On the 20th May 2015, Israël, which participates in the Common Arab Force, dropped a neutron bomb in Yemen. This type of tactical nuclear weapon kills living creatures without damaging the infrastructures.

The traditional interview of the President of the French Republic on the 14th July, the date of the national celebrations, was this year the occasion for François Hollande to express all sorts of indecent and absurd opinions.

I would like to draw your attention to the following passage in response to a question from Claire Chazal about the 5+1 agreements with Iran :

« France has been very firm in these negotiations, and Laurent Fabius chaired the meetings with much rigour and solidity.
What was my preoccupation ? Avoiding nuclear proliferation. What does nuclear proliferation mean ? That would mean that Iran could develop the atomic bomb. If Iran were to develop the nuclear bomb, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries would also want to develop a nuclear bomb. It would be a risk for the entire planet. So, we had to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
» [1]

So President Hollande, the Head of the Armed Forces and as such, controller of France’s nuclear capability, claims that Israël has no nuclear weapons.

Yet everybody knows that Israël is one of the four nuclear powers who have not signed the non-proliferation treaty (with India, Pakistan and the Popular Democratic Republic of Korea.

It was in 1956 that the President of the French Council, Guy Mollet (François Hollande’s predecessor at the head of the Socialist Party), organised the transfer of nuclear technology from France to Israël. In order to do so, he organised an office at the Hôtel de Matignon for Shimon Peres (future President of Israël) from which Peres supervised the project. France built the nuclear plant at Dimona in the Negev desert, and Shimon Peres became its director. Israël also participated in the French nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert. A partisan of colonisation, Guy Mollet relied on Israël in his fight against the Algerian FLN and the war against Egypt (the Suez Canal « crisis »).

This cooperation deteriorated under Charles De Gaulle and ended with the decolonisation of Algeria. When Israël attacked its Arab neighbours, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in 1967 (theory of « preventive war») De Gaulle broke off his relations with Israël. A few days later, the United States signed a secret agreement with Israël which authorised it to keep the bomb on the condition that it did not publicise it, and would refrain from any new experiments.

Israël continued its research with British aid at first – Britain notably supplied it with ready-to-use combustibles – then, from 1975, with the help of South Africa. It benefitted from the South African nuclear explosions, especially in 1979 in the Indian Ocean, without this being considered a violation of her agreement with Washington.

Israël currently has between 80 and 400 nuclear war-heads, and a large number of neutron bombs. Indeed, because of the topography, strategic nuclear weapons are impossible to use in the environment close to Israël. So the Hebrew state has specialised in neutron bombs, whose range of action is smaller. These are capitalist armements par excellence, because they kill people but do not damage property.

The entire programme was revealed by an Israeli scientist who was opposed to apartheid, Mordechaï Vanunu, in 1986 in the Sunday Times [2]. He was then kidnapped in Rome by the Mossad, repatriated to Israel. and kept under secret imprisonment for 18 years. Freed in 2004, but kept under house arrest, he gave an interview to Silvia Cattori and was immediately reincarcerated for having spoken to journalists [3].

In 2002, the Israeli strategist Martin Van Creveld made a public statement about the status of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, and threatened the Europeans with retaliation on their territory if they continued to support the Palestinians [4]. There was talk at that time of the « Samson complex », in other words, the threat of a destructive Israeli suicide rather than a defeat.

On the 6th December 2006, the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, admitted during a Senate hearing that Israel possessed the atomic bomb. A few days later, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, admitted as much with a throw-away phrase during an interview with the German channel, N24.

In 2010, 18 Arab states managed to include the question of « Israeli nuclear capacities » in the Agenda of the AIEA (International Agency for Atomic Energy). The United Nations then organised a conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, during which the Islamic Republic of Iran proposed the creation of a « nuclear-free zone in the Middle East » [5], on the model of the agreements made in Latin America and Central Asia. However, the project failed due to the opposition of Israël and the United States. The US had been illegally storing nuclear weapons in Turkey.

Recently, Israël used neutron bombs in Khiam, during the war of 2006 against Lebanon, and again in Yemen on the 20th May 2015. In both cases, measures of radioactivity were made.

Why would President Hollande deny facts which have been so comprehensively established ? Is it ignorance, or because he is attempting to justify the French position during the negotiations with Iran, to the point of becoming confused by his own propaganda ?

On the 17th November 2013, when he arrived at Ben-Gourion airport in Tel-Aviv, François Hollande declared, in Hebrew, « "Tamid écha-èr ravèr chèl Israël" - "I am your friend and I always will be." » [6].

Pete Kimberley

[1« Entretien de François Hollande pour la fête nationale », par François Hollande, Réseau Voltaire, 14 juillet 2015.

[2“Revealed : the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal”, The Sunday Times, October 5, 1986.

[3Mordechai Vanunu: "Iran poses no threat"”, by Silvia Cattori, Voltaire Network, 10 November 2011.

[4“The War Game, a controversial view of the current crisis in the Middle East”, Elsevier, 2002, no. 17, p. 52-53, 27 avril 2002.

[5Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East”, Voltaire Network, 4 May 2010.

[6« Déclaration de François Hollande à son arrivée à l’aéroport de Tel-Aviv », par François Hollande, Réseau Voltaire, 17 novembre 2013.