Declassified Documents Reveal Origins of Israel’s Nuclear Program
How did Israel conceal its nuclear ambitions at the height of the Cold War? What critical assistance did France and Norway provide to its clandestine nuclear program? When did word first leak to American officials, and what role did current Secretary of State John Kerry’s father play in the ensuing drama?
These questions and more were answered by the online publication this week of a new collection of formerly classified documents by the National Security Archive at George Washington University—materials that were curated and prepared for release by Professor Avner Cohen of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Prof. Cohen is the author of Israel and the Bomb (1998) and The Worst Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb (2010), and one of the world’s leading authorities on Israel’s nuclear program.
Release of the new materials, coming the midst of continuing international efforts to reduce nuclear tensions between rivals Israel and Iran, received significant media attention. A major story in Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, focused on how Israel’s nuclear program was concealed from the United States. Meanwhile, Politico ran a piece co-authored by Prof. Cohen and National Security Archive Senior Analyst William Burr that details the revelations found in the materials.
Dr. Cohen is a professor in the Institute’s Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program, as well as a senior fellow at the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
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