On PRI, Chris McGreal resuscitates his discredited ‘theory’ on Israel-SA nukes

On Monday, we posted about a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by Chris McGreal on the death of Nelson Mandela.  McGreal complained of the “hypocrisy” of Western leaders who now “extol South Africa’s first democratically elected president,” while failing to acknowledge their nations’ histories of “consigning Mandela and the [ANC] to the terrorism list”.

We noted that though McGreal poured particular scorn on Israeli President Shimon Peres (for praising “Mandela’s sacrifices for freedom” while ignoring the military pacts with Pretoria he allegedly signed decades earlier), McGreal failed to mention his own blockbuster Guardian “scoop” in 2010 alleging that Israel offered to sell the apartheid regime nuclear weapons.

Indeed, McGreal’s silence over his Guardian expose, we surmised, was likely influenced by the fact that the conclusions he reached (from allegedly select documents) were categorically denied by both governments, and widely discredited by commentators familiar with the issue.

However, just yesterday, during an interview on Public Radio International (PRI), McGreal attempted to resuscitate his wild theory. (Here’s a short clip we edited from the full PRI interview on Dec. 10, which we uploaded onto YouTube.  Pay particular attention to what McGreal says at the 2:10 mark)

In case you didn’t catch it, McGreal claimed that Israel and South Africa “worked together on atomic issues, including South Africa’s development of a nuclear weapon.”

However, as we demonstrated in our previous post – and contrary to McGreal’s suggestion during the interview – there is still no credible evidence that Israel helped develop South Africa’s nuclear weapons program. (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reported that South Africa’s nuclear program was supported by France, the United States and Germany.)

So, unless McGreal has new evidence we can reasonably conclude that this latest claim represents yet another example of the journalist’s insistence that facts should never get in the way of a desired anti-Zionist conclusion.

h/t Nurit

6 replies »

  1. Guardian staff member is lying about Israel…

    The above May 24 article demands a right of reply because it is blatantly misleading, as evidenced by the hero of the story himself, Sasha Polakow-Suransky. He is quoted as having uncovered evidence of an Israeli offer of nuclear arms to South Africa (SA), although he contradicted this claim during a TV interview with Al Jazeera, in which he said categorically that the alleged discussions in SA were not about nuclear arms. They were about the Jericho missile and there was no actual offer mentioned in the documents; South Africans only perceived there was a non-existent nuclear offer on the table

    I know he isn’t against Jews he’s an anti-Zionist…

  2. PRI has now posted a story based on the Chris McGreal interview:
    “The Israeli government looked around and found an ally in South Africa. ‘Both of these countries considered themselves pariah states, and they developed military weapons together,’ McGreal says. ‘They worked together on atomic issues, including South Africa’s development of a nuclear weapon.'”