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POTUS : JFK : Assassinated : Isreal : Nuclear Dimona : PM : Levi Eshkol born




JFK and Israel : Nuclear Dimona


US National Security Archive


The Battle of the Letters, 1963: John F. Kennedy, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, and the U.S. Inspections of Dimona


Kennedy Warned Israeli Leaders in 1963 That U.S. “Commitment and Support” Could be “Seriously Jeopardized” Absent Inspection of Dimona Reactor

U.S. Intelligence Estimated That by Mid-1960s Dimona Could Produce Enough Plutonium For “One or Two Weapons A Year”


Washington D.C., May 2, 2019


During 1963, President John F. Kennedy was preoccupied with issues such as Vietnam, the nuclear test ban negotiations, civil rights protests, and Cuba.


It is less well known, however, that one of his most abiding concerns was whether and how fast Israel was seeking a nuclear weapons capability and what the U.S. should do about it.


Beginning in April 1963, Kennedy insisted that the Israeli leadership accept regular bi-annual U.S. inspections, or in diplomatic language, “visits,” of Israel’s nuclear complex at Dimona in the Negev Desert.


Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his successor, Levi Eshkol, tried to evade and avoid inspections, but Kennedy applied unprecedented pressure, informing them bluntly, in a near ultimatum tone, that Washington’s “commitment to and support of Israel “could be “seriously jeopardized” if it was thought that the U.S. government could not obtain “reliable information” on the Dimona reactor and Israel’s nuclear intentions.


The full exchange of letters and related communications between Kennedy, Ben-Gurion, and Eshkol, published for the first time today by the National Security Archive, illustrates both Kennedy’s tenacity and Israeli leaders’ recalcitrance on the matter of Dimona. Surprised by the U.S.’s firm demands, Eshkol took seven weeks, involving tense internal consultations, before he reluctantly assented. Retreating from a near-diplomatic crisis, both sides treated their communications on Dimona with great secrecy.


Today’s posting of declassified documents from the U.S. National Archives system, including presidential libraries, provides a behind-the-scene look at the decision-making and intelligence review process that informed Kennedy’s pressure on Israeli prime ministers during 1963.



By early April Kennedy and his advisers translated their concerns about Dimona into a quiet but affirmative policy demand: they insisted that Israel accept regular bi-annual U.S. inspections (or “visits,” as they were referred to in more diplomatic language), of Dimona. Initially, Kennedy applied the pressure through diplomatic messages. On 2 April, Ambassador to Israel Walworth Barbour presented to Ben-Gurion the U.S. request for semi-annual American visits; two days later, Israeli Ambassador Avraham Harman was summoned to the State Department for a similar message.


Ben-Gurion was expected to respond to Kennedy’s request on Dimona during his next meeting with Barbour, but he was not ready for a direct showdown with a determined U.S. president. Nor was he ready to accept Kennedy’s goal of semi-annual visits; that would have ended Dimona as the embodiment of Ben-Gurion’s existential insurance policy. Instead, he tried to avoid a confrontation by diverting Kennedy’s attention.


On 17 April 1963, an opportunity arose for doing so: Egypt, Syria, and Iraq signed the Arab Federation Proclamation, calling for a military union to bring about “the liberation of Palestine.” Such rhetoric was not new at the time, but Ben-Gurion used it to start an exchange with President Kennedy about Israel’s overall security predicament, while evading Kennedy’s specific Dimona request. Whether Ben-Gurion genuinely saw the Arab Federation Proclamation as an existential threat to Israel is unclear, but it tacitly justified Israel’s efforts to create a last resort option without the outright rejection of Kennedy’s request.


Ben-Gurion’s focus on a threat posed by the Arab Federation Proclamation vis-a-vis Kennedy’s focus on the danger of the Israeli nuclear project generated a remarkably discordant exchange of letters and personal oral messages between the two leaders throughout the spring of 1963. Ben-Gurion invoked the specter of “another Holocaust,” and insisted on Israel’s need to receive external security guarantees. But such an arrangement was not in the cards because Kennedy believed that so clear a sign of favoritism toward Israel would undermine U.S. relations with the Arab states.


Kennedy did not budge on Dimona and he was determined not to let Ben-Gurion change the conversation. He dismissed the prime minister’s alarm over the Arab Federation Proclamation as both nothing new and practically meaningless, and insisted that the real danger to the region was the introduction of advanced offensive systems, especially nuclear weapons. To address this concern Kennedy was willing to explore an arms control scheme that would cover both Israel and Egypt. It was evident, however, that his prime focus was halting the Israeli nuclear program.


