Ten years ago, 62 percent of Israelis questioned in a poll were convinced that their nation had the nuclear bomb; 77 percent thought that if it didn’t already have it, it should. Only four percent believed Israel was nuclear-free. [1] In October 1986, an Israeli nuclear technician revealed to the Sunday Times of London that Israel indeed has an extensive nuclear weapons program. Mordechai Vanunu, who worked in a secret underground Israeli bomb factory for nine years, convinced top US and British nuclear scientists who questioned him closely that Israel has built at least 100 and possibly as many as 200 nuclear weapons. This would make Israel the sixth-ranking nuclear power in the world. “There should no longer be any doubt,” said US nuclear scientist Dr. Theodore Taylor, “that Israel is, and for at least a decade has been, a fully-fledged nuclear weapons state.” [2]

Vanunu’s revelations — backed up by 60 photographs — confirmed much of what experts had already suspected, but he depicted a much larger and more advanced nuclear weapons program than earlier guessed at. In June 1981, CIA analysts reportedly secretly told the House Foreign Affairs Committee “that Israel was now believed to possess 10 to 20 nuclear weapons.” [3] “During the past year,” Carnegie Endowment nonproliferation expert Leonard S. Spector wrote in 1985, “Israel probably added one or two Nagasaki-size atomic bombs to a pre-existing nuclear arsenal of twenty to twenty-five aircraft-deliverable weapons.” [4] It appears in fact that Israel has the capability to produce small, light and more efficient weapons, even thermonuclear weapons with yields high enough to destroy whole cities. Spector now believes that “without testing, Israel was capable of moving up the ladder. They have really got a whole strategic system in place.” [5]

What ingredients must be part of the mix which adds up to a nuclear arsenal? What indicators led scientists and intelligence experts to conclude — far in advance of Vanunu’s story — that Israel had the bomb? At a bare minimum, the requirements are these: political will, scientific brain power and technical know-how, and enriched uranium or plutonium. Other helpful ingredients include aid from technologically more advanced friends, allies who indulge disregard for nonproliferation treaties, and space to test the finished product.

Political Will

Official Israeli policy, as stated by former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1981, is that the Israelis ”are not going to be the first ones to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.” The implicit corollary is that neither will Israel be second. That corollary has been the operative half of Israeli policy almost since the founding of the state. On that same occasion in 1981, Dayan warned that Israel had the capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons “in a short time,” should any Arab nation do so. [6]

Israeli political and military leaders have not unanimously favored vigorous development of nuclear weapons. Simplistic hawk and dove designations have a way of breaking down around this question. Ariel Sharon has opposed a nuclear buildup in favor of continued mastery in conventional arms plus a unique nuclear-free zone design: “We will not let any Arab state produce atomic weapons,” Sharon declared after Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in June 1981. [7] Ironically, some Israeli doves argue that a nuclear arsenal would provide the security to allow Israel to relinquish the Palestinian territories it occupied in 1967.

Among the earliest and most prominent proponents of a nuclear weapons program were Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, and his close aides Shimon Peres and Moshe Dayan. They also promoted strong Israeli-French nuclear collaboration. Their opponents included Levi Eshkol, Ben Gurion’s successor, Eshkol’s chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Allon and Golda Meir, who believed that Israel’s limited resources should be concentrated on building up a powerful conventional military force. Meir feared that a nuclear program would jeopardize Israel’s ties with the US. Dayan, in the other camp, argued that “Israel has no choice. With our manpower we cannot physically, financially or economically go on acquiring more and more tanks and more and more planes. Before long you will have all of us maintaining and oiling the tanks.” [8]

The political will necessary for a nuclear weapons program to move forward has waxed and waned with the political fortunes of these two blocs, but Israel pursued a two-track strategy — a conventional track and a half-secret/half-public nuclear track — over the years.

