October 1, 1998
The Wisdom Fund

Should U.S. Bomb Israel's Chemical, Biological Plant?

by Enver Masud

WASHINGTON, DC -- Should the United States bomb Israel's top-secret chemical, biological plant south of Tel Aviv?

The Times of London has reported (Sep. 25) the existence of a "shadowy biological institute situated in the growing suburban community of Nes Ziona . . . believed by many foreign diplomats to be one of the most advanced germ warfare institutions in the Middle East."

Today, the Associated Press reported that an "Israeli cargo jet that crashed in Amsterdam six years ago was carrying chemicals used to produce the deadly sarin nerve gas." According to reports Wednesday in a Dutch newspaper, the respected national daily NRC Handelsblad, the El Al plane was carrying 50 gallons of the chemical dimethyl methylphosphonate from "an American company in Pennsylvania and was headed for the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona near Tel Aviv." Hundreds of residents in the neighborhood surrounding the crash site are suffering health problems say Dutch newspapers.

Last year, on September 25, Israeli agents in Jordan attempted to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself directed the effort, and a chemical or biological agent was used in the attempt to poison Meshal.

"Israel has repeatedly accused Arab and Islamic countries hostile to it of manufacturing such weapons on a large scale," said the Times (Sep. 25), "but has never admitted possessing biological or chemical weapons, just as it has never owned up to a nuclear capability, although it is an open secret that the country has at least 200 nuclear warheads."

At the urging of Israel's friends in Washington, on August 20 this year, the U.S. launched cruise missiles at the Al Shifa pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan. Described by senior national security advisers as a secret chemical weapons factory, plant designer Henry R. Jobe from the U.S., British technical manager Tom Carnaffin, who supervised construction from 1992-96, and Jordanian engineer Mohammed Abul Waheed, who supervised plant production in 1997, have all testified that it would have been impossible for this plant to have produced chemical weapons. "State Department and C.I.A. officials argue," reported The New York Times (Sep 21), "that the government cannot justify its actions."

Should the U.S. bomb Israel's top-secret chemical, biological plant? If you want to get re-elected in the U.S., don't even think about it. Israel isn't the Sudan.

Israel's Secret Weapon, BBC Correspondent, March 17, 2003

["ISRAELI assault aircraft have been equipped to carry chemical and biological weapons manufactured . . . at the Institute for Biological Research in a suburb of Nes Ziona 12 miles southeast of Tel Aviv." - Uzi Mahnaimi, "Israeli jets equipped for chemical warfare," The Sunday Times, October 4, 1998]

Gerald Kaufman, "Why not invade Israel?," The Spectator, November 22, 2003

back button