In March, 1992, Illinois Representative Paul Findley said in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, "It is interesting - but not surprising - to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been
Considering that the Mossad is quite possibly the most efficient intelligence agency in the world, it is peculiar that they have never been scrutinized in relation to the Kennedy
assassination, especially when practically every other entity in the world (short of Elvis impersonators) has been implicated. But that all changed in January, 1994 with the release of
Michael Collins Piper's "Final Judgment". In this book, Piper says, "Israel's Mossad was a primary (and critical) behind the scenes player in the conspiracy that ended the life of JFK. Through its own vast resources and through its international contacts in the intelligence community and in organized crime, Israel had the means, it had the opportunity, and it had the motive to play a major frontline role in the crime of the century - and it did."
Their motive? Israel's much touted Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who ruled that country from its inception in 1948 until he resigned on June 16, 1963, was enraged at John F.
Kennedy for not allowing Israel to become a nuclear power
Ben-Gurion was so convinced that Israel's very survival was in dire jeopardy that in one of his final letters to JFK he said, "Mr. President, my people have the right to exist, and this existence
is in danger."
In the days leading up to Ben-Gurion's resignation from office, he and JFK had been involved in an unpublicized, contentious debate over the possibility of Israel getting nuclear capabilities.
Their disagreement eventually escalated into a full-fledged war of words that was virtually ignored in the press. Ethan Bronner wrote about this secret battle between JFK and Ben-Gurion
years later in a New York Times article on October 31, 1998, calling it a "fiercely hidden subject."
In fact, the Kennedy/Ben-Gurion conversations are still classified by the United States Government. Maybe this is the case because Ben-Gurion's rage and frustration became so
intense - and his power so great within Israel.
New York banker Abe Feinberg, who describes the situation as such: "Ben-Gurion could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man [Joe Kennedy, Sr., JFK's father]." Ben-Gurion despised Joe Kennedy because he felt that not only was he an anti-Semite, but that he had also sided with Hitler during the 1930's and 40's. [We will touch upon this aspect of the story in an upcoming article entitled The CIA
and Organized Crime: Two Sides of the Same Coin].
Anyway, Ben-Gurion was convinced that Israel needed nuclear weapons to insure its survival, while Kennedy was dead-set against it.
This inability to reach an agreement caused obvious problems.
One of them revolved around Kennedy's decision that he would make America his top priority in regard to foreign policy.
Kennedy planned to honor the 1950 Tripartite Declaration which said that the United States would retaliate against any nation in the Middle East that attacked any other country. Ben-Gurion, on the other hand, wanted the Kennedy Administration to sell them offensive weapons, particularly Hawk missiles.
The two leaders thus engaged in a brutal letter exchange, but Kennedy wouldn't budge. Ben-Gurion, obsessed by this issue, slipped into total paranoia, feeling that Kennedy's obstinance
was a blatant threat to the very existence of Israel as a nation. Piper writes, "Ben-Gurion had devoted a lifetime creating a Jewish State and guiding it into the world arena. And, in Ben-
Gurion's eyes, John F. Kennedy was an enemy of the Jewish people and his beloved state of Israel."
He continues, "The 'nuclear option' was not only at the very core of Ben-Gurion's personal world view, but the very foundation of Israel's national security policy."
Ben-Gurion was so preoccupied with obtaining nuclear weapons that on June 27, 1963, eleven days after resigning from office, he announced, "I do not know of any other nation whose neighbors declare that they wish to terminate it, and not only declare, but prepare for it by all means available to them. We must have no illusions that what is declared every day in Cairo, Damascus, and Iraq are just words. This is the thought that guides the Arab leaders ... I am confident ... that science is able to provide us with the weapons that will serve the peace and deter our enemies." 9ISRAEL GOT THE NUKES)
Avner Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, published by Columbia University Press, reinforces this sense of urgency by writing, "Imbued with lessons of the Holocaust, Ben-Gurion was consumed by fears of security ... Anxiety about the Holocaust reached beyond Ben-Gurion to infuse Israel's military thinking." He further adds fuel to this point by pointing out, "Ben-Gurion had no qualms about Israel's need for weapons of mass destruction," and "Ben-Gurion's world view and his decisive governing style shaped his critical role in instigating Israel's nuclear progress."
Kennedy, on the other hand, was adamant in his refusal to promote Israel's ascension to the nuclear stage.
Avener Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, stresses, "No American president was more concerned with the danger of nuclear proliferation than John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was
convinced that the spread of nuclear weapons would make the world more dangerous and undermine U.S. interests."
Cohen continues at the end of this passage, "The only example Kennedy used to make this point was Israel."
Realizing that Kennedy would not change his mind, Ben-Gurion decided to join forces with Communist China.
