
world-class aggressor. Like the United States, perhaps it is time for a change
in direction, away from empire and wall-building to the neutralization of
hostilities. The weapons both countries are playing with are not toys. Though
it is the children of the world, and not just of Iran, who stand to loose their
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New
York. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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