JFK Confronted Israel Over Its Secret Nuclear Program 

Avner Cohen and Bill Burr are two of the best historians on the secret Israeli nuclear program of the 1960s, which made Israel the Middle East’s first nuclear power.

Mossad
Seal of Mossad – Israeli Foreign Intelligence

It almost didn’t happen. In a brief for the non-profit National Security Archives and an article for Haaretz.com,Cohen and Burr explain that the program was almost shut down. President John F. Kennedy confronted Israeli leaders in the summer of 1963 demanding stringent inspections.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1963, the leaders of the United States and Israel – President John F. Kennedy and Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol – were engaged in a high-stakes battle of wills over Israel’s nuclear program.

The Israelis resisted because they were determined to secretly build their own nuclear arsenal while pretending otherwise to the Americans and the international community. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963 and President Lyndon Johnson never pressed the issue.

As I recounted here last month, Mossad masterspy Rafi Eitan would go on to mastermind the theft of several hundred pounds of enriched uranium from a U.S. facility in the mid-1960s. With the fissile material in hand, Israel produced its first bomb in 1967 or 1968.

(I tell the story of the CIA’s perspective in the is power struggle in my book The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angelton.)

Fifty years later, Israel is the region’s only nuclear power.

Source: How a standoff with the U.S. almost blew up Israel’s nuclear program – Israel News – Haaretz.com


10 Replies to “JFK Confronted Israel Over Its Secret Nuclear Program ”

  1. This information simply adds additional motive to why the CIA could allow the murder of a sitting U.S. president.

    To those of us with clarity of vision once you understsnd some of how the USAEC, United States Atomic Energy Commission worked and learn about the players there the ability so understand why Edward Teller, Lewis Strauss and Glenn Seaborg, just to name a few did their damnedest to rid themselves of a very clear minded Robert J. Oppenheimer.

    Oppie knew the superior destructive power of the thermo-nuclear atomic bomb. Teller’s lovingly named “Super”, he new it would be very easy for the Israelis to build once they mastered the plutonium powered and then the HEU 235 powered nukes. So they took a short cut by stealing or otherwise procuring the materials they needed U.S. restrictions be damned. The structures intended to prevent such a delivery or theft of such materials from a very dysfunctional USAEC failed as intended. Those at Manhattan Project had already lost control of many of the vital secrets they had learned in the pursuit of these weapons . See Klaus Fuchs.

    The story at IRmep.org is a revelation of how CIA in concert with the DOJ obstructed one attemptafter another by the FBI to intervene in the NUMEC Diversions is proof that CIA refused to honor the Edict handed down by JFK.

    The theft or unsanctioned diversion of these SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIALS, FISSILE MATERIAL THAT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CLOSELY CONTROLLED WAS NO OVERSIGHT BY USAEC. Some there knew of this and these “HERO’S” were and are no such thing.

    Pat Tillman, now he might qualify and he was murdered by his own people also. Sound familiar.

    By the way Jeff go read https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/04/29/the-meuller-report-alfa-bank-and-the-deep-state/

    These D.S. types are doing it again and Peter Dale Scotts piece here is the closest thing I’ve seen to the correct narrative.

    Nothing else makes any sense.

  2. I have just finished the article by Haaretz and it is pretty much what I would expect. Not much actual substance is added to the story.

    This story has been the subject of white wash after white wash time and again as Pro Israeli interests tried to deny the veracity of JFK’s have viewed a very few of related documents. Haaretz should have provided unaltered copies of the all the documents they reference in the article. The notes are a nice touch but I’ll take what they have written here with a grain of salt.

    As I also expected I would find something tangible on which to hang my hat of criticism in the article. I found a couple. First is document 45. The revelation here is that this document has nothing to do with the question of whether or not Israel had received diverted Highly Enriched U-235 a material they wanted to use to build an explosive device with. This material is and was considered “Special Nuclear Material” and the number one reason for this is because it is fissionable material. The same is true of plutonium. These material will react by creating fissions simply if two quantities are brought in close enough proximity. The resulting event is called a “criticality”

    I doubt very seriously if JFK had been alive the Jan 1964 inspections would have been the same.