In October 1957, the Israeli cabinet took the critical decision to build a secret nuclear reactor at Dimona capable of producing one or two bombs’ worth of plutonium annually in its spent fuel. [9] France was to supply the reactor. Ben Gurion, Peres and Dayan strongly backed the plan. Not only was that decision entirely censored from the Israeli public; some cabinet members were apparently also kept in the dark about all but the broad outlines of the project. During construction, even members of Israel’s parliament were barred from the site. The airspace above it was off-limits to all aircraft. During the 1967 war, one of Israel’s own Mirage III fighters went out of control over Dimona and was brought down with a ground-to-air missile. In 1973, a navigational error sent a Libyan civilian airliner over the forbidden zone with 113 passengers aboard. Israel shot it down, killing 108. [10]

For public consumption, the reactor was a “textile factory.” That fiction was exposed in 1960 when a US reconnaissance aircraft photographed the telltale dome characteristic of nuclear reactors. The US government demanded an explanation. Ben Gurion admitted that the reactor existed, but insisted that Israel had no intention of building a bomb. Research at Dimona was for medicine and industry only, he said. In fact, Vanunu has now revealed, France not only supplied the reactor but also helped Israel build the secret 8-story underground plant and actively collaborated with Israel on developing the atomic bomb for two years in the late 1950s.

There were indications even in 1960 that Ben Gurion was lying. News leaked out that all but one of the seven government-appointed members of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission had resigned back in 1957, probably in protest over the decision to use the Dimona reactor to launch a nuclear weapons program. By the end of 1961, two of those who resigned had joined with other prominent figures to form the Committee for the Denuclearization of the Israeli-Arab Conflict.

The second rough stage in Israel’s nuclear development was a freeze of sorts when Levi Eshkol succeeded Ben Gurion as prime minister in 1963. As Ben Gurion’s finance minister, Eshkol had opposed building the Dimona reactor. According to one account, Eshkol refused to provide funds for Dimona in the national budget, forcing Ben Gurion to raise money covertly from Israeli industrialists and Jews outside Israel. [11] But Eshkol’s opposition was not so much principled as it was pragmatic. Eshkol reportedly hinted to the US government that the Israeli nuclear program would not proceed so long as the US supplied Israel with sufficient conventional arms. [12] In 1964, Washington for the first time sold Israel offensive weapons — tanks and Skyhawk jets. Eshkol’s freeze was not total. Continued nuclear research, albeit at a lower level, kept the nuclear option alive “just in case.” [13]

The third stage in Israel’s nuclear development is difficult to date or to describe. Most analysts agree, however, that sometime soon after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel decided to pursue vigorously a nuclear weapons program. [14] One version of this history asserts that in 1968 Moshe Dayan, who became defense minister on the eve of the war, secretly ordered the nuclear weapons program to continue, without the knowledge or consent of Prime Minister Eshkol. Faced in 1969 with a fait accompli, the story goes, the cabinet approved its continuation. [15] What we do know is that Dayan established an Advisory Committee on General Research and Development in the Defense Ministry in 1968 and appointed Professor D.E. Bergman as its coordinator. Bergman, a strong nuclear advocate and the sole member of the Atomic Energy Commission who had not resigned in protest in 1957, had been ousted as chair of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1966 by Prime Minister Eshkol. [16]

While we may never know the precise sequence of events during this period, it is clear that the political will to push for nuclear development had once again gained the upper hand. In 1968, during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, the CIA concluded that Israel had the technical capacity to make nuclear weapons or component parts, and the US government has reportedly operated on that assumption ever since. [17] “It has been our intention to provide the potential for nuclear development,” said Israeli President Ephraim Katzir in December 1974. “We now have that potential. We will defend this country with all possible means at hand.” [18] As reports of an Israeli nuclear arsenal became more frequent, and Washington raised questions, Israel obligingly assumed an anti-nuclear posture in public. Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin in September 1975 proposed a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East. [19] Israel repeated the proposal in 1980, and again in March 1982 at the United Nations, [20] but it refused to submit to the application of full-scope safeguards at the Dimona plant, and its nuclear program proceeded apace.

Brain Power

Without knowledge and expertise, political will goes nowhere. The global dissemination of nuclear power technology has provided a tremendous amount of the basic information needed to produce nuclear explosive materials. But a serious weapons program requires more experience and expertise. Israel has no shortage of either.

