4 thoughts on “IDF Censors Haaretz from Naming Author, Title of Book Portraying 1967 “Nuclear Putsch” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. @ Anya: Either he didn’t know about this, or it wasn’t in his interest to expose such shocking tragedies. Remember, he was a radiation inspector. If hundreds died of radiation poisoning it would at least partially have been his fault. He had no motive to take responsibility for any such matters. He considers himself a witness to history, not so much an actor in history.

      1. Nuclear accidents in Dimona did not “poison hundreds of workers”. In a small country like Israel it would not be possible to hide mass poisoning of this scale – I doubt that it would be possible even in a country as large as the US. Anya might refer to the claims that working in Dimona may have caused a larger number of cancer cases than would be expected for a population of the same size; these claims do not need Hertz’s book to be aired, they are being heard in a civil suit in Israeli court.

        As for the amount of responsibility that can be expected from Israeli leadership, I think that the examples do not support your claim. In these two examples Israel faced a (perceived, at least) direct national existential threat. In both cases politicians proposed a nuclear demonstration (not an attack!) in order to prevent or stop a war, and in both cases the proposals weren’t even considered seriously. In my view this is quite level-headed; much better, if you ask me, than America’s decision to bomb Nagasaki.

        1. @ Micha: Welcome to the new hasbara team assigned to our little nook of the blogosphere. I hope you had a good trip from Ben Gurion.

          I doubt very much you are a medical doctor or oncologist, so it’s unlikely you know what you’re talking about. Cancer caused by radiation exposure is not a “poisoning” in the common sense. It doesn’t happen immediately unless the dose is immediately lethal. Effects can manifest years or decades later. The actual incidence of cancer among workers & ex-workers is quite high. But the government refuses to reveal such records to the public. So there’s no possibility of knowing with scientific certainty what’s going on. But what is certain is that there have been numerous accidents, numerous radiation leakages, & poisoning of the nearby water supply by nuclear runoff. And that these accidents have had a significant negative impact on health.

          As for national responsibility: facing a security threat does not excuse crimes committed in the name of national security. It has nothing to do with whether a state takes responsibility for the crimes committed against its citizens by representatives of the state. Besides, there is no proof that the nation needed to engage in these activities in order to guarantee its security. THis was a choice the nation’s leadership made. It didn’t bargain on the impact which the decision would have on citizens involved in the “experiment.”

          Further, exploding a nuclear weapon is no different whether you drop it during war or as a demonstration to prevent war. Intent has nothing to do with it. Impact is what matters. Any nuclear explosion will kill people. It’s just a question of how many. Even a demonstration explosion will kill people for many miles in every direction, including the radiation blown hundreds or thousands miles away.

          There is no good justification for American dropping the Bomb on Nagasaki. But there is even less justification for Israel exploding one.

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