US Israel Nuclear Ambiguity Declassified and What Vanunu Said
By Eileen Fleming
After 45 years of top-secret status documenting America’s colluding role in Israel’s nuclear ambiguity; the worldwide ‘secret’ ended last week with declassified papers made public by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).
In March, Obama decided to release the documents revealing American delegates agreeing to Israel’s refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, “refusing an American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility and a deal which would have seen the delivery of strategic ground-to-ground Jericho missiles to Israel in exchange for their signing of the treaty.”
The declassified documents expose cabinet secretaries and senior advisers to then President Richard Nixon acceding to Israel becoming a “threshold nuclear state” and withdrawing from a plan to block Israeli nuclearization ahead of a meeting with then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir at the White House in September 1969.
Regarding “American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility” Israel’s Nuclear Whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu told us:
President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’
When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.
One of the documents was written by senior officials in the Nixon administration in a working group led by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, exploring the nature of the Israeli nuclear weapons program known as “NSSM 40.”
The existence of the document and its heading were known, but the content had so far been kept ‘secret’ almost as ‘secret’ as Obama’s previous playing along with the 4-decade-old Israeli nuclear ambiguity/deception policies.
On 2 October 2009, The Washington Times reported that Obama agreed to keep Israel’s nukes ‘secret’ and reaffirmed his pledge to maintain the agreement he made when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May 2009.
Under the understanding, the U.S. has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs.
At the White House meeting on 25 September 1969, between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, the United States passively accepted Israel’s nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon.
Dr. Avner Cohen, is an Israeli-born historical researcher, author of “The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb” and a leading expert in Israel’s nuclear policy of ambiguity.
From his interview with Haaretz:
In a late-1969 meeting between Golda Meir and Nixon, details of which were initially revealed by Aluf Benn in Haaretz, the Americans assented to Israel’s interpretation of the word “introduce,” according to which Israel would neither conduct nuclear tests, nor declare that it possesses such a weapon, and would generally keep a low profile on nuclear matters.
At that meeting, Cohen posits in his book, Meir acknowledged Israel’s nuclear status to Nixon. That is how nuclear ambiguity was officially born…
“In other words, Israel did not join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it received special status, and pressure was not exerted on it with regard to this topic.
“Ambiguity is the Israeli-American policy. Without the West’s agreement, there would be no ambiguity.”
In 2007, the Nixon library declassified a July 19, 1969, memo from Henry Kissinger, the then national security adviser stating: “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.”
The “established international facts” were exposed in 1986, when Mordechai Vanunu provided the photographic proof and told all he knew as a mid level technician on the night shift within Israel’s seven story underground WMD Facility at Dimona- you can view Vanunu’s Photos at You Tube HERE
The declassified documents also reveal the Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that [in talks with Yitzhak Rabin] it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”
The Nixon administration believed that Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would spur the Arab countries to acquire their own such weapons within 10 years, through private contracts with scientists and engineers in Europe.
Moreover, “deeply rooted in the Arab psyche is the concept that a settlement will be possible only when there is some parity in strength with Israel. A ‘kamikaze’ strike at the Dimona facilities cannot be ruled out,” the document states.
Vanunu has always maintained that what he did was not anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist, but was an attempt to prevent a nuclear holocaust, and to raise the issue for debate.
In 2004 Vanunu explained, “It’s not about betraying, it’s about reporting. It is about saving Israel from a new holocaust.”
In 2005, Eileen Fleming established WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall as a public service.
Eileen is the Administrator for FREE VANUNU and TNT/Telling Nuclear Truths
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