28 September 2016

A Few Thoughts on the Death of Shimon Peres, the Israeli Nuclear Programme and Apartheid South Africa

Shimon Peres will be praised as a man of peace, the Israeli dove who sought reconciliation. He was anything but.

There are numerous works which detail the Israeli nuclear weapons programme. Suffice it to say, Peres was a key player in that story. It's on my list of things to write about but first I need to finish the twenty or so already written pieces, let alone the fifty or so that exist in note form. I've just got too much on my plate at the moment. Despite that I cannot help but 'jump in' as events dictate. The story is a fascinating one and ranges from Africa to France and the United States.

The following link on Peres is worth a look:

Finally, his name also figures prominently in Polakow-Suransky's 'The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa'.

A very worthwhile book and yet the author is I think too kind and in some cases subject to bouts of credulity.

I refer in particular to the NUMEC incident which is of particular interest to me as the former plant is located fairly near where I live. Thankfully not too near.

He also covers something of the shift in Israeli politics, the internal battles that were really leftovers from the old Haganah-Irgun dissensions. By the 1970s South Africa was isolated as was Israel. Israeli politics shifted to the Right and it afforded the rise of Likud which was built upon Irgun ideology and indeed Menachem Begin its first chief was the last commander of Irgun. The quasi-fascist ideology of Likud actually found a great deal in common with Apartheid South Africa. The alliance was largely practical but the book provides numerous examples in which a case can be made for ideological affinity.

It's a chapter of largely unknown or deliberately forgotten history and yet it's full of intrigue and surprises culminating in a joint nuclear test in the Indian Ocean. Though there's some question about the Vela Incident, I have no doubts.

Another shortcoming in the book, which is admittedly difficult to verify is the pro-active and supportive role from elements within in the United States itself. Again I cite the NUMEC episode and the likely complicity on the part of US agents. While Seymour Hersh has accomplished some mighty feats in the realm of journalism, he has his share of failures. His reporting in 'The Samson Option' is one of them. While I don't doubt the site and even the larger community has been contaminated I don't believe the explanation sufficiently accounts for the missing uranium.

The fact that the FBI or the Justice Department might be investigating an incident while the CIA or others run a contrary policy is nothing new. It's been happening since the conclusion of World War II and the OSS-CIA's project to bring Nazis into the United States. In many cases they did so under the nose of US authorities and in defiance of American law. FBI and State Department protests regarding accusations of complicity with regard to Operation Paperclip or the Israeli Nuclear Weapons carry little weight and reveal nothing in terms of what was the actual policy of the US Deep State.

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