    #1 enriching Uraniun to 90 + % is desired for weapons grade material. This is no easily hidden process.

    #2 One major discovery during the early Manhattan Project was the realization that Neals Bohr made with respect to the production of plutonium. Irradiating slugs of high quality U-238 provided copious amounts of plutonium that resulted as a by product of the fissioning process, and that could then be chemically separated. Glenn Seaborg refined the process and then helped develop the production to scale to produce industrial amounts of the stuff industrial. Difficult dangerous stuff to handle.

    This stuff in not easy to understand and tougher to develop rational technical understanding of.

    #3 Highly enriched U235 is not nearly as toxic or dangerous to handle. One simply does not want to get to much of the stuff in one place at one time for fear of the very dangerous and toxic “Criticality event”.

    Which brings me to the Document 46 and note #9 referred to there. #9 reads: As the AEC preferred, [ed ?-> (WAS THIS the U.S.A.E.C or the international entity known as the IAEA ?) the inspectors were not connected with the official safeguards program: two of them Richard W. Cook and Ulysses M. Steabler, had been involved with reactor development, while a third, C. L. McClelland was on the staff of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

    I’m not going to belabor the point here because quite frankly the idea that this was a boni fide inspection is killed the note 9.

    A short search will explain why the statement here lend more to the notion that something was definitely a miss with this story or the inspection.

    IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency on it’s wiki had a list of MISSIONS listed is safeguards = implementing safeguards to verify that nuclear energy is not used for weapons and . . promoting higher standards for nuclear safety.

    By 1974 the USAEC was under fire and for very good reasons. The agency was embarrassed when large amounts of HUE 235 were missing.

    I have to a con relate that story and the true version, it’s a doozy!

    The Haaretz story is a pig with lipstick. Baldersdash with respect to revealing what actually occurred at the time. Stauss and Teller at USAEC , they knew. Seaborg knew but Oppie he didn’t know. WHY?

    JJA might have known about the diversion maybe not. Either was he would have maintained he had no culpability. I will never believe he didn’t know and in fact I believe he made certain the diversion happened, he was Israels #1 man at CIA after all. And I have often observed CIA never accepts the existence of chance in their scenarios.

    John McCone was USAEC Chair July 1958- January 1961, he went from USAEC Chair
    to Director of CIA Nov 29 1961 and was there until April 28, 1965. How convenient. Certainly appears that this was an inside job with cover from CIA.

    The Israelis and French finalized their nuclear relationship in Oct 1957. Zalmon Shapiro starts his business plans for NUMEC about the same time.

    I could go to Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money” find addition connections but enough for now.

    A white wash is a white wash is a white was. We need the CIA dovuments before guys like Richard Helms and Bill Barr destroy all the evidence. If they haven’t already.

    Thanks Jeff!

  3. JFK’S conviction second line second paragraph I some how managd to omit the word conviction.

  4. Not my day I guess. JFK’s conviction. I have viewed a very few documents from the GWU National Security Archives, what I was there left little doubt about just how committed JFK was to getting to the bottom of Israels nuke program.

    Jeeze I’ve screwed this up enough I’m done for the evening.

    Thanks for the patience!

  5. The Israelis never seem to mourn any dead but their own and even then I wonder.

    Nothing here leads me to abandon my thoughts on this story. In fact given the info presented here in these files during the summer of 1963 I see JFK’s resolve to not allow Israel nukes hardened.

    I have read over and over again how JFK NEVER had a problem with the Israelis having nukes. The info here definitely puts those lies into the grave.

    I guess Israel’s benefactor at CIA James Jesus Angleton could have contacted David Ben Gurion told him the “FIX on JFK” was in and convinced him to resign and bought the Israelis time. Only Angelton would have had the juice to pull that off.

    But of course this is obvious speculation.

    One thing that sticks out here for me is the inspectors not being safeguards officials. This seems to me to be pretty much B.S., especially in this case. Maybe it’s the clue I’ve been looking for. Something isn’t right with this. I smell deception here.

