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Pravda: Israel's Nuclear Potential and Its Threat [sic]
Pravda ^ | 9/15/2003 | Vasily Bubnov

Posted on 09/22/2003 4:31:18 AM PDT by risk

Israel's Nuclear Potential and Its Threat - 09/15/2003 15:26

But in fact there is not much enough reliable information about Israel's nuclear potential

  Participants of the 47th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that is to open in Vienna today will discuss a report on Israel's nuclear potential and its threat. This is quite obvious that it wasn't Israel that suggested the idea for discussion. It was the League of Arab States that demanded that the issue must be considered. The hearing of the report may develop into a diplomatic scandal as the Israeli government always received discussion of the issue rather painfully.

  This is quite clear that the discussion will touch not only upon Israel. According to Russia's news agency RIA Novosti, participants of the conference plan to touch upon the same aspect with respect to Iran, North Korea and Iraq, although it's not quite clear why it is to be mentioned at all. However, Israel stands apart from the above mentioned countries. The explanation to this fact is not their political regimes; in fact, this is not clear for sure if Teheran and Pyongyang hold nuclear weapons, while the nuclear situation is quite clear with respect to Israel.

  But in fact there is not much enough reliable information about Israel's nuclear potential. According to some sources, Israel holds 200 nuclear warheads, the Jericho medium-range ballistic missiles (the missiles were designed together with France in the 1960s) and Jericho-2. The situation is rather particular as some sources report that the missiles were designed together with Iran at the time when the shah was in power. There are also some facts saying that Israelis hold inter-continental ballistic missiles with the range of 5,000 kilometers (the Jericho missiles have the range of 1,500 kilometers). Britain's Magazine Janes reports that the missiles are deployed at Zaharia Base in Beit Shemesha. The Israeli government doesn't make any attempts either to confirm or to deny the information about the country's nuclear potential.

  A real scandal with participation of the BBC television broke out this summer. BBC journalists made a TV program about Israel's nuclear weapons that started with the following rhetoric questions: "Which of the Mideast counties has non-authorized nuclear weapons? Which country has no external control over its nuclear resources? What country sentenced its nuclear spy to 18 years of imprisonment? (We mean physician Mordechai Vaanunu convicted for espionage, for disclosure of secrets about Israel's nuclear program, to be more exact, in 1986)."

  The reaction of the Israeli Foreign Ministry was extremely harsh when it called the TV program anti-Semitic. Shimon Peres, one of the founding fathers of the Israeli nuclear program, was asked once why the UN must control nuclear reactors of Iraq but doesn't control those of Israel. Shimon Peres answered that Iraq was the dictatorship that cannot be compared to Israel. "Hussein killed thousands of Kurds with chemical weapons. He is a murderer which is not applied to Israel."

  In fact, the above mentioned argument is the key factor that justifies the secrecy of the Israeli authorities. Although it is also suggested that Israel shouldn't keep this widely known secret because the very knowledge that Israelis hold nuclear weapons won't keep Arabs from unleashing a war. That is why, it was believed, open tests of nuclear weapons could be held, but if it was clear the threat of war was obvious it was necessary to state it is impossible to apply the weapons.

Vasily Bubnov

©1999-2003 "PRAVDA.Ru". When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, reference to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coinside with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: allies; atomic; deterrent; israel; russia; wot
At least two things are interesting here:

1. The headline.
2. The followup "comments," if you can still find them.

I will not post them here.

1 posted on 09/22/2003 4:31:18 AM PDT by risk
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To: RussianConservative; yonif; Yehuda; dennisw
Let's hope for the day when Russia will not see American and Israeli weapons as a threat.
2 posted on 09/22/2003 4:34:11 AM PDT by risk
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To: risk; All
The Samson Option-- what is known about Israel's Nuclear Weapons?
3 posted on 09/22/2003 4:39:19 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the Sunset...)
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To: risk
It is good, and somewhat interesting, to sometimes see the fecal material that gets placed on unmoderated Internet "discussion" boards. Yecch. I think I'll go clean my brain out now.

Good call on not posting here.
4 posted on 09/22/2003 4:45:24 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: risk
To me the main difference between Israel having the Bomb and the Arab States having the bomb is 20 years later with Israel we are still guessing, but if the Arab States get the bomb it will be obvious soon to anyone of their neighbors, no one will need to guess, just count the bodies...
5 posted on 09/22/2003 5:02:56 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: American in Israel
I see much to learn here. That Shimon Peres is one of the fathers of the bomb, and yet he works for peace continually, is amazing. I'm not saying I agree with the consessions he's advocated, but it offers an interesting perspective nonetheless.
6 posted on 09/22/2003 5:28:22 AM PDT by risk
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To: risk
It's important to remember that Israel has never officially acknowledged having, or even wanting, nuclear weapons. Apparently the official response to any question remotely related to the topic is "Israel will not be the first to use nuclear weapons in that region." - which, of course, doesn't answer whether Israel even has them nor whether Israel would be the second user.

Unlike, say, Iran or Syria, Israel has not done any sabre rattling about resorting to nukes.

Yes, there's plenty of circumstantial evidence and rumor, and at least one person apparently got sent to prison for "revealing" the existence of a nuclear arsenal, but Israel seems to content to keep officially mum and let Arab imagination do the rest.

A very real prospect, the so-called "Samson Option", for Israel is a sort of doomsday scenario: If attacked by Arab forces - especially with decisive weaponry - Israel will take an enormous portion of the Middle East down with it; nuking Mecca and the oil fields, among other places. Arab countries might survive but without their money and without their unifying superstitions.

7 posted on 09/22/2003 5:49:04 AM PDT by DonQ
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To: American in Israel
The corollary to what you correctly say is that the world trusts Israel not to use nukes gratuitously. I wonder if the Arabs, seeing that Israel is a nuclear power and yet doesn't vaporize its enemies, views this as a sign of weakness.

Let's hope the Islamic world gets civilized soon. And that Pakistan's crude weapons are being watched very carefully.
8 posted on 09/22/2003 8:03:52 AM PDT by Starrgaizr
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To: risk
Pravada communist tabloid.
9 posted on 09/22/2003 9:53:50 AM PDT by RussianConservative (Hristos: the Light of the World)
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To: Starrgaizr
The problem with Arab Moslems is that they see anybody that has not killed them yet as weak prey.

Pretty stupid bunch if you ask me. They will keep poking every one in the world with a sharp stick till we nuke them.

Do they give a king size darwin award for self-genocide?
10 posted on 09/22/2003 1:56:42 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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