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Nuclear Weapons and Hypocrites in High Places

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"Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan" is an unofficial biography about the Hollywood producer, longtime weapons dealer, Israeli intelligence agent and close friend of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Milchan met with authors Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, answered their questions, corrected their mistakes and quoted Peres as saying, "I am the one who recruited him."

In the 1970s, Peres was Minister of Defense when he recruited Milchan as an agent for Lakam, a "secret' unit in Israel's defense ministry that purchased technological parts and materials for Israel's WMD program.

Since its founding in the mid-1950s, the agency was headed by Benjamin Blumberg. Blumberg was Milchan's friend, and used him (as well as other Israeli businessmen) to set up straw companies around the world, and to open secret bank accounts for financing the nuclear plant in Dimona and other Israeli security industries.

Lakam was in effect an intelligence unit dealing with technological and scientific espionage, and served as a kind of "theft contractor" for the Israeli security industry. For years, Milchan operated in secret, yet in the mid-1980s, U.S. customs uncovered an attempt to smuggle "switches" -- equipment that can be used both for medical purposes and for nuclear weapons manufacture -- by the California-based company Milco, owned by Milchan. The FBI began an investigation into Milchan's affairs, yet he has never been charged.

According to the book, right after the "switches' fiasco, Milchan called his friend Peres, then prime minister, and asked for his help in dealing with the Ronald Reagan administration. Milchan is quoted in the book as saying he never received money for his services, and that everything he did was for the state of Israel. [1]

In "The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa," American academic author Sasha Polakow-Suransky exposed President Shimon Peres' secret offer to sell nuclear warheads to the South African Apartheid regime in 1975. He reported that P.W. Botha, South Africa's defense minister, asked Shimon Peres [who was then Israel's defense minister] for nuclear warheads.

Peres offered them in three sizes -- conventional, chemical and nuclear.

Peres and Botha also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

Polakow-Suransky also writes that Israeli officials "formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal."

On March 31,1975, South African military chief of staff Lieutenant General R.F. Armstrong wrote a "top secret" memo laying out the benefits to South Africa in obtaining the Jericho missiles if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.

On June 4 of the same year, Peres and Botha met in Zurich and by then, the Jericho project had been renamed Chalet.

The top-secret minutes of that meeting recorded that: "Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available." Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation. [2]

Botha did not go ahead with the deal because of the cost and the fact that final approval was dependent on Israel's prime minister. But South Africa did build its own nuclear bombs, and also provided much of the yellow-cake uranium that Israel required to develop its nuclear arsenal.

The documents also confirm that former South African naval commander Dieter Gerhardt admitted there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet that involved an offer by Israel to arm eight Jericho missiles with "special warheads" understood as atomic bombs.

Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defense ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: "It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party." [Ibid]

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of Staff Member of, A Feature Correspondent for Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
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