Peres Was No Saint in His Earlier Years

Peres Was No Saint in His Earlier Years

World leaders rushed to Jerusalem to pay their last respects to former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who died at the age of 93. American President Barack Obama eulogized Peres with the following soliloquy about his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate: «I would be the 10th U.S. President since John F. Kennedy to sit down with Shimon; the 10th to fall prey to his charms».

In fact, for most of his time as an Israeli government official, Peres was not so much a charmer but a ruthless procurer of advanced weapons for Israel, first for the Haganah Zionist army in Palestine and then for its successor, the Israel Defense Force. Peres was also instrumental in Israel obtaining, by hook or by crook, material for nuclear weapons development. Peres, as the head of Israel’s military procurement office in the United States during the 1950s, was at the vanguard of Israel’s super-secret nuclear weapons program.

Contrary to what Obama said at Peres’s funeral, President Kennedy did not fall prey to Peres’s «charms» but considered both Peres and his mentor, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, to be hiding the true nature of Israel’s so-called «peaceful purposes» nuclear reactor at Dimona in the Negev Desert. Previously, President Dwight Eisenhower was not buying Israeli explanations about the role of the Dimona facility. In 1960, when Eisenhower asked the Israelis about the purpose of the Dimona facility, they lied to the U.S. president and claimed it was a textile factory. U.S. spy plane photographs of the facility told Eisenhower a much different story.

After Kennedy became president in January 1961, U.S.-Israeli relations went into a deep freeze over Israel’s and Peres’s aggressive operations to obtain nuclear weaponry. Kennedy refused to permit Ben Gurion to visit the White House as long as Israel was lying about its nuclear weapons goals. On May 18, 1963, Kennedy had enough and fired off a letter to Ben Gurion, which stated:

«I am sure you will agree that there is no more urgent business for the whole world than the control of nuclear weapons... The dangers in the proliferation of national nuclear weapons systems are so obvious that I am sure I need not repeat them here. We are concerned with the disturbing effects on world stability which would accompany the development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel. I cannot imagine that the Arabs would refrain from turning to the Soviet Union for assistance if Israel were to develop a nuclear weapons capability - with all the consequences this would hold. But the problem is much larger than its impact on the Middle East. Development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel would almost certainly lead other larger countries, that have so far refrained from such development, to feel that they must follow suit... I can well appreciate your concern for developments in the UAR. But I see no present or imminent nuclear threat to Israel from there. I am assured that our intelligence on this question is good and that the Egyptians do not presently have any installation comparable to Dimona, nor any facilities potentially capable of nuclear weapons production».

Kennedy demanded that American nuclear inspectors be given access to Dimona. The Israelis, including Ben Gurion, Defense Minister Levi Eshkol, and Deputy Defense Minister Peres, refused to comply with Kennedy’s demand. The major difference between Peres and his accomplices and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was constantly demonized by Israel, is that Saddam eventually complied with nuclear inspection demands.

After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, the new American President, Lyndon Johnson, turned on the U.S. nuclear spigot to Israel. Weapons-grade uranium and plutonium, as well as nuclear technology, covertly flowed to Israel and Dimona.

In eulogizing Peres, Obama, who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his efforts to control nuclear proliferation, paid homage to one of the arch-nuclear proliferators of the 20th century.

Peres was also instrumental in crafting a deal with the French Fourth Republic in 1956 that saw France provide the technology for the Israeli nuclear power plant at Dimona and an associated underground reprocessing plant that produced weapons-grade plutonium. Upon the advent of the Fifth French Republic, President Charles de Gaulle discovered the perfidy of Israel’s «peaceful» nuclear program and ordered French assistance to Dimona halted. Peres worked around the Americans and French and obtained Israel’s heavy water, a requirement for nuclear weapons, from Norway.

As a member of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Golda Meir, Peres successfully resisted efforts by the Richard Nixon administration for Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nixon, who knew Israel possessed some 200 nuclear weapons, was rebuffed by the Israelis.

Unlike the United States, which dispatched Obama and former President Bill Clinton to represent the United States at Peres’s funeral, Israel showed its displeasure with the American presidents who resisted Israel’s nuclear ambitions by sending low-level representatives to the funerals of Eisenhower and Nixon, and sending the figurehead and quite powerless Israeli state president to Kennedy’s funeral.

Peres also dabbled in Mossad operations, often at the expense of Israel’s so-called «allies». In January 19796, Israeli Mossad agents renditioned from Naironi, Kenya two West German citizens, Brigitte Schulz and Thomas Reuter, to Israel. Since there was no Kenyan-Israeli extradition treaty, the renditioning of Schulz and Reuter to stand trial in a secret Israeli military court was a clear violation of international, as well as Kenyan and West German laws.

The West Germans, along with three Palestinians also abducted in Kenya, were held incommunicado in an Israeli prison for four months and ruthlessly interrogated and tortured by Israeli Shin Beth agents. Without any evidence, the Germans and Palestinians were charged with attempting to shoot down an El Al passenger plane. Israel only permitted a West German embassy observer from Tel Aviv to witness the Germans’ trial. An attorney retained by the families of the Germans was not permitted to attend the trial. Then-Defense Minister Peres signed «cover documents» that prohibited Schulz and Reuter from testifying in their own defense or disclosing the details of their abduction from Nairobi and interrogation in Israel.

After it became clear that Israel had no evidence to convict either the West Germans or the Palestinians on the trumped up charges of terrorism, Israel attempted to force all five to confess to «conspiracy» to commit terrorism. This was rejected as blackmail by Israel. In September 1979, Schulz and Reuter were sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, the two West Germans agreed in a secret agreement to plead guilty to «anti-Israeli activities» in return for all other charges being dropped. Israel agreed to release Schulz and Reuter in early 1981. Nothing was ever heard about the fate of the Palestinians.

Based on a finding by Peres in 1976, U.S. citizen Terre Fleener, a former flight attendant for Kuwait Airways, was arrested upon entering Israel in 1977. The charge was espionage for taking photographs of beaches, ships, and hotels during a 1976 visit to Israel. The Israelis maintained that Fleener used a high-grade espionage camera to case targets for Palestinian terrorist attacks. The espionage camera was a Kodak Instamatic camera. Like Schulz and Reuter, Fleener was tortured and ruthlessly interrogated. She was forced to plead guilty to espionage in return for a «lenient» five-year prison sentence. During the late 1970s, the «Peres Treatment» was also meted out to a Cypriot journalist and a Dutch human rights worker. The latter, Gerd Dessen, was kidnapped on the high seas between Cyprus and Lebanon.

So, when Obama, Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, German President Joachim Gauck, French President Francois Hollande, and other world leaders paid their last respects to Peres, they were also honoring a nuclear proliferator; an international kidnapper and facilitator of the torture of Americans, Germans, and Palestinians; and an arch-deceiver of three American presidents, one French president, and a few Norwegian prime ministers about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. This actual history of Peres appears to have been «lost» in all the eulogies and biographical news sketches that flooded the media.

Tags: Israel