    It seems very odd to me that this story about who would do what during inspections is all to convenient and out of place. Not letting the people who normally do this type of work do the inspecting would have been a great way to get the people who didn’t know what was going on (the diversion) out of the way. I’ve seen it before in the nuclear industry. I’m not about to buy the idea that anyone really was concerned about USAEC officials doing intelligence work it’s nuclear stuff and AEC should have provided someone who could have pulled it off.

    This inspection oddity seems to be just one of many many, far too many coincidences. Just like you believe only in facts I don’t believe in so many things happening that are not within the normal range of expected events.

    In fact Hyman Rickover was a genius at such deceptions. Read his book “The Rickover Affect”, you could learn a lot about exactly how he got his nuclear navy.

    I might remind everyone at this point the the NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1947 was necessary they said because of this new nuclear world we lived in. That WWII had changed things. Sure did to the point that everything needed to be classified. Big mistake. Hell about all major U.S. nuke secrets where in the hands of others by the time the far overreaching NSA act was passed in 1947.

    I worked in this field and whether it was a “show” Investigation or not during the late sixties and early seventies USAEC scoured the country looking for missing highly enriched U235. I worked sites in Chicago Illinois where they visited.

    The stuff did disappear and they were worried because the “Safeguards” program worked. Someone with the safeguards program on the inside of USAEC should have known about the shortfalls at NUMEC and it SHOULD have stopped immediately but it didn’t. WHY? It is the way the safeguards program worked. Why was nothing done.

    So real or imaginary there was an obvious disconnect between what CIA was doing to FBI investigators who tried to pin down Zalmon Shapiro at NUMEC and security officials at USAEC. WHY! Why didn’t Hoover contact USAEC? Why did Nixon disband the USAEC? If you have a several hours I can explain to you why.

    Something happened Jeff and it wasn’t Kosher.

    Do you actually believe that if the Mossad had been involved with the JFK death anyone left would still know. Hell they could have hired the Cubans to do it and then got rid of them all and CIA wouldn’t admit it. Even if they knew about it.

    We need the files. All the Dogdamned files. What the state “warren commission) shoved down our throats was a lie. A big lie. Just like the one about NUMEC not providing the Israelis with highly enriched U-235.

    You have no idea just how dysfunctional the Nuclear Industry is Jeff. Trust me on this one.

    Other wise it appears that all this new data kinda supports my theory that the leaders of Israel were going to have their way with nukes John F Kennedy be damned.

    The CIA wanted JFK gone and so did Israel. Israel had CIA over a barrel on the NUMEC caper once CIA intervened and stymied the FBI investigations. From that point on they had CIA and USAEC in a position to blackmail either of them. But that damned JFK wouldn’t let up! So something had to give.

    Now you have the explanation of why it’s always been “Hands Off Israel”.

    Deny it now. We need all the records of both events and we need them now. You may have a very much larger story here that you ever imagined. Think Big!

    They have their nukes which our good for nothing government still denies, the USAEC has been disband, JFK and RFK are dead. No denying that.

    If you think for one minute that a large group of people didn’t emit a sigh of relief after the intelligence community bullied the Church Committee out of existence I have news for you. By 1974 USAEC was under pressure about its regulatory functions and those who were in the know wanted it gone. Can’t have that NUMEC story catch fire at that early date.

    Sort ironic Nixon pulls the plug on USAEC and then unplugged himself.

    Keep an eye on the Jeff Epstein case and let us see how they cover this one up.

    Thanks again Jeff for your interest.

  6. At this point in time given the subterfuge and misconduct of high officials at CIA in those relatively early days of the agency and CIA’s total control of all their records, the ones they have not destroyed I would say CIA has much explaining that needs to be done.

    How is it that a country who steals highly sensitive nuclear materials and lies about it ends up being given billions of dollars in aid by the victim of the thefts?

