Israel's Nuclear Arsenal-Espionage, Opacity and Future

By Hanley, Delinda C. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September/October 2010 | Go to article overview

Israel's Nuclear Arsenal-Espionage, Opacity and Future


Hanley, Delinda C., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) held an informative panel discussion on "Israel's Nuclear Arsenal: Espionage, Opacity and Future" on July 7, at a fitting venue-the International Spy Museum, in Washington, DC. Panelists tackled the vital questions that mainstream American media choose to ignore: What do newly declassified documents about weapons grade uranium and dual-use technology diversions from the U.S. reveal about the role of espionage in building Israel's secret nuclear arsenal? Did Israel's proposed nuclear weapons sales to apartheid South Africa signal the weapons are still for sale if the partner and price are right? Do FBI and CIA cover-ups of investigations into Israeli nuclear espionage indicate official U.S. government approval or political acquiescence? Did cooperating with Israel's policy of "strategic ambiguity" ever make sense for the United States? Is the era of "nuclear opacity" now coming to an end? Are Israel's nuclear weapons of strategic benefit to the U.S.?

Moderator Jeffrey Blankfort described the devolution of the U.S. position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)'s international call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. He also recounted first-hand experiences with an Anti-Defamation League/apartheid South Africa intelligence agent targeting U.S. activists.

Sasha Polakow-Suransky, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine at the Council on Foreign Relations, reviewed apartheid South African sales of yellow-cake uranium to Israel's military establishment and argued that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) contributed to U.S. policymaking. Polakow-Suransky is author of the 2010 book The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, which is available from the AET Book Club

Grant F.

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