Both countries were greatly interested in creating nuclear programs, and so began their secret joint dealings.
Working in unison through intermediary Shaul Eisenberg, who
was a weapons merchant and accountant Tibor Rosenbaum, Israel and China proceeded to develop their own nuclear capabilities without the knowledge of the United States.
(Read Gordon Thomas' book, "Seeds of Fire", where he exposes how Mossad and CSIS (Chinese secret service) have conspired on many occasions to not only steal American military secrets, but to also doctor U.S. intelligence programs such as the Justice Department's PROMISE software. This instance, I am afraid to say, is but the first where echoes of the JFK assassination can still be felt today reverberating through our post 9-11 world.
The danger of Israel developing the Bomb in unison with China became a highly volatile situation, and was closely monitored by the CIA.
Intent on pursuing this path, the Israeli's constructed a nuclear facility at Dimona.
When Kennedy demanded that the U.S. inspect this plant, Ben-Gurion was so incensed that he erected another PHONY facility that held no evidence of nuclear research and development.
(Does this scenario sound eerily familiar to the game we played with Saddam Hussein in Iraq ?)
JFK told Charles Bartlett, "The sons of bitches lie to me constantly about their nuclear capability."
Avner Cohen, in "Israel and the Bomb", reiterates this claim by saying that Ben-Gurion had taken the nuclear issue so closely to heart that he, "concluded that he could not tell the truth about Dimona to American leaders, not even in private."
Dr. Gerald M. Steinberg, political science professor at Bar-Ilan University's BESA Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, weighs in by saying, "Between 1961 and 1963, the Kennedy
administration placed a great deal of pressure on Ben-Gurion in the effort to pressure for acceptance of international inspection of Dimona and Israeli abdication of their nuclear
weapons. This pressure apparently did not alter Israeli policy, but it was a contributing factor to Ben-Gurion's resignation in 1963."
To convey how serious this situation had become in modern terms, look at what happened in Iraq with United Nations security teams inspecting the royal palaces and bunkers for nuclear weapons and materials. This matter is so urgent that it pretexted our nation was into war.
Forty years earlier, the heat that JFK was placing on Ben-Gurion was equally as strong as what George Bush laid on Saddam Hussein.
In "Israel and the Bomb", Avner Cohen reinforces this point. "To force Ben-Gurion to accept the conditions, Kennedy exerted the most useful leverage available to an American president in dealing with Israel: a threat that an unsatisfactory solution would jeopardize the U.S. government's commitment to, and support of, Israel."
The pressure on Ben-Gurion was so immense that he ended up leaving office. But Kennedy, in didn't let up on Ben-Gurion's successor, Levi Eshkol, as Avner Cohen reports.
"Kennedy told Eshkol that the U.S. commitment and support of Israel 'could be seriously jeopardized' if Israel did not let the U.S. obtain 'reliable information' about its efforts in the
Kennedy's demands were unprecedented. They amounted, in effect, to an ultimatum." Cohen concludes this thought by asserting, "Kennedy's letter precipitated a near-
crisis situation in Eshkol's office."
In the end, as we're all aware, Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963; but less known is that China conducted its first nuclear test in October, 1964.
What makes this event more profound is Piper's claim that even though Israel said its first nuclear tests took place in 1979, they actually occurred in October, 1964 along with the Chinese!
If this is true, other than August, 1945 when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, October 1964 may possibly be the most dangerous month in 20th century history.
Let's return, though, to JFK and the direct results of it in regard to theAmerican foreign policy, and the militarization of Israel. To understand how powerful the Israeli lobby is in this country, venerable Senator J. William Fulbright told "CBS Face the Nation" on April 15, 1973, "The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. - somewhere around 80% - is completely in support of
Israel; anything Israel wants; Israel gets. This has been demonstrated time and again, and this
has made [foreign policy] difficult for our government."
Adding clout to this argument is Rep. Paul Findley, who was quoted in The
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in March, 1992, "During John Kennedy's campaign for the presidency,
he provided only limited support of Israel."
To understand how important Kennedy's decisions were during his short-lived presidency, we need to look at the issue of campaign finance. Considering how influential lobbyists are in
the U.S. Senate (hearkening back to the words of Senator Fulbright), they had to have been enraged when President Kennedy genuinely wanted to cut the knees out from under the current campaign finance methods because it made politicians so reliant upon the huge cash inlays of special-interest groups. Regrettably, Kennedy did not have the time to implement this program, and to this day our political system is still monopolized by lobbyists from the very same special-
interest groups. One can only imagine what changes would have occurred in regard to our foreign policy had Kennedy eradicated these vipers and blood-suckers from the halls of
Tragically, Kennedy's ideas never came to fruition, and his heated battle with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion over whether Israel should be allowed to develop a nuclear program was ultimately lost.