Hundreds of trained scientists and engineers migrated from Western Europe to Israel. Others were later trained in the US, France and elsewhere: “the manpower requirements of a modest programme designed to produce nuclear weapons on a continuous basis, recently estimated as approximately 1,300 engineers and 500 scientists, are clearly well within present Israeli capabilities,” Fuad Jabber concluded in 1971. [21]

Some Israeli scientists are internationally recognized experts in the field: Yuval Ne’eman, a nuclear physicist, won the Rothschild prize in 1968 and the Albert Einstein award in 1970. (Ne’eman is a prominent member of the rightwing Tehiya Party and an enthusiast of Gush Emunim.) Isadore Perlman, former head of the nuclear chemistry division of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in the US, migrated to Israel in 1973. Many researchers have been trained in several large laboratories run by the Israeli military. In 1974, two Israeli researchers created a stir in the field when they reported that they had developed a new laser method of producing enriched uranium. [22]

A Few Good Friends

Even with this pool of scientific expertise, Israel could never have developed its nuclear program so extensively and quickly without outside help. Both the United States and France made significant contributions.

US-Israeli cooperation in the nuclear field dates back to President Eisenhower’s optimistic “Atoms for Peace” era, which represented a dramatic reversal in US policy towards disseminating atomic information. In 1955, a US-Israeli nuclear agreement allowed Israel to acquire a small American nuclear reactor, its first. (The US signed a similar nuclear cooperation agreement with Egypt at about the same time.) The US paid $350,000 of the reactor’s cost, and gave Israel a library of 6,500 US Atomic Energy Commission research reports on nuclear topics. Over the next five years, some 56 Israeli nuclear scientists were trained in the US, while 24 others visited Atomic Energy Commission installations here. [23] The small reactor began operating at Nahal Soreq in 1960. Regularly inspected for compliance with international safeguards, it is an unlikely source of nuclear weapons material, but provides a useful training site for nuclear engineers.

Israel had also exchanged scientific personnel and information with France under an agreement signed in 1953. [24] In 1957, the relationship deepened when France secretly agreed to supply Israel with the large, militarily significant Dimona nuclear reactor. At the time, in the wake of the Suez aggression of 1956, a US embargo banned arms sales to Israel. France was Israel’s sole source of major weapons and materiel.

A week after the Vanunu story broke, Professor Francis Perrin, France’s high commissioner for atomic energy from 1951-1970, admitted to the Sunday Times that France had lied about the extent of its nuclear collaboration with Israel. France built not only the Dimona reactor, he said, but also the secret underground plant for producing weapons-grade plutonium. “We knew the plutonium could be used for a bomb but we considered also that it could be used for peaceful purposes,” Perrin said. In 1959, de Gaulle felt “that the French military was starting to work too closely with Israel.” He ended collaboration on atomic weapons, but agreed to supply Israel with the secret plutonium plant. [25]

By Any Means Necessary

A specific amount of enriched plutonium or uranium is needed to achieve the “critical mass” that sets off a nuclear reaction. Acquiring that highly enriched uranium or extracting plutonium from uranium fuel rods that have gone through a nuclear reactor is one of the most vital yet most difficult steps in creating a bomb. Israel has apparently tackled this problem in several ways.

The Dimona reactor, reportedly similar to the US reactor at Savannah River in South Carolina which produces much of the US plutonium stockpile, was constructed under military auspices and activated in late 1964. Because Dimona was totally under Israeli control, the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium which could be extracted from Dimona’s spent fuel was entirely up to Israeli discretion.

It is not certain when the French-supplied plant to extract enriched plutonium first began operating. Some experts believed that in the early years of Dimona’s operation France may have taken some spent fuel from Dimona to France where at least enough plutonium for one or two bombs (one French source claims enough for 15-20) was extracted and returned to Israel. By late 1977, the International Atomic Energy Agency had concluded that Israel had the capacity to extract its own plutonium. [26] The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported in 1979 that Israel had built a pilot plutonium reprocessing plant, based on French blueprints. [27] The CIA also concluded that during the 1970s Israel began operating a reprocessing plant. [28] Vanunu and Perrin have now confirmed these reports.

