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Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous - Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous

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Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous
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John Steinbach on Israel's Nuclear Program

In 2009, The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR- nuclearfiles.org) published  Steinbach's paper titled, "The Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program," saying:

"With several hundred weapons and a robust delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the world's fifth largest nuclear power, and now rivals France and China in terms of the size of its nuclear arsenal," despite an official ambiguity about an advanced sophisticated program. As a result, a combination of expert analysis and whistleblower revelations provided what's known. Also occasional slips, like in December 2006 when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Germany's Sat. 1 channel:

"Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly, threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?" Backtracking after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said:

"Israel has said many times - and I also said this to German television in an interview - that we will not be the first country that introduces nuclear weapons to the Middle East....That was our position (earlier). That is our position (now) - nothing has changed."

Since the 1970s, Israel's official position is that it chose "an option to produce electricity using nuclear reactors. (This) requires promoting nuclear knowledge and research, preparing sites suitable for building nuclear power plants," and weighing the economic benefits.

According to Steinbach:

"Despite this claim, an exhaustive search of publicly available sources indicates the existence of no meaningful Israeli civilian nuclear energy program, past or present....From its inception, the Israeli nuclear program has centered on developing a nuclear weapons program, with any other nuclear program being incidental."

Steinbach also cites estimates of Israel's arsenal at "from 100 to over 400 bombs," there being "little doubt that (its) weapons are among the world's most sophisticated, and largely designed for war fighting." They include:

  • "boosted fission weapons and small neutron bombs, designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long-term radiation - in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact;"
  • long range ballistic missiles;
  • sophisticated aircraft able to deliver a nuclear strike;
  • cruise missiles, artillery shells, and land mines with the same capability;
  • "In June 2000, an Israeli submarine launched a cruise missile that hit a target 950 miles away, making Israel only the third nation (besides) the US and Russia with that capability;"
  • Israel maintains triad strength, including strategic bombers, ballistic missiles, and submarines, able to strike well beyond the Middle East; and
  • overall, Israel's capability "is much greater than any conceivable need for defensive deterrence;" like America, it's for preemptive offense, and given both nation's belligerence, some day they may launch them aggressively without cause, claiming, of course, it's  defensive.

According to Jane's Intelligence Review, Dimona's reactor "is suffering severe damage from 35 years of operation," worrisome enough for Israeli nuclear scientists to call for its shutdown to avert a potential catastrophe. Also at issue are internal radiological hazards, revealed on a March 2003 BBC program with five Dimona workers discussing the effects on their health.

Israel's Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW)

Israel signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) but didn't ratify it. It refused to sign the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and maintains a policy of CBW ambiguity. It's not known but believed that its Nes Tziyona Biological Institute produces sophistical chemical and biological weapons and state-of-the-art delivery systems.

However, in 1993, the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment included Israel as a nation having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities. In 1998, former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Bill Richardson said:

"I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time. There's no doubt they've had stuff for years."

It's also believed it has a sophisticated BW capability, and is likely producing, maintaining, and updating its stockpile.

On August 7, 2006, Paola Manduca's Global Research article headlined, "New and unknown deadly weapons used by Israeli forces: 'direct energy weapons, chemical and/or biological agents, in a macabre experiment of future warfare."

It referred to the summer Lebanon/Gaza offensives, citing reports of "New and strange symptoms....reported amongst the wounded and the dead.

Bodies with dead tissue and no apparent wounds; 'shrunken' corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis (dying cells and living tissue) and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounds with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed."

On July 11, 2006, Ma'an News Service cited the Palestinian health ministry saying Israel used a new type explosive in Gaza, containing "toxins and radioactive materials which burn and tear the victim's body from the inside and leave long term deformations."

On July 11, 2006, Gulf News said a Palestinian doctor "accused Israel of using a type of chemical ammunition which causes burns and injuries in soft tissue and cannot be traced by X-ray." Severe internal wounds were reported.

Since the second Intifada's inception, reports cite "unknown gas" attacks, possibly a nerve agent, anyone breathing it losing consciousness immediately for about 24 hours with high fevers and rigid muscles. Some needed urgent blood transfusions. Asked but not known is whether this is chemical/and or biological warfare.

International law bans these weapons. Israel tests new ones in conflict zones - in 2006 in Lebanon and Gaza and against Gazans during Operation Cast Lead.

Treating the victims, Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert cited white phosphorous that burns flesh to the bone. Also depleted uranium and a new close-range explosive causing severe injuries, including battlefield amputations. Children, he said, had their legs cut off, abdomens sliced open, or simply killed outright.

Final Thoughts

On September 9, 2004, Haaretz (by DPA) headlined, "ElBaradei: Israel's nuclear arms blocking Mideast peace," quoting him from the Sydney Morning Herald saying:

Addressing Israel's nuclear arsenal must be part of a peace process settlement. "This is not really sustainable that you have Israel sitting with nuclear weapons capability there while everyone else is part of the non-proliferation regime....It is a very emotional issue in the Middle East."

While Israel maintains ambiguity and world leaders keep mum, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, not shy about confronting Israel, said this before attending Obama's nuclear summit:

"We have yet to see an international community, which is so sensitive about Iran's nuclear program, taking a firm stance against Israel," a notorious nuclear outlaw. "We do not want to see nuclear armament in our region. Our policy on this issue is very clear no matter which country has it. That could be Israel or Iran or any other country."

On April 14 in Paris, Erdogan called Israel the biggest threat to Middle East peace, not just because of its nuclear arsenal, but for its disproportionate force against Palestinians. His comments came a day after Israel compared him to Libya's Gaddafi and Venezuela's Chavez, a sign of continued frayed relations between the two nations, including an angry exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the January World Economic Forum.

He's now confronting Israel's nuclear threat, a real one under its first strike doctrine to destroy the entire region if threatened. With its history of open belligerence, the possibility is too great to ignore, and too important not to confront given the consequences if initiated.


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