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October 04, 1991 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Nuclear Explosion

The quest for an "Islamic bomb"
has put the Middle East on the verge
of a massive nuclear weapons buildup


Foreign Correspondent


r. Danny Leshem, a
senior defense ana-
lyst at Tel Aviv Uni-
versity's Center for Strate-
gic Studies, believes that
nuclear proliferation in the
Middle East is so widespread
and dispersed that an Israeli
air strike similar to that
which destroyed Iraq's
Osirak reactor in 1981 is no
longer viable.
"The greater the prolifera-
tion of nuclear research and
development sites
throughout the Muslim
world, the less Israel's abil-
ity to put an end to this
growing threat," he said this
While international atten-
tion has been fixed on the
search for nuclear facilities
in Iraq, scientists and stra-
tegists are increasingly con-
cerned about the implica-
tions for Israel of burgeoning
nuclear programs in
Algeria, Libya, Syria and
The most tangible threat is
posed by the Algerian

regime of President Chadli
Benjedid — one of Iraqi Pres-
ident Saddam Hussein's
closest political allies — and
his intensive drive to ac-
quire an "Islamic bomb."
Not only is there close
nuclear cooperation between
Algeria and Iraq, which
share a strong common
ideological objective, but
Western sources report that
France is actively assisting
its former North African col-
ony, which has an Islamic
fundamentalist movement
unequalled in the Arab
According to one senior
Western source, Algeria also
has substantial "residual
experience" acquired by its
scientists who worked on the
French nuclear program.
He revealed that China
has supplied Algeria with at
least one 40-megawatt
nuclear reactor capable of
annually producing eight
kilograms of enriched ura-
nium, enough to fuel a single
nuclear device. In addition,
there is considerable
speculation, but no confir-
mation, that China recently

supplied Algeria with a se-
cond reactor.
The Algerian nuclear
complex, known as Oussera,
is described as "massive"
and is situated near the
town of Birine, about 350
miles south of the capital,
According to the source,
construction work at the
Oussera complex, which is
still under way, has doubled
over the past two years and
now consists of three large
buildings occupying an area
of 173,000 square yards.
That may sound modest,
but the source hastened to
point out that it represents

just 4 percent of the total
area set aside for develop-
ment by Algeria's nuclear
"Algeria is certainly at an
advanced stage in terms of
its ability to produce
plutonium and it poses a
considerable threat," said
Dr. Leshem, who believes
that Algeria will develop a
nuclear device within the
current decade.
Moreover, he said, a clutch
of other radical Muslim
states in the region are in
hot pursuit.
Also in North Africa, Li-
byan President Muammar
Qaddafi has launched an all-
out campaign to catch up
with Algeria and Iraq in
light of the revelations about
their advanced state of de-
President Qaddafi has
nurtured nuclear ambitions
since he came to power in
1969, but until recently his
attempts to buy bombs from
China and the Soviet Union
were spurned. Approaches to
India and Argentina for
nuclear technology were also
When he concluded such

devices were not for sale on
the international market, he
set about developing his own
weapons. The Soviet Union
provided Libya with
technical assistance in con-
structing a reactor, while
President Qaddafi sent Li-
byan scientists abroad to
study nuclear physics.
According to Dr. Leshem,
the Libyan leader wants to
create a uranium enrich-
ment facility based on elec-
tro-magnetic technology,
whose transfer is not in-
hibited by any category of
international control
He believes that Syrian
President Hafez al-Assad, a
close ally of Libya's Qaddafi,
is working along parallel
lines. "It is unrealistic to
assume that the Syrians,
who were the first to develop
chemical warheads for their
Scud missiles, would ignore
the development of nuclear
capability," he said.
The Soviet Union is
understood to have assisted
in setting up a nuclear
research reactor in Syria,
which also established con-
tacts with Western in-

Plastic gefilte fish. Looks
like the real thing. Smells
like the real thing. But no
messy clean up!

Holocaust Group
Seeks Survivors
New York — The Ameri-
can Gathering/Federation of
Jewish Holocaust Survivors
is preparing a second edition
of the "National Registry of
Jewish Holocaust Sur-
vivors" to be distributed to
Holocaust museums and
major libraries throughout
the United States and
The Holocaust Federation
is seeking names and
photographs for the sur-
vivors' registry, which al-
ready includes the names of
more than 75,000 men and
For information, contact
the American Gather-
ing/Federation of Jewish
Holocaust Survivors, 122 W.
30th St., Suite 205, New
York, N.Y. 10001, or call
(212) 239-4230.


Now For Something
Really Different
It can't be true, you say.
Oh, but it is.
Remember pet rocks?
Wondering if there's life
after mood rings? Now get
ready for two new products
certain to be unlike
anything you've ever heard
of before!
First, out of New York
(where else?) comes: "The
Jewish Memorial Remem-
brance Kit." The kit in-
cludes copies of the
Mourner's Kaddish, a
woman's head covering and
a yarmulke, all packed into
one box that "can be conve-
niently stored in a household
closet, office desk drawer or
automobile trunk," accor-
ding to the company's press
The kit also includes
"twelve handpicked cleaned
stones," necessary because
such rocks are "virtually
impossible to locate during

short outdoor searches."
Though stones are not used
at Jewish funerals, they are
traditionally placed when
visitors return to the grave
The press release adver-
tises the product not only as
"useful for cemetery visits"
but "perfect for the holi-
And speaking of holidays,
why bother going to your
local synagogue or temple
Friday night when you can
stay at home instead and
watch a video of the service?
"The Video Synagogue"
(this time not from New
York but — can you guess?
— California) is a 45-minute
videotape of Shabbat ser-
vices "complete with rabbi,
cantor, full congregation,
familiar prayers and
melodies, 'sing-a-long' times,
responsive readings with
graphics right on the
"The Video Synagogue"

The Great Synagogue of
Jerusalem. Why bother going
when you can see it on video?

does not require a prayer
book, the press release
assures, "because the words
for the worshiper to recite
appear right on the screen."
Services are conducted by
Rabbi Wayne Dosick, "one of
America's most creative
rabbis, a dynamic, caring,
loving teacher and
preacher" and Cantor Barry
Caplan, "a mellow-voiced,
compelling singer."
Stay tuned. Next week:

Government Stops
For Yom Kippur
Day after day the evening
news began with a report on
the special committee,
chaired by Sen. Joseph
Biden, D-Delaware, con-
sidering the nomination of
Clarence Thomas to the U.S.
Supreme Court.
But the committee did not
meet Sept. 18. Why? Accor-
ding to a spokesman for Sen.
Biden, the committee
canceled its meetings be-
cause of Yom Kippur.
The Michigan House of
Representatives also cancel-
ed its session this year for
Yom Kippur, the first time it
has done so. Rep. Maxine
Berman of the 64th district
credits House Speaker Lewis
Dodak with the decision to
cancel the session.

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum


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