In order for the Dimona reactor to produce large quantities of spent fuel from which the plutonium could be extracted, Israel acutely needed a steady supply of uranium fuel. Domestic production of uranium fuel from phosphates was being developed, but was not sufficient to supply all of Dimona’s needs, and was still expensive. Only nations that had allowed inspections of their reactors to make certain that the nuclear material was being used for peaceful purposes could buy uranium legally on the open market. But Israel refused to allow inspectors into Dimona. The fuel for the first charge of the reactor, according to Fuad Jabber, was four tons from France, 10 tons from South Africa and 10 tons domestic fuel produced from Dead Sea phosphates. [29] South Africa may have continued to supply Israel secretly with uranium; [30] Argentina may also have helped. [31] But even these sources were apparently insufficient.

For a nation bent on weapons production, clandestine means were necessary. In 1966, the US Atomic Energy Commission discovered that over 200 pounds of highly-enriched uranium (enough to make 13 to 20 bombs, by one estimate) was missing. It had “disappeared” sometime before or during 1965 from a private US corporation, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) in Apollo, Pennsylvania.

NUMEC, according to ABC News, had an “intimate relationship with Israel at the time.” NUMEC’s president, Dr. Zalman Shapiro, was a research chemist who had been involved in the Manhattan nuclear bomb project. He was also a committed Zionist. During its investigation, the Atomic Energy Commission discovered that 50 to 60 foreigners from around the world annually visited NUMEC’s supposedly top-security plant with its stock of thousands of classified government research documents. One of these was Rafael Eitan, then a Mossad officer and more recently the spymaster in charge of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in 1986. Others included Baruch Cinai, an Israeli metallurgist, and Ephraim Lahav, Israel’s scientific attache in Washington. It turned out that Shapiro was co-owner, with the Israeli government, of a firm purportedly working on preserving foods by nuclear radiation. The firm could well have served as a conduit for sending NUMEC uranium to Israel.

At least five federal agencies — the National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Accounting Office and Atomic Energy Commission — investigated, but the US government kept their reports under wraps. Eleven years later, in 1977, an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, secured over 3,000 documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request which revealed that US intelligence agencies had long suspected Israel of stealing the uranium. In 1981, former CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology Carl Duckett confirmed to ABC News that “I think the clear consensus in the CIA was indeed, that…NUMEC material had been diverted and had been used by the Israelis in fabricating weapons.” [32]

In 1967, Israel reportedly ordered its intelligence agency, Mossad, to secure additional uranium fuel for Dimona. In what came to be known as the Plumbat Affair, Mossad successfully arranged for a shipment of uranium from Antwerp to a dummy corporation in Italy in November 1968. Somewhere en route, Mossad then diverted the uranium to Israel. The 200 tons of processed uranium ore, called yellowcake, was theoretically enough to produce more than 50 bombs’ worth of plutonium. (The story came to light in 1973, when one of the Mossad agents involved was sent to Norway to assassinate a PLO official. Captured there and held overnight in a small cell by Norwegian authorities, the agent, who suffered from severe claustrophobia, spilled the beans about the uranium diversion scheme. [33])

By 1981, Israel was reportedly producing its own yellowcake from phosphate rock found in the Negev desert in sufficient quantities to keep the Dimona reactor operating. [34]

Trial Run

One way to prove (rather than deduce) that a nation has nuclear capabilities is to detect the explosion of a nuclear device in a test. Israel’s ability to test its nuclear bombs is limited. The country is too small to safely carry out an above-ground test, and it has signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty outlawing such tests. Underground tests are very expensive and most are susceptible to detection, though it is possible that Israel carried out extremely low-yield, undetectable tests in the Negev. Especially in the early years, when Israel’s potential stockpile of weapons-quality plutonium was small, testing even a single bomb might have been considered wasteful.

