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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dimona’

Train Mows Down 14 Camels in Negev

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

A train on the Dimona-Be’er Sheva line in the Negev killed 14 camels without being derailed and without any injuries to passengers. The engineer stopped the train at the next station, inspected the train to make sure there was no damage, and then continues to Be’er Sheva.

Camels frequently roam on highways and tracks in the Negev, where Bedouin raise herds of camels, causing a danger to motorists.

An Israel Railways official said the incident occurred at night, when darkness prevented the train engineer from seeing the camels.

Middle Eastern Country Builds Nuclear Weapons

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The above photograph of the construction site near Dimona in the Negev desert for Israel’s then-secret nuclear reactor was taken in 1960. It is difficult to identify precisely who took that photo, but information in a draft U.S. Intelligence Board post-mortem strongly suggests that British and U.S. military attachés took it and similar photos.

It is likely that this is one of the photographs described on pages 13 and 14 of that report. The plainly visible reactor dome undermined Israeli claims that it was a textile factory under construction.

dimona 2

These images of the reactor site, some of them classified secret or confidential, are located in State Department records at the National Archives. (Record Group 59, Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space, General Records Relating to Atomic Energy, 1948-62, box 501, Country File Z1.50 Israel f. Reactors 1960)

This is Alan C. Goodison (1906-2006), trained as an Arabist, worked on Israeli nuclear matters at the British Foreign Office’s Eastern Department in the mid-1960s. He coordinated the analysis and distribution of the sensitive Canadian intelligence report on the Argentine yellowcake sale to Israel. Goodison is shown in 1983 when he became Ambassador to Ireland.

Crown copyright image from collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office history staff.

Crown copyright image from collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office history staff.

This is Walworth Barbour (1908-82), U.S. ambassador to Israel 1961-73. He presided over the effort by U.S. diplomats and CIA officers to learn what Israel had done with the yellowcake.

Image from Still Pictures Branch, National Archives, RG 59-SO.

Image from Still Pictures Branch, National Archives, RG 59-SO.

For the full story, check out:

The Israel-Argentina Yellowcake Connection.

Of course, in the end, no one thought Israel was building a nuclear weapon in order to attack or even just intimidate its Arab neighbors. The world understood that Israel had to have the doomsday option because a billion Arabs out there wanted it destroyed. Israel and the U.S., at least officially, believe that Iran’s case is different, because Iran is not a democracy, and because Iran has actually declared numerous time that it wants death to Israel and death to America (still a popular chant in Tehran).

In the end, the West’s chances of actually stopping Iran — not very high. The best they can hope for is a more democratic Iran with nukes that won’t use it to intimidate its neighbors.

I wonder what would happen if Israel suddenly declared that it understands Iran’s fears of its hostile Sunni neighbors, and removes its objections to an Iranian bomb. It’s worth it just to watch the Saudis’ faces go deep red and then, possibly, explode…

Rare Photos of Israeli Nuclear Research Center Released

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The architectural firm responsible for the construction of the Dimona nuclear plant in the 1960s has released rare photos of the project for the first time.

The architect, Dan Eitan, sent President Shimon Peres the black and white photos to recognize the president’s role in the construction of what originally was called “a Negev civic center” and now officially is known as the Nuclear Research Center in the Israeli Negev.

The Israel Defense website published the photos that were taken during the construction of the reactor, which it noted that “according to foreign reports, manufactures hundreds of nuclear and hydrogen bombs for Israel.”

Pictures that were posted include the library, the water tower and residences as well as satellite photography of the reactor taken from space and a sketch of the plant.

The photos were taken by architect Dan Eitan, and were sent by him to Shimon Peres (current president of Israel) in recognition of the latter’s contribution to the construction of the complex.

Israel maintains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” meaning that it does not admit nor deny that it possesses nuclear warheads, although most defense analysts estimate the country has at least 200.

Israel has promised it would not be the first country in the Middle East to “introduce” nuclear weapons in the region.

The Arab world has been pushing for the declaration of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East as a way to force Israel to divulge its nuclear capability.

Israel questions the usefulness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty particularly in light of Iran’s constant denial of circumstantial evidence that leaves no doubt that it is trying to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

Blueprint of the Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev

Blueprint of the Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev

Residence units for Dimona nuclea rplant staff

Residence units for Dimona nuclear plant staff

 

dimona courtyard.jpg

Israeli Arab Citizen Charged with Joining Syrian Jihadists

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

An Arab with Israeli citizenship allegedly turned against the state and now is the first Israeli Arab to be charged with joining Syrian jihadists and fight with the rebels, according to an indictment filed in an Israeli court Wednesday.

The case has been under wraps since his arrest last at Ben Gurion Airport after the citizen, 29-year-old Hikmat Massarwa, returned from Syria via Turkey.

His lawyer claimed that Massarwa had no intention of harming Israel and was in Syria for the innocent purpose of locating his brother, who left Israel for Syria several weeks ago and also is suspected of joining  Al Qaeda-affiliated groups.

The increasingly frequent phenomenon of Arabs helping enemy states is of great concern not only to intelligence officials but also to politicians.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Israel Beitenu faction that has since joined the Likud party, has won broad support from nationalists and horrified center-left parties by pushing for a loyalty oath and insisting that Arabs have no less an obligation to the country to fulfill a term of national service.

Israeli Arabs have no less than former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara to look “up” to as a model for a fifth column.

He fled the country six years ago after being indicted for passing on intelligent information to Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, in which thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded in the 34-day war that devastated northern Israel, including Haifa.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said that Massarwa, a resident of an Arab area called the “triangle” because of its three-sided area between Netanya and Tel Aviv and the western border of Samaria, is a foreign agent.

Massarwa’s lawyer argued that after his client entered Syria to look for his brother, he was forced “to be part of this population,” referring to Syrian rebels associated with jihadists.

“He did not join the rebels. He helped them build tents and so on, said the attorney, Helal Jabar. “It seems more than a few Israeli Arabs have done this.”

Security agents asserted that rebels in Syria asked Massarwa about information concerning IDF weapons and the nuclear reactor in Dimona and that he was asked to carry out a terrorist attack in Israel, a request he refused.

Arabs with Israeli  citizenship have plenty of encouragement to work against the state. Most Arab Knesset Members not only side with the Palestinian Authority but also often speak against Zionism and the existence of a Jewish state. MK Hanin Zoabi boarded the Mavi Mamara flotilla ship, manned by IHH terrorists, three years ago and has incited against the state.

She has called Israel “inherently racist,” rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish country, and Zoabi has backed Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon, apparently preferring to die in an Iranian nuclear attack if Israel would be destroyed at the same time.

Other magnets for Israeli Arabs to help destroy Israel include the Hamas regime in Gaza, which recruit Bedouin Negev, turning several Arab population centers, such as Tel Sheva next to Be’er Sheva, into Hamas strongholds that Israeli police are frightened to enter.

Another attraction for Israeli Arabs to become Israeli traitors is the Palestinian Authority, whose official maps define Arab Palestine’s borders as the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Jordan River on the east, and the Lebanese and Egyptian borders on the north and south.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

With Hamas ruling over Gaza and recruiting Bedouin allies in the Negev and with Palestinian Authority Arabs increasingly frustrated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ failure to improve their political and economic lives, the Syrian civil war is another inducement to work against Israel.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/new-netanyahu-coalition-govt-all-cobbled-and-ready-maybe/2013/03/18/

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