Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Spying for Israel Is Consequence Free

Source: The Unz Review

Hollywood billionaire was a spy, an illegal arms merchant and a corrupter of politicians

Philip Giraldi • July 9, 2019 • 14 Comments


Back in the spring I wrote about coming across the name Arnon Milchan by chance on a movie credit while flying from Venice to Washington. Milchan, some might recall, is a Hollywood billionaire movie producer born in Israel, well known for such films as Pretty Woman and Bohemian Rhapsody. He is less well known for his role in arranging for the procurement and illegal transfer of U.S. technology that enabled the Jewish state to develop its own nuclear arsenal. Far from being ashamed of his betrayal of the adopted country that helped make him rich and famous, in 2011 he authorized and contributed to a ghost-written biography, which he boastfully entitled "Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon." Parts of the book were in the first person with Milchan telling his story in his own words.

I had been aware of Milchan's crimes for a number of years, just as I had also speculated on how a leading Israeli spy working actively and successfully against vital U.S. anti-nuclear proliferation interests had managed to continue to maintain a home and business in Los Angeles while also appearing regularly at the Oscar presentation ceremonies. I asked "Why is this scumbag still making movies in Hollywood? Why isn't he in jail?" before concluding that the federal government clearly regards spying for Israel as a victimless crime, rarely arresting anyone and almost never prosecuting any of the numerous easily identifiable Israeli intelligence agents roaming the country.

Milchan was an active Israeli spy in the U.S., working for the Mossad technology theft division referred to as LEKEM. The Mossad frequently uses so-called sayanim in its espionage, which means diaspora Jews that it recruits on the basis of a shared religion or concern for the security of Israel. The threat coming from Israeli Embassy operatives inside the United States is such that the Department of Defense once warned that Jewish Americans in government would likely be the targets of their intelligence approaches.

President John F. Kennedy had tried to stop the Israeli nuclear weapons program but was assassinated before he could end it. By 1965, the Jewish state had nevertheless obtained the raw material for a bomb consisting of U.S. government owned highly enriched weapons grade uranium obtained from a company in Pennsylvania called NUMEC, which was founded in 1956 and owned by Zalman Mordecai Shapiro, head of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Zionist Organization of America. NUMEC was a supplier of enriched uranium for government projects but it was also from the start a front for the Israeli nuclear program, with its chief funder David Lowenthal, a leading Zionist, traveling to Israel at least once a month where he would meet with an old friend Meir Amit, who headed Israeli intelligence.

With the uranium in hand, the stealing of the advanced technology needed to make a nuclear weapon is where Milchan comes into the story. Arnon Milchan was born in Israel but moved to the United States as a young man and eventually wound up as the founder-owner of a major movie production company, New Regency Films. In a November 25, 2013 interview on Israeli television Milchan admitted that he had spent his many years in Hollywood as an agent for Israeli intelligence, helping obtain embargoed technologies and materials that enabled Israel to develop a nuclear weapon.

Milchan, who clearly still has significant business interests in this country as evidenced by Bohemian Rhapsody, explained in his interview that "I did it for my country and I'm proud of it." He also said that "other big Hollywood names were connected to [his] covert affairs." It is, to be sure, astonishing that Milchan should admit to his crimes at a time when he was still traveling regularly to the U.S. and residing in California, but his belief in his own invulnerability stems from the fact that the federal government failed to act against him during the fifty years when he was mostly resident in the United States even though it knew about his spying activity.

Among other successes, Milchan obtained through his company Heli Trading 800 krytons, the sophisticated triggers for nuclear weapons. The devices were acquired from the California top secret defense contractor MILCO International. Milchan personally recruited MILCO's president Richard Kelly Smyth as an agent before turning him over to another Heli Trading employee Benjamin Netanyahu for handling. Smyth was eventually arrested in 1985 and cooperated in his interrogation by the FBI before being sentenced to prison, which means that the Federal government knew all about both Milchan and Netanyahu at that time but did not even seek to interview them and ultimately did nothing.

Please go to The Unz Review to read the entire article.
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