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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • March 28, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'Dimona Reactor'

    Assistant Secretary Lewis Jones asks again about arranging a US visit to the Dimona nuclear facility.

  • March 30, 1961

    Memorandum from Secretary Rusk to President Kennedy, 'Dimona Reactor in Israel'

    Rusk updates the President on US requests to Israel to visit the Dimona reactor, and provides a related chronology.

  • April 10, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'U.S. Visit to Dimona Reactor Site'

    Ambassador Harman informs Jones and Philip Farley, the special assistant to the secretary of state for atomic energy and outer space matters, that Israel is formally inviting a US scientist to visit the Dimona complex during the week of 15 May, but that the visit should be secret.

  • April 11, 1961

    Memorandum by Assistant Secretary Jones to Secretary of State Rusk, 'Your Appointment with Israeli Ambassador Harman'

    Jones informs Rusk that Israel is ready to allow a US visit to Dimona, but it must be kept secret. Jones also informed Rusk that the Atomic Energy Commission had selected two of its scientists to make the visit: Ulysses Staebler, assistant director of reactor development and chief of the Civilian Power Reactors Branch, and Jesse Croach Jr., a heavy water reactor expert with Dupont, the AEC’s principal contractor for heavy water reactor work.

  • April 17, 1961

    Assistant Secretary Jones, Memorandum of Conversation, 'U.S. Visit to Dimona'

    Jones proposes to Israeli Minister Plenipotentiary Mordechai Gazit that the US visit to Dimona be kept "quiet" rather than "secret."

  • April 28, 1961

    State Department Telegram 798 to US Embassy Tel Aviv

    Israelis have been informed of the details of US visit to Dimona.

  • May 01, 1961

    Deputy Assistant Secretary Meyer Memorandum of Conversation, 'Visit to Israeli Reactor'

    Armin H. Meyer discusses the US visit to Dimona with Mordechai Gazit.

  • May 01, 1961

    Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Philips Talbot to Secretary of State, 'Ben--Gurion Visit and Israel’s Reactor'

    Ambassador Harman requests that the US visit to Dimona be delayed until after Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy meet in New York on May 30th.

  • May 05, 1961

    Memorandum by Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy, 'Visit to Israeli Reactor'

    The Israeli Embassy has confirmed the visit by two American observers to the Dimona nuclear facility for May 18.

  • May 15, 1961

    Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs Robert C. Strong to Armin H. Meyer, 'Suggested Points to be Made to U.S. Scientists, Dr. Staebler and Dr. Croach, at the Meeting at 2:30 p.m., May 15'

    Instructions for the two US observers visiting the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona.

  • May 16, 1961

    Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space Philip J. Farley, Memorandum of Conversation, 'Israeli Atomic Energy Program'

    Farley reports on a conversation with Mordechai Gazit regarding the American visit to Dimona and the purposes of the visit.

  • May 18, 1961

    Memorandum, by L.D. Battle, Executive Secretary, to McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, 'American Scientists’ Visit to Israel’s Dimona Reactor'

    President Kennedy told the new US ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour, that he was concerned about Israel’s insistence on a secret visit as well as the "absence of a 'neutral' scientist" in the visit to Dimona. The State Department took the position that it was better to put up with Ben-Gurion’s "sensitivities" about secrecy than "have no visit" at all

  • May 26, 1961

    Memorandum from Executive Secretary L. D. Battle to McGeorge Bundy, 'U.S. Scientists Visit to Israel’s Nuclear Reactor'

    During their visit to Israel (May 17-May 22), AEC scientists Croach and Staebler visited the Weizman Institute, the Technion, the USAEC-funded swimming pool experimental reactor at Soreq, and finally the Dimona complex then under construction. When Croach and Staebler met with State Department officials on their return, they said that they were "satisfied" that the reactor was "of the scope and peaceful character" claimed by Israeli officials.

  • May 29, 1961

    Department of State Briefing Book, 'Israel Prime Minister Ben-Gurion’s Visit to the United States'

    Preparatory materials for Ben-Guiron's visit.

  • May 30, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'President Kennedy, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Ambassador Avraham Harman of Israel, Myer Feldman of the White House Staff, and Philips Talbot, Assistant Secretary, Near East and South Asian Affairs'

    US memorandum of conversation of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy's discussion in New York.

  • May 31, 1961

    State Department Telegram 5701 to U.S. Embassy United Kingdom

    British Embassy was informed about the contents of President Kennedy's discussion with Ben-Gurion on the Dimona reactor.

  • June 07, 1961

    Atomic Energy Commission AEC 928/1, 'Visit to Israel by U.M. Staebler and J.W. Croach, Jr.'

    Summary of a visit by AEC scientists U. M. Staebler and J. W. Croach, Jr., to nuclear facilities in Israel, including the Dimona reactor.

  • June 09, 1961

    Memorandum by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs Armin H. Meyer of White House Discussion on Ben-Gurion/Kennedy Meeting

    Notes from Meyer on the Ben-Gurion/Kennedy meeting in New York.

  • June 16, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'The Dimona Reactor'

    The State Department made plans to brief Arab governments on the US visit to Dimona, but Deputy Assistant Secretary Armin Meyer asked Ambassador Harman if his government would be willing to work with US representatives at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting to make an announcement of the visit to Dimona and also to undertake quiet discussions at the meeting about a possible neutral visit to Dimona. Harman, however, objected to an IAEA role in the Dimona matter until the rest of the world had accepted the idea of inspections and he wanted Washington to coordinate any visit by neutral scientists.

  • June 17, 1961

    State Department Circular Telegram 2047 to US Embassy Jordan [et al.]

    Circular telegram for Middle East embassies regarding US visit to Dimona reactor.