The difficulty of testing a device on Israeli soil motivated the Israelis to find an accomplice. Ideally, the accomplice would be equally interested in developing a clandestine nuclear arsenal, would have expertise or raw materials to exchange for Israeli scientific and technical knowledge, and would have the necessary elbow room in which to conduct a test.

The South African government had space, uranium, and a keen interest in bolstering its power. On September 22, 1979, a US surveillance satellite designed to monitor nuclear explosions detected a tell-tale double flash over the South Atlantic near South Africa. When this became public a month later, President Carter appointed an advisory committee which concluded that the satellite sighting most likely was caused by a particle of matter hitting the satellite. None of the other groups which subsequently studied the flash found reason to doubt that it was a nuclear explosion. Five months later, an Israeli correspondent for CBS News reported that the flash had been an Israeli nuclear bomb test “which was conducted with the help and cooperation of the South African government.” [35] A recent study by Ronald Walters and Kenneth S. Zinn, based on 500 pages of newly-released documents from the US Naval Research Laboratory obtained by the Washington Office on Africa, indicates that the NRL concluded a nuclear explosion had occurred. Walters and Zinn believe the US has deliberately covered up its knowledge of Israeli-South African nuclear collaboration. [36]


The most recent public report of Israeli access to US nuclear technology concerns an obscure device known as a krytron. Krytrons are used in high speed copying machines and airport strobe lights, but can also be used to trigger atomic bombs. In 1985, it was revealed that Israel had quietly and illegally acquired 800 of these tiny timing switches. A Los Angeles grand jury indicted Richard Kelly Smyth, owner of Milco International, Inc. of Huntington Beach, California, for illegally procuring the devices from the only US firm that makes them. Smyth exported them to the Israeli firm of Arnon Milchan, an Israeli millionaire arms merchant.

Milchan dismisses what he calls the “unbelievable, stupid krytron story” and says that Smyth simply requested the wrong export license from the State Department. Israel claimed that it was unaware that sales of krytrons were restricted, and said that it had used the krytrons in conventional weaponry. The US demanded an accounting from Israel, which returned the krytrons not yet in use. Smyth, free on $100,000 bail, disappeared with his wife in August 1985 just before his trial. In May 1986, an old acquaintance reportedly ran into Smyth while on a business trip — in Israel. [37]


If a nation plans to use, or credibly threaten to use nuclear weapons, acquiring or building bombs is not enough. It must have a means to deliver the weapons. As early as 1964, the CIA reported to President Johnson that it had observed Israeli A-4 aircraft doing practice bombing runs of a type peculiar to nuclear bomb drops, a special “loft and toss” maneuver necessary so that the plane itself is not damaged when the bomb explodes. [38] That same year, the Israelis reportedly requested that some of the 50 Phantom aircraft they were buying from the US be equipped with racks suitable for nuclear bombs. The US turned them down. [39] By 1975, all 120 US-supplied Israeli Phantom fighter-bombers in Israel’s air force reportedly had special wiring which could be modified to allow nuclear weapons to be armed just before they are released. [40]

In 1973, many fighter aircraft proved vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles. Israel has actively developed alternatives. In 1971, Israel began manufacturing the Jericho missile which could thrust a 1,000 to 1,500 pound warhead 300 miles or more. (A French company, Marcel Dassault, had been involved in the project until shortly after the 1967 war.) US experts pointed out then that the Jericho was far too costly if it was meant just to carry heavy conventional bombs. “The decision to go into production strongly suggests Israel has, or believes it could soon have, nuclear warheads for the system,” one US expert said. Israel was soon producing 60 to 80 Jerichos a year. [41]

Israel’s close military relationship with Iran under the shah involved the Jericho program. Operation Flower, a 1977 arms-for-oil deal, involved exchanging $1 billion worth of Iranian oil for an improved version of the Jericho missile plus other military projects. The missile, to be developed in Israel, could be tested secretly in Iran. After the Iranian revolution, the missile work went forward in Israel. [42] In 1985, Richard Sale of Aerospace Daily reported that improved Jericho II missiles with a range of some 700 kilometers had been armed with nuclear warheads and deployed in the Negev Desert and the Golan Heights, stored either in rock caves or on railroad cars or launcher trucks. Sale quoted a US scientist working in Israel who described the Jericho II’s nuclear warhead as two feet long and 22 inches in diameter. [43]

