VANUNU MORDECHAI J.C.

Website exposes Israeli 'nuke secrets'
Leftist Israeli website claims to expose nuclear secrets published by foreign sources

Tal Rabinovsky
Ynet news 10 July 2008

Are Israel's nuke secrets available online? The Armageddon website claims to sport vast amounts of information about Israel's nuclear program and its manufacturing and storage facilities, as published by various foreign sources.

The site is the brainchild of a large group of Israeli intellectuals, journalists and philosophers affiliated with an Israeli group advocating a Middle East free of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons; the organization says Knesset Member Dov Khenin (Hadash) is among its supporters.

According to the website's owners, the site is registered on an Israeli domain and is hosted on Australian-based servers. Armageddon's owners claim to be the proprietors of a second domain – armagedonz.org – which they can use in case the Military Censor tries to take it of the air. The details of the second domain's owner are kept confidential – unlike those of the Israeli domain owner.

The group behind the website, backed by several organizations that oppose the distribution of weapons of mass destruction, decided that the topic of WMDs is not given its appropriate place in public debate and that its increasingly growing urgency in the Middle East calls for something to be done.

'Website not illegal'

According to the website, the venture is sponsored by British group CND – the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and found its Australian host with the assistance of Enzyme – a New-Zealand group that supports various progressive groups.

Gideon Spiro, a journalist and one of the site's contributing editors, told Ynet that "none of the information on the site is confidential, so we're not breaking the law. We simply think that when it comes to the nuclear program, the public was brainwashed by the government and doesn’t have any credible information."

MK Dov Khenin, rumored to be one of the site's supporters, denied Wednesday ever being approached by the site's editors: "I don't know the site so I can't relate to it… I'm an outspoken advocate for holding a debate on the nuclear (program) in both the political and public arenas. I believe that the longer these things get put off, the more difficult situation Israel may find itself in. I welcome any debate on the subject."

Israel, he added, has an honest interest in disarming the Middle East of any nuclear weapons. "One of our main needs is to demilitarize the region, Iran included… I think this should be one of the pivotal points in Israel's defense and foreign policy."

Spiro, on the other hand, is adamant about the fact the Khenin was indeed approached: "I spoke with him and got his consent to put his name on the site. Ideologically speaking, he opposes nuclear weapons, as does any environmentalist. The Hadash platform has a clause objecting to Israel having nuclear weapons. He must be committed to the idea."

Armageddon is not the only website detailing information about Israel's supposed nuclear capabilities: Surfing the internet for such information results in numerous websites that offer information about top secret units, tactical weapons and strategic measures held by Israel. The majority of information, however, is not available in Hebrew.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit offered the following response: "The Military Censor is familiar with the website and is in the process of studying its content; it will make its decision in due time, regardless of the authenticity of the material posted on the website."

Niv Lillian contributed to this report

VANUNU MORDECHAI J.C.