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PRESS RELEASE

The following release appears in the July 5, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


LaRouche: Denuclearize Mideast,
Sharon Threatens Global Nuclear War

by Jeffrey Steinberg

If there is one nation on this planet that deserves to be described and dealt with as a rogue state, armed with weapons of mass destruction and intent on using them, it is Israel, under the terror reign of war criminal Ariel Sharon.

If this was a matter of assertion or conjecture in the past, statements coming out of top Israeli officials in the past days have eliminated any cause for hesitation.

On June 26, the Israeli newspaper of record, Ha'aretz, cited two top Israeli space scientists, who declared that Israel now has the capacity to fire missiles at targets anywhere on earth. Prof. Moshe Gelman, head of the Asher Institute at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, boasted to Ha'aretz that "From the moment the State of Israel has the capability to launch a satellite into orbit around the earth at a height of hundreds of kilometers, it established [its] capability to launch, by means of a missile, a payload to any location on the face of the earth."

Dr. Gelman's words were seconded by Avi Har-Even, the director-general of the Israeli Space Agency (ISA), which recently launched the Ofek 5 satellite, who told Ha'aretz's Amnon Barzilai that the Ofek 5 launch had two strategic objectives: providing Israel with an independent spy satellite capability to monitor military activities in targeted countries throughout the entire Near East. "The second involves Israel's launch capabilities."

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche reacted strongly to the Israeli announcement about an ICBM capability. He characterized it as a direct threat by Ariel Sharon against any nation that attempts to interfere with Israel's mad drive for its "Greater Israel" permanent annexation of the West Bank and Gaza and the mass expulsion of the 3.5 million Palestinians living in those territories. "Israel is threatening global thermonuclear war," LaRouche warned, and this is unacceptable. He called upon the international community to immediately make the entire Mideast a "denuclearized zone," by forcing Israel to dismantle its nuclear weapons arsenal. LaRouche characterized the announcement of the Israeli ICBM capability as a "phase-change" in a global strategic situation, already driven to the brink of war by the onrushing financial collapse and the June 25 speech by President George W. Bush, which gave Sharon a defacto American "green light" to take any action against the Palestinians which he deems necessary.

NATO Officially Warned

The Israeli intent to use nuclear weapons was a topic of, at minimum, implicit discussion, at a June 26 Brussels behind-closed-doors meeting of NATO's North Atlantic Council, which was addressed by the current head of the Israeli Mossad, Ephraim Halevy. According to the June 27 Ha'aretz, Halevy reported to the NATO officials that Mossad is convinced that Iran is developing intermediate and long range missiles, and "weapons-grade nuclear capabilities," as well as VX gas and biological weapons. As Ha'aretz's Amir Oren reported, Halevy asserted that "Israel cannot spare any effort to foil, prevent or delay the attainment of weapons of mass destruction by countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya."

According to Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld, who wrote that "Sharon's Plan Is to Drive Palestinians Across the Jordan," the intent of the present Israeli government is to seize upon either a U.S. military attack on Iraq, aimed at overthrowing Saddam Hussein, or a serious terrorist incident inside Israel to launch a "mass transfer" of more than two million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, across the river into Jordan.

"Should such circumstances arise," Van Creveld wrote in the April 28, 2002 issue of Conrad Black's Sunday Telegraph, "then Israel would mobilise with lightening speed—even now, much of its male population is on standby."

He spelled out a precise order of battle for the "mass transfer," although he wrote of his own personal opposition to the Sharon scheme:

"First, the country's three ultra-modern submarines would take up firing positions out at sea. Borders would be closed, a news blackout imposed, and all foreign journalists rounded up and confined to a hotel as guests of the Government."

He continued, "A force of 12 divisions, 11 of them armoured, plus various territorial units suitable for occupation duties, would be deployed: five against Egypt, three against Syria, and one opposite Lebanon. This would leave three to face east as well as enough forces to put a tank inside every Arab-Israeli village just in case their populations get any funny ideas.

"The expulsion of the Palestinians would require only a few brigades. They would not drag people out of their houses but use heavy artillery to drive them out; the damage caused to Jenin would look like a pinprick in comparison."

Van Creveld estimated that none of the Arab states would respond militarily to the Israeli move, adding, "Should Saddam be mad enough to resort to weapons of mass destruction, then Israel's response would be so 'awesome and terrible' (as Yitzhak Shamir, the former Prime Minister once said) as to defy the imagination." There is no question that this was a direct reference to an Israeli use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.

He added, "Israeli military experts estimate that such a war could be over in just eight days."

Van Creveld concluded that only the United States could stop such an Israeli doomsday scenario from playing out, and right now, chances are slim to nil that America will step in to stop Israel, which is seen by Bush as a major ally in the "war on terrorism." After Bush's June 25 speech, copies of Van Creveld's article were taken from the files and studied, intensively, by many Arab military and intelligence commanders, according to a well-informed Egyptian source.

Deadly Arsenal

The scale of the Israeli nuclear weapons program is vast, and has now been qualitatively transformed, by Israel's acquisition of three German-made diesel powered submarines, which, according to a recent study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, are armed with nuclear warheads on Cruise missiles. Carnegie published a report early in June 2002, detailing the Israeli nuclear weapons program. That booklength report on global nuclear weapons proliferation, Deadly Arsenals—Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction, included a chapter on Israel's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons program.

The authors wrote, "Probably the most important nuclear-related development in Israel is the formation of its sea-based nuclear arm. By July 2000 Israel completed taking delivery of all three of the Dolphin-class submarines it had ordered at the Thyssen-Nordseewerke shipyard in Kiel, Germany. In doing so, it is widely believed, Israel moved significantly toward acquiring a survivable second-strike nuclear capability. All indications are that Israel is on the way to finalizing a restructuring of its nuclear forces into a triad, like the United States.

"Since the early 1980s (and probably even earlier) the Israeli navy (jointly with other governmental agencies) lobbied hard for the notion that Israel should build a small fleet of modern diesel submarines for 'strategic purposes,' an Israeli euphemism for a sea-launched nuclear capability.... It is also believed (but not confirmed) that the most sensitive aspect of the project, the cruise-missile technology that renders the diesel submarines nuclear-capable launching platforms, was developed and built in Israel.... According to one report in the London Sunday Times, by early 2000 Israel had carried out the first launching tests of its cruise missiles."

The Carnegie study concluded, "A fleet of three submarines is believed to be the minimum that Israel needs to have a deployment at sea of one nuclear-armed submarine at all times."

The fact that Israel has achieved a deployable nuclear triad was advertised in a June 15 report in the Washington Post, under the headline, "Israel Has Submarine-Based Atomic Arms Capability."