Israel denied that it had nuclear missiles at all, but the Washington Post reported that “Western intelligence sources have believed for some time that Israel may have up to 200 low-yield nuclear warheads” for the Jericho missile. [44] Israel also has US-supplied Lance surface-to-surface missiles which can deliver either conventional or nuclear warheads some 70 miles. [45] In 1975, the US reportedly agreed to supply Israel with Pershing I missiles, which are designed to carry nuclear weapons, in exchange for an Israeli pullback in the Sinai. Public disclosure of the deal led to criticism which killed it. [46]

It seems that Israel has prepared to actually use nuclear weapons on at least one occasion. During the October 1973 Arab-Israel war, Israel may have assembled pre-existing parts of nuclear weapons and deployed them to its air force. Time magazine claims that the weapons were assembled in an underground tunnel, but "before any triggers were set…the battle turned in Israel’s favor,” and the 13 bombs were stored for future use. [47]

Blind Allies

In a world in which the US and the Soviet Union each have tens of thousands of nuclear warheads, many of which can be delivered half-way around the globe with considerable accuracy, Israel’s arsenal of 100 to 200 nuclear weapons may seem insignificant. But in the Middle East a tactical nuclear shell or a single bomb could be devastating. Tel Aviv to Damascus is 130 miles by air; Tel Aviv to Cairo 250 miles. Consider the destruction a bomb dropped on Egypt’s Aswan dam would unleash. [48]

The US role in Israel’s nuclear development has been convoluted and contradictory in public. The US government, through the Central Intelligence Agency, knows as much about Israel’s nuclear program as any foreign government. The massive amounts of foreign aid that flow each year from US taxpayers to Israel’s treasury give the US government great potential leverage over Israel. Yet it has failed to pressure Israel in any way to adhere to US non-proliferation policy, and has contentedly accepted Israel’s assurances that it will never introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.

Even the persuasive evidence revealed by Mordechai Vanunu has failed to stir Washington. The verbal warnings the Reagan administration has issued in response to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program have been conspicuously absent when it comes to Israel. Israel’s status as a nuclear ally in the region may suit US interests well. Even if Israel publicly acknowledged its nuclear arsenal, it seems unlikely that Washington would punish this defiance of non-proliferation standards. So long as the matter officially remains in the realm of suspicions and deductions, Washington can continue to blithely hand over billions of dollars in military aid to build up a strong force — even a nuclear force — in Israel, capable of intimidating the region with the ultimate threat.