The reason why is that Lyndon Baines Johnson, who Kennedy intended to drop from his ticket in 1964 due to his extreme dislike for, had a complete reversal in foreign policy. As you
will see, not only did Israel's nuclear program move ahead unchecked; they also became the primary beneficiary of our foreign aid.
But this absolute turnaround would not have occurred if Kennedy would not have been assassinated.
Up until LBJ became president, Kennedy dealt with the Middle East in a way that most benefited the U.S. His primary goal - and one which would most keep the peace - was a
balance of power in the Middle East so that each and every nation would be secure. This decision adhered to the Tripartite Declaration which the U.S. signed in 1950. But under the
Johnson administration, this fragile balance was overturned, and by 1967 - only four years after Kennedy's assassination - the U.S. was Israel's main weapons supplier, .
As Michael Collins Piper writes: "The bottom line is this: JFK was adamantly determined to stop Israel from building the nuclear bomb. LBJ simply looked the other way. JFK's death proved beneficial to Israel's nuclear ambitions ."
Reuven Pedatzer, in a review of Avner Cohen's "Israel and the Bomb", in the Israeli Newspaper "Ha'aretz" on February 5, 1999 wrote, "The murder of American president John F. Kennedy brought to an abrupt end the massive pressure being applied by the U.S. administration on the government of Israel to discontinue their nuclear program."
He continues, "Kennedy made it quite clear to the Israeli Prime Minister that he would not under any circumstances agree to
Israel becoming a nuclear state." Pedatzer concludes, "Had Kennedy remained alive, it is doubtful whether Israel would today have a nuclear option," and that, "Ben-Gurion's decision to resign in 1963 was taken to a large extent against the background of the tremendous pressure that Kennedy was applying on him concerning the nuclear issue."
In Kennedy's last fiscal budget year of 1964, Israeli aid was $40 million.
In LBJ's first budget of 1965, it soared to $71 million, and in
1966 more than tripled from two years earlier to $130 million! Plus, during Kennedy's administration, almost none of our aid to Israel was military in nature. Instead, it was split equally between development loans and food assistance under the PL480 Program. Yet in 1965 under the Johnson administration, 20% of our aid to Israel was for the military, while in 1966, 71% was used for war-related materials.
Continuing in this same vein, in 1963 the Kennedy administration sold 5 Hawk missiles to Israel as part of an air-defense system.
In 1965-66, though, LBJ laid 250 tanks on Israel, 48 Skyhawk
attack aircrafts, plus guns and artillery which were all offensive in nature. If you ever wondered when the Israeli War Machine was created, this is it! LBJ.
According to Stephen Green in "Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel",
"The $92 million in military assistance provided in fiscal year 1966 was greater than the total of all official military aid provided to Israel cumulatively in all the years going back to the foundation of that nation in 1948."
Green continues, "70% of all U.S. official assistance to Israel has been military. America has given Israel over $17 billion in military aid since 1946, virtually all of which - over 99% - has
been provided since 1965."
Within two years, Israel went from being a member of the volatile Middle Eastern community that was not
allowed to develop nuclear weapons to one that was well on its way to becoming a undeniable military force on the world stage.
Or, as Seymour Hersh wrote in The Samson Option, "By 1968, the president had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb."
The result of this shift in focus from the Kennedy to Johnson administration is, in my opinion,
the PRIMARY reason behind our current troubles in the Middle East which culminated in the 9-11 attacks and our upcoming war with Iraq (and beyond). I have a great deal of confidence in this statement, for as Michael Collins Piper points out, here are the results of John F. Kennedy's assassination:
1) Our foreign and military aid to Israel increased dramatically once LBJ became president.
2) Rather than trying to maintain a balance in the Middle East, Israel suddenly emerged as the dominant force.
3) Since the LBJ administration, Israel has always had weaponry that was superior to any of its
4) Due to this undeniable and obvious increase in Israel's War Machine, a constant struggle has been perpetuated in the Middle East.
5) LBJ also allowed Israel to proceed with its nuclear development, resulting in them becoming the 6th largest nuclear force in the world.
6) Finally, our huge outlays of foreign aid to Israel (approximately $10 billion/year when all is
said and done) has created a situation of never-ending attacks and retaliation in the Middle East, plus outright scorn and enmity against the U.S. for providing Israel's military assistance
In Israel's, and especially David Ben-Gurion's eyes then, what were their alternatives
"Israel's War Machine, JFK's Assassination, and the Atomic Bomb: An Overvew of Michael Collins Piper's 'Final Judgment' "by Victor Thorn (deceased)