Nuke Weapon News on Israeli T.V.

Chipping away at some of the secrecy surrounding Israel's nuclear weapons, both a documentary and special report aired in recent months on Israeli television.

In early November, a documentary titled "A Bomb in the Basement - Israel's Nuclear Option" marked the first time that Israeli television dealt with the taboo topic so openly and comprehensively. Usually censors don't allow such overt references to Israel's nuclear weapons in the media.

The 90 minute documentary puts together pieces of information that have been published before in other countries. It discusses France's role in Israel's nuclear development, and the pivotal involvement of Shimon Peres. A French Defense Ministry official says outright that Paris had decided that Israel should be supplied with a nuclear bomb. On January 18, Channel 2 broadcast a special report which revealed the deadly dangers of the Dimona nuclear reactor. The report, part of a weekly news summary that is watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers, focused on interviews with former Dimona workers. These workers spoke about occupational and environmental hazards related to the reactor.

Physicians who examined the former workers, as well as others who looked into the working conditions at Dimona, concluded that the workers had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, as well as to other harmful materials. Yet the ill employees, and the widows and orphans of those who have died, continue to be denied compensation for work-related injuries. The medical administration connected to the nuclear plant insists that none of the employees who developed various cancers and other illnesses were harmed by their work. Fraudulent and falsified documents underline the denial by officials that the workers were exposed to radiation at their jobs. The commentator of this special show warned, "This report will leave many citizens in this country sleepless."

Thanks to Rayna Moss for this news.