The Deadly Arsenal of the Rogue State


By Tarek Kapiel


Israel could send the world to the stone age

If there is one nation on this planet that deserves to be described and dealt with as a rogue state armed with weapons of mass destruction and intent on using them, it is Israel under the terror reign of war criminal Ariel Sharon.

The CIA and the Pentagon believe that Israel now has between 200 and 400 enhanced radiation and hydrogen weapons and a United States Air Force report asserts that Israel is building a nuclear naval force meant to respond to any nuclear strike by such countries as Iran or Iraq. The number of purported Israeli nuclear weapons cited in the report is double that of previous assessments. Israel’s nuclear arsenal has grown from an estimated 13 nuclear bombs in 1967 to 400 nuclear and thermonuclear weapons to date.

According to the report, Israel now has second-strike capability with nuclear cruise missiles, and this capability could well change the nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These nuclear missiles could have a range of 350 kilometers.  Israel could also use Jordanian air space for a nuclear strike on Iran, which the report said could produce a nuclear warhead as early as 2004.

Israel, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, refuses to formally acknowledge the existence of these weapons because it would trigger a series of U.S. laws that would result in the cutoff of U.S. military and economic aid to the Jewish state.

History of Israeli Nuclear Weapons

The Israeli nuclear weapons program grew out of the conviction that the Holocaust justified any measures Israel might take to ensure its survival. Consequently, Israel has been actively investigating the nuclear option from its earliest days. In 1949, HEMED GIMMEL a special unit of the IDF’s Science Corps, began a two-year geological survey of the Negev desert with an eye toward the discovery of uranium reserves. Although no significant sources of uranium were found, recoverable amounts were located in phosphate deposits.

The program took another step forward with the creation of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) in 1952. Its chairman, Ernst David Bergmann, had long advocated an Israeli bomb as the best way to ensure “that we shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter.” Bergmann was also head of the Ministry of Defense’s Research and Infrastructure Division (known by its Hebrew acronym, EMET), which had taken over the HEMED research centers (HEMED GIMMEL among them, now renamed Machon 4) as part of reorganization.

By 1953, Machon 4 had not only perfected a process for extracting the uranium found in the Negev, but had also developed a new method of producing heavy water, providing Israel with an indigenous capability to produce some of the most important nuclear materials.

For reactor design and construction, Israel sought the assistance of France. Nuclear cooperation between the two nations dates back as far as the early 1950’s, when construction began on France’s 40MWt heavy water reactor and a chemical reprocessing plant at Marcoule.

In the fall of 1956, France agreed to provide Israel with an 18 MWt research reactor. However, the onset of the Suez Crisis a few weeks later changed the situation dramatically. In the wake of the Suez Crisis, the Soviet Union made a thinly veiled threat against the three nations (Israel, Great Britain and France). This episode not only enhanced the Israeli view that an independent nuclear capability was needed to prevent reliance on potentially unreliable allies, but also led to a sense of debt among French leaders that they had failed to fulfill commitments made to a partner. On October 3rd 1957, France and Israel signed a revised agreement calling for France to build a 24 MWt reactor and, in protocols that were not committed to paper, a chemical reprocessing plant. This complex was constructed secretly outside the IAEA inspection regime by French and Israeli technicians at Dimona in the Negev desert under the leadership of Col. Manes Pratt of the IDF Ordinance Corps.

To maintain secrecy, French customs officials were told that the largest of the reactor components, such as the reactor tank, were part of a desalinization plant bound for Latin America. In addition, after buying heavy water from Norway on the condition that it not be transferred to a third country, the French Air Force secretly flew as much as four tons of the substance to Israel. French contractors finished work on the reactor and reprocessing plant, uranium fuel was delivered and the reactor went critical in 1964.

The United States first became aware of Dimona’s existence after U-2 overflights in 1958 captured the facility’s construction, but it was not identified as a nuclear site until two years later. The complex was variously explained as a textile plant, an agricultural station, and a metallurgical research facility, until David Ben-Gurion stated in December 1960 that Dimona complex was a nuclear research center built for “peaceful purposes”.

There followed two decades in which the United States, through a combination of benign neglect, erroneous analysis, and successful Israeli deception, failed to discern the details of Israel’s nuclear program. As early as December 8th 1960, the CIA issued a report outlining Dimona’s implications for nuclear proliferation, and the CIA station in Tel Aviv had determined by the mid-1960s that the Israeli nuclear weapons program was an established and irreversible fact.

