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The Limits of Nuclear Confidentiality: Mordechai Vanunu and the Sunday Times / גבולות הסודיות הגרעינית: מרדכי ואנונו וה"סנדיי טיימס"
יואל כהן and Yoel Cohen
Kesher / קשר
No. 38 (אביב 2009), pp. 14-24
Published by: Tel Aviv University / אוניברסיטת תל-אביב
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23922038
Page Count: 11
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On October 5, 1986, The Sunday Times of London published an exposé about the secret program that Israel was pursuing at its nuclear reactor in Dimona. Entitled "Revealed: Israel's Nuclear Secrets," the exposé drew upon data that the paper had received from Mordechai Vanunu, who had worked at the reactor for seven years as a technician. The newspaper calculated that Israel possessed 100—200 nuclear warheads and claimed that Israel was developing thermonuclear and neutron-nuclear capabilities. The exposé was a watershed in Israeli public and foreign governmental perceptions about the country's nuclear program. While it led to the revision of international estimates about Israel's nuclear capability, some questioned The Sunday Times' estimates. Amid the commotion surrounding the exposé, Vanunu was abducted back to Israel from Europe by the Mossad and sentenced to eighteen years in prison for espionage and treason. The article examines how The Sunday Times investigated Vanunu's account of the goings-on at Dimona, gauges the impact of the exposé abroad and in Israel, and analyzes the newspaper's behavior after Vanunu's abduction.
Kesher / קשר © 2009 Tel Aviv University / אוניברסיטת תל-אביב