In retrospect, this exchange amounted to a confrontation between the president of the United States and the prime ministers of Israel over the future of the Israeli nuclear program. The peak of that confrontation was Kennedy’s 15 June letter that Ambassador Barbour was supposed to deliver to Ben-Gurion the next day. The letter included detailed technical conditions under which Kennedy insisted that the biannual U.S. visits were to be conducted. The letter was akin to an ultimatum: if the U.S. government could not obtain “reliable information” on the state of the Dimona project, Washington’s “commitment to and support of Israel “could be “seriously jeopardized.” But the letter was never delivered to Ben-Gurion because on that day he stunned his country and the world by announcing his resignation.


Ambassador Barbour, who was prepared to deliver the letter, notified the State Department and asked for instructions. He recommended postponing delivery until the “cabinet problem is sorted out” and then addressing the letter to the next prime minister, a recommendation that Kennedy and his advisers followed.


On 5 July, less than ten days after Levi Eshkol became prime minister, Barbour delivered a 3-page letter to him from Kennedy. It was virtually the same as the 15 June letter to Ben-Gurion, accompanied with a few congratulatory lines to the new leader. Not since President Dwight Eisenhower's message to Ben Gurion, during the Suez crisis in November 1956, had an American president been so blunt with an Israeli prime minister. The specific demands that were presented to Ben-Gurion on how the U.S. inspection visits to Dimona should be executed remained word-for-word in the new letter. Many of Eshkol’s advisors saw the letter as a real ultimatum, a crisis in the making.


Surprised by Kennedy’s tough demands on Dimona just days after taking office, Eshkol’s first response was to ask for more time for consultations. Only on 19 August, more than six weeks after he received the letter, did Eshkol come up with a response, which at times was vague. Under Kennedy’s pressure, Eshkol reluctantly assented, in principle, to allow regular visits by U.S. scientists to Dimona. Nevertheless, he did not agree to an early visit and avoided making a commitment to the bi-annual U.S. inspections that Kennedy sought.


The confrontation by letter between President Kennedy and two Israeli prime ministers resulted in a series of six annual U.S. inspections of the Dimona complex (1964-69), until President Richard Nixon ended them. (The first inspection in January 1964 may have been delayed because of Kennedy’s assassination.) While Lyndon Johnson was less eager to take the Israelis to task, he was concerned about nuclear proliferation and supported the inspections. Nevertheless, the Israelis made their nuclear weapons breakthrough during the 1960s regardless of the inspections, which evidently had little prohibitive or deterrent impact.





See also :


US National Security Archive

Concerned About Nuclear Weapons Potential, John F. Kennedy Pushed for Inspection of Israel Nuclear Facilities


Israel and the Bomb by Avner Cohen


Wikipedia : Nuclear weapons and Israel




Wikipedia : Levi Eshkol


Levi Eshkol born Levi Yitzhak Shkolnik ( 25 October 1895 – 26 February 1969 )


was an Israeli statesman who served as the third Prime Minister of Israel[3] from 1963 until his death from a heart attack in 1969.


A founder of the Israeli Labor Party, he served in numerous senior roles, including Minister of Defense (1963–1967) and Minister of Finance (1952–1963).




Wikipedia : Assassination of John F. Kennedy


John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza.[1]




Event Relationship 1 :



From Israel : PM : Levi Eshkol born on October 25, 1895


to POTUS John F Kennedy assassinated on November 22, 1963 is :



INClusive =



= 24865 days



= 4973 + 4973 + 4973 + 4973 + 4973 days



= P666 + P666 + P666 + P666 + P666 days



> 666 x5



Note :


4973 is the 666 th Prime Number = P( 666 ) = P666


See also : Prime Sequence Numbers or Prime Ordinals




Event Relationship 2 :



From Israel : PM : Levi Eshkol born on October 25, 1895


to POTUS John F Kennedy assassinated on November 22, 1963 is :



Normal =



= 24864 days


= 28 x 888 days


= 3552 weeks


= 888 + 888 + 888 + 888 weeks



and / or ;


= 24864 days


= 3108 weeks, 3108 days


= 32 x 777 days


= 777 + 777 + 777 + 777 weeks

+ 777 + 777 + 777 + 777 days



and / or :


= 24864 days


= 3108 weeks, 3108 days


= 56 x 444 days


= 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 weeks

+ 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 + 444 days



A kabbalistic full house ...