Although the United States government did not encourage or approve of the Israeli nuclear program, it also did nothing to stop it. In early 1968, the CIA issued a report concluding that Israel had successfully started production of nuclear weapons. This estimate was based on an informal conversation between Carl Duckett, head of the CIA’s Office of Science and Technology, and Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb. Teller said that, based on conversations with friends in the Israeli scientific and defense establishment, he had concluded that Israel was capable of building the bomb, and that the CIA should not wait for an Israeli test to make a final assessment because that test would never be carried out.

Some type of non-nuclear test, perhaps a zero yield or implosion test occurred on November 2nd 1966 (possibly at Al-Naqab in the Negev). There is no evidence that Israel has ever carried out a nuclear test, although many observers speculated that a suspected nuclear explosion in the southern Indian Ocean in 1979 was a joint South African-Israeli test.

The actual size and composition of Israel’s nuclear stockpile is uncertain, and is the subject of various estimates and reports. It is widely reported that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel’s first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War. It is also reported that, fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs.

In 1986 descriptions and photographs of Israeli nuclear warheads from a purported underground bomb factory were published in the London Sunday Times. The photographs were taken by Mordechai Vanunu, a dismissed Israeli nuclear technician. His information led some experts to conclude that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices at that time.

Deadly Arsenal

The U.S. govt. did nothing to stop Dimona’s development

The scale of the Israeli nuclear weapons program is vast, and has now been qualitatively transformed by Israel’s acquisition of three German-made diesel powered submarines, which according to a recent study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace are armed with nuclear warheads on Cruise missiles. Carnegie published a report early in June 2002, detailing the Israeli nuclear weapons program. That book-length report on global nuclear weapons proliferation, Deadly Arsenals–Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction, included an entire chapter on Israel’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons program.

Jane’s Defense Weekly reported growing military cooperation between India and Israel. The Jane’s article said defense analysts were speculating that Israel might have violated US embargoes by exporting to India sensitive and dual-use nuclear technologies.

Israel has also achieved the ability to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles. Israeli officials and experts said the nation’s ICBM capability was demonstrated by its launch in May of the Ofeq-5 satellite into space orbit. The satellite was carried by a Shavit-class booster. The Shavit booster was launched westward against the earth’s orbit.

On June 26, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz cited two top Israeli space scientists that declared that Israel now has the capacity to fire missiles at targets anywhere on earth. Prof. Moshe Gelman, head of the Asher Institute at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, boasted to Ha’aretz that “From the moment the State of Israel [obtained] the capability to launch a satellite into orbit around the earth at a height of hundreds of kilometers, it established [its] capability to launch, by means of a missile, a payload to any location on the face of the earth.”

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche reacted strongly to the Israeli announcement about an ICBM capability. He characterized it as a direct threat by Ariel Sharon against any nation that attempts to interfere with Israel’s mad drive for its “Greater Israel”: permanent annexation of the West Bank and Gaza and the mass expulsion of the 3.5 million Palestinians living in those territories.

“Israel is threatening global thermonuclear war,” LaRouche warned, and this is unacceptable. He called upon the international community to immediately make the entire Middle East a “denuclearized zone,” by forcing Israel to dismantle its nuclear weapons arsenal. LaRouche characterized the announcement of the Israeli ICBM capability as a “phase-change” in a global strategic situation, already driven to the brink of war by the onrushing financial collapse and the June 25th speech by President George W. Bush, which gave Sharon a defacto American “green light” to take any action against the Palestinians, which he deems necessary.

The New World Order & the Stone Age

The New World Order now enables the US and its allies to reduce peoples to dust. For the richest nation on earth, even cutting food supply is not out of range. Noam Chomsky, quotes the New York Times of September 16th: “Washington has also demanded [from Pakistan] a cutoff of fuel supplies […] and the elimination of truck convoys that provide much of the food and other supplies to Afghanistan’s civilian population”. In the New World Order, Sharon is reported to have told Colin Powell that Israel might act “in a way that would send Syria back to the Stone Age”. (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth Achronot, 7.6). We believe that Israel is pushing a new regional war and the New World Order will send the world back to the Stone Age, and it might happen very soon!


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Tarek Kapiel is a Faculty Lecturer Assistant and Researcher at the Botany Department in Cairo University’s Faculty of Science.  He has an M.Sc. in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and is an experienced scientific journalist.