An exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked U.S. efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor.
By AVNER COHEN and WILLIAM BURR, April 15, 2015
For decades, the world has known that the massive Israeli facility near Dimona, in the Negev Desert, was the key to its secret nuclear project. Yet, for decades, the world—and Israel—knew that Israel had once misleadingly referred to it as a “textile factory.” Until now, though, we’ve never known how that myth began—and how quickly the United States saw through it. The answers, as it turns out, are part of a fascinating tale that played out in the closing weeks of the Eisenhower administration—a story that begins with the father of Secretary of State John Kerry and a familiar charge that the U.S. intelligence community failed to “connect the dots.
Avner Cohen is a professor of nonproliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and the author ofIsrael and the Bomb.
William Burr is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive, George Washington University, where he directs the Archive’s Nuclear Documentation Project and edits its special Web page, The Nuclear Vault.