[1] 1976 survey reported in Ha’aretz, March 26, 1976, cited in Paul Jabber, “Toward a Regional Balance of Terror,” Christianity and Crisis, February 1,1982, p. 11.
[2] Sunday Times (London), October 5, 1986.
[3] New York Times, June 28, 1981.
[4] In his book, The New Nuclear Nations (New York: Vintage Books, 1985), p. 136.
[5] New York Times, November 10, 1986.
[6] New York Times, June 25, 1981.
[7] Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1981.
[8] For more detail on the development of nuclear policy and debates within the Israeli elite, see Efraim Inbar, “The Israeli Basement — With Bombs or Without?” Crossroads, 8 (Winter-Spring 1982), pp. 81-106; Uri Bar-Joseph, “The Hidden Debate: The Formation of Nuclear Doctrines in the Middle East,” The Journal of Strategic Studies 5,2 (June 1982); and Yoram Peri, “Mushroom Over the Middle East,” New Outlook, May 1982, pp. 40-45.
[9] Leonard S. Spector, Nuclear Proliferation Today (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), p. 119. (Hereafter, Spector, 1984.)
[10] Time, April 12, 1976, p. 40.
[11] Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben Gurion: A Political Biography (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1978), pp. 1522-23. (In Hebrew.) Cited in Inbar, p. 88.
[12] Lawrence Freedman, “Israel’s Nuclear Policy,” Survival 17,3 (May/June 1975), p.116; Fuad Jabber, Israel and Nuclear Weapons (London: Chatto and Windus, with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1971), p. 48.
[13] Simha Flapan, “Nuclear Power in the Middle East,” New Outlook, July 1974, p. 51.
[14] See Peri, p. 42, and Spector, 1984, pp. 124-125.
[15] See Roger F. Pajak, “Nuclear Status and Policies of the Middle East Countries,” International Affairs 59,4 (Autumn 1983), pp. 587-607, 609-620.
[16] Jabber, pp. 48, 51.
[17] New York Times, July 18, 1970.
[18] Brian Beckett, “Israel’s Nuclear Options,” Middle East International, November 1976, p. 12.
[19] Inbar, p. 93.
[20] The Observer (London), October 26, 1980; Text of Israeli UN Ambassador Yehuda Blum’s address to the United Nations, March 19, 1982, Reprinted in New Outlook, May 1982, pp. 69-70.
[21] Jabber, p. 47.
[22] Todd Friedman, “Israel’s Nuclear Option,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 1974, p. 32.
[23] Jabber, p. 25.
[24] Ibid., pp. 20-21.
[25] Sunday Times (London), October 12, 1986.
[26] Spector, 1984, pp. 120, 123,132.
[27] Cited in Study on Israeli Nuclear Armament (New York: United Nations Centre for Disarmament, Department of Political and Security Council Affairs, 1982), p. 12. (Hereafter, UN Study).
[28] Spector, 1984, p. 125.
[29] Jabber, p. 89.
[30] UN Study, p. 13.
[31] PR. Chari, “The Israeli Nuclear Option: Living Dangerously,” International Studies (School of International Studies, New Delhi), July-September 1977, p. 346.
[32] New York Times, November 6, 1977; Spector, 1984, pp. 123-4; Washington Post, November 6, 1977; James Adams, The Unnatural Alliance: Israel and South Africa (New York and London: Quartet Books, 1984), pp. 152-157; Steve Goldfield and Hilton Obenzinger, “Israel’s Nuclear Threat,” Palestine/Israel Bulletin, March 1984, pp. 1-2.
[33] Spector, 1984, p. 125; Steve Weissman, “How Israel Got the Bomb,” Inquiry, November 13,1978, pp. 20-23; Peter D. Jones, “Uncovering the Israeli-South African Connection,” Win Magazine, May 1, 1980, p. 15; Adams, pp. 157-161.
[34] UN Study, p. 11; Spector, 1984, p. 125.
[35] “South Africa’s Bomb,” AfricAsia (Paris), September 1986.
[36] Washington Post, February 22, 1980.
[37] See Washington Post, May 14 and 15, 1985; New York Times, May 16,17 and 18,1985; The Jerusalem Post Magazine, February 21, 1986; ,Washington Post, October 31,1986.
[38] Adams, pp. 155-156.
[39] New York Times, July 18,1970.
[40] Boston Globe, July 31,1975.
[41] The Observer, February 2,1986; New York Times, October 5,1971; SIPRI Yearbook 1973 and Almanac of World Military Power 1972, cited in Friedman, p. 33.
[42] The Observer, February 2, 1986.
[43] Aerospace Daily, May 1, 1985; The Observer, February 2, 1986.
[44] Washington Post, May 4, 1985.
[45] Aerospace Daily, May 1, 1985.
[46] Robert E. Harkavy, Spectre of a Middle Eastern Holocaust Monograph Series in World Affairs, Vol. 14 (Denver University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies, 1977), p. 15.
[47] Time, April 12, 1976; Christian Science Monitor, November 23,1973; Washington Post, May 4,1985.
[48] Freedman, p. 119.

How to cite this article:

Martha Wenger "Recipe for an Israeli Nuclear Arsenal," Middle East Report 143 (November/December 1986).

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