26 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly Review
Amy Goodman: As nuclear nonproliferation talks at the United Nations focus on the Middle East this week, we turn to new revelations about Israel’s nuclear weapons program and its close alliance with apartheid South Africa.
Israeli President Shimon Peres has denied reports that he offered to sell nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa when he was defense minister in the ’70s. On Sunday, the Guardian newspaper of London published top-secret South African documents revealing that a secret meeting between then-defense minister Shimon Peres and his South African counterpart, P.W. Botha, ended with an offer by Peres for the sale of warheads, quote, “in three sizes.” The documents provide the first official written evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons, despite its policy of “ambiguity” in neither confirming nor denying their existence.
But the Israeli president’s office has categorically rejected the accusations in the report and released a statement saying, quote, “Israel has never negotiated the exchange of nuclear weapons with South Africa. There exists no Israeli document or Israeli signature on a document that such negotiations took place.”
Well, the documents published in the Guardian were first uncovered by senior editor at Foreign Affairs, Sasha Polakow-Suransky. He went through 7,000 pages of never-before-seen classified South African documents while researching his new book The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa.
For more on this story, we’re joined by Sasha himself. Sasha Polakow-Suransky joins us here.
Welcome to Democracy Now!
Sasha Polakow-Suransky: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Amy Goodman: Talk about these documents.
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