[Freemanlist2] Obama boycotts Israeli Nuclear Scientists, Dimona + US Fighting Israel's Nuclear Program

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Fri Apr 9 09:54:20 CDT 2010


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In Hebrew at:

Obama boycotts Israeli Nuclear Scientists

Translation of Maariv article 4/7/2010 on Dimona nuclear scientists  [AL: 
This is not a direct translation of the Hebrew]

NRG/Maariv reports today that workers at the Dimona reactor who submitted 
VISA requests to visit the United States for ongoing University education in 
Physics, Chemistry and Nuclear Engineering — have all been rejected, 
specifically because of their association with the Dimona reactor. This is a 
new policy decision of the Obama administration, since there never used to 
be an issue with the reactor’s workers from study in the USA, and till 
recently, they received VISAs and studied in the USA.

Israeli Defense Officials have stated that these reactor researches have no 
criminal background in Israel or in the USA, and yet they are being singled 
out purely because of their place of employment at the reactor. Professor 
Zeev Alfasi, the head of Nuclear Engineering at Ben-Gurion University in the 
Negev stated that “the United States doesn’t sell anything nuclear-related 
to the Dimona reactor, and that means absolutely nothing. Radiation 
detectors, for example have to be purchased now in France because the USA 
refuses to sell these to Israel.”

Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor’s employees have told Israel’s Maariv daily 
that they have been having problems recently getting visas to the United 
States where they have for years attended seminars in Chemistry, Physics and 
Nuclear Engineering (link in Hebrew, Hat Tip: BA Wilson). They also complain 
of being treated in an ‘insulting manner’ by President Obama’s people.

Until recently, employees of the Nuclear Research Center routinely traveled 
to the United States for seminars and courses. But reactor employees also 
complain of an American refusal to sell them reactor components that have 
routinely been sold to them by the United States. Instead, the components 
are being purchased from… France. This is from a Google translation that I’ve 
tried to fix up a little bit.

Professor Zeev Alfasi, the Chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Department at 
Ben – Gurion University, who is aware of what is going on, describes the 
deterioration of the American attitude regarding the nuclear reactor. “Some 
of our people did not receive visas to the United States because they are 
employees of Nuclear Research Center,” explained Professor Alfasi, “The 
United States does not sell anything nuclear to the Nuclear Research Center, 
and this includes everything.

For example, the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona is buying radiation 
detectors in France, because the Americans are not selling to the Nuclear 
Research Center’s employees. ”

Prof. Alfasi added that “the Americans want to know for what each item of 
equipment is used. They sell to universities, but they refuse to sell these 
same items of equipment to the Nuclear Research Center. I do not whether 
they will sell the same items that they refuse to sell us to Iran.” The 
Nuclear Research Center refused to comment on the claims.

Report: US Fighting Israel's Nuclear Program

Nisan 25, 5770, 09 April 10 04:08by Maayana Miskin

(Israelnationalnews.com) The United States has begun denying visas to Israel's nuclear scientists, according to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv. Workers at the reactor in Dimona told the paper that they had been treated poorly by US representatives, and had been told they could not travel to the States.
For the past 20 years it has been common for scientists working at the Dimona reactor to travel to universities in the U.S. to enhance their knowledge in the fields of physics, chemistry, and nuclear engineering. 
The only reason the Dimona scientists' visa requests were refused was their work at the reactor, sources in the military establishment said. None of the researchers has had any trouble with the law, in Israel or America.
A former Dimona worker told Maariv that the problems between Israel and America went beyond denied visas. The US has also created a “de-facto embargo” on equipment needed in the Dimona reactor, he said. 
The refusal to sell Israel certain parts began after current US President Barack Obama took office, he said. When it comes to certain other pieces of equipment, he added, the US now permits sales only if Israeli officials explain exactly what the part will be used for.
"And yet, when it comes to those who manufacture nuclear terrorism, we hear a lenient approach, even though the entire world can see that Iran's leaders are making a joke out of the US,” he said.
Professor Zev Alfasi of the nuclear engineering program at Ben-Gurion University confirmed the statements made by the anonymous former Dimona worker. “Some people are not getting visas to the United States for the sole reason that they work at the Dimona reactor,” he said. In addition, he said, “The US does not sell a single piece of nuclear-related equipment to the Dimona reactor... They sell to the universities, but they refuse to sell equipment to the reactor.”
On Friday morning, spokesmen for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he would not attend a Nuclear Security summit in the US as previously planned, but would send a senior minister in his place. Netanyahu apparently decided not to attend the summit due to concerns that he would face pressure over Israel's nuclear program. The visa refusals may have been another factor leading to his concerns.

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