    Blackmail. Israel has never been opposed to embarrassing the U.S.. They instead revel in the practice. The Israeli lobby silently invaded D.C. years ago something both Kennedy’s tried to stop I might add. The records show this. Grant Smith has copies of the documents in his archive on the subject of Israeli agents needing to register with the Feds and of those FBI investigations that died on the vine.

    You see Jeff the Nuclear Community did not want the NUMEC story out because with in that community the Jewish scientists could do no wrong and the truth about the misappropriation of Special Nuclear Materials from the USAEC would have resulted in major prison terms for all involved.

    So what had to happen? Lady Justice would be compromised and her reputation forever tainted.

    Doing justice and being just are similar to being pregnant. One is either pregnant or one is not. Being just and serving justice are the same in a sense. DOJ does neither when they cover for the misdeeds of traitors.

    Look at the dates of when the plans to divert the materials were started, middle fifties. Long before JFK. Israeli interests were having their way with the U.S. nuclear program. Far too many at the USAEC had far too much authority over what happened. Once the Manhattan project was shut down and the military was out of the picture. Then Rickover gained control over the nuclear Navy program. Like I said you might want to read “The Rickover Affect”. The one guy who wore “2”, two hats, one AEC Official hat and the other of the U.S. Navy.

    And he got away with anything and everything he tried. In fact Rickover is reported to have concerned about the events at NUMEC and sent word up the chain and still nothing happened. Rickover didn’t want his nuclear program to suffer because of some “SAFEGUARDS FAILURE”.

    The USAEC and it’s people don’t have the best of histories when one considers just how much lying they did to the public. Like it almost came natural to them.

    Nuclear weapons should be banned from the face of the earth.

    Thanks again Jeff.

  7. It is generally accepted that Israel is the West´s nuclear armed watchdog in the ME, protecting the West´s access to and control over the oil reserves in that region. Seems odd, therefore, that JFK might oppose Israel getting nuclear weapons, almost as if he were out of the loop viz a viz the real, underlying foreign policy of the US, and of France and UK, both of whom contributed to Israel becoming a nuclear power.

  8. Like I have said Kennedy wanted no nukes for Israel. I would suppose that this “generally accepted theme” that Gwyn refers to was adopted AFTER JFK and RFK were murdered. And likely coined by likes of “Hank the Shank Kissinger”.
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    Israel had no nukes before JFK’s death and not enough of these horrible inventions before RFK died to make any regional watch dog deterrence viable. So I say “hog spit”, because this seems to be what this statement amounts to.

    This position seems very odd. Very odd considering the timing of events.

    Best check those dates again Gwyn.

    Like I keep saying more white washed revised history.

    I was born Jan 21 1949 at night but it wasn’t last night.

    PEACE

  9. By the way at 70 and very critical of the “Israel” this seems to be the first of ever heard of such a thing!

    Unless of course it has come from the mouth of Bibi!

  10. Gwyn Williams, I may have misread the intent of our post here. I’d like to ask a couple of questions and make another comment.

    I’m somewhat perplexed by the nature of your comments. What you describe as being generally accepted is a distinctly Israeli opinion that is fostered by those who have an agenda of supporting Israel regardless. A requital method of justifying that Israel has these weapons because the U.S. needed Israel to have them.

    There is nothing further from the truth.

    Your description “vis a vis” ? Was JFK out of the loop? Only because those who grew to hate him because of his conflict with the military leaders, war hardened hawks with PTSD who hijacked the presidency, just as the Dulles Brother and company hijacked the and altered the mission of CIA.

    There is nothing further form the truth.

    In fact what you describe is MOTIVE for the killing of JFK. Period.

    I am somewhat familiar with the earliest days of CIA and CIA was created in the vision Robert Blum John Foster and Allen Dulles who desired the CIA be funded by trusts sponsored by the super wealthy elitist, “SWETS” I call them.

    So you see Gwyn all those implicated so far are in serious conflict with the U.S. Constitution. No matter how the corrupt Department of Justice sees it.

    So I see you currently as one of three things. Someone who has a story they may want to tell everyone, someone who is a rabid Israeli Government supporter or someone who is completely delusional.

    Nuff said.

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