Thursday, we reported, based on a story in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, that Israeli nuclear scientists working at the country's Dimona nuclear facility have been denied visas to the U.S.
Joshua Pundit which first brought the Maariv story to our attention, says, according to Politico, the White House has issued a denial, but finds it inadequate to meet the charge:
You'll notice the White House spokesmouth doesn't even mention Dimona. Nor does he mention the embargo on selling Israel even routine items to be used at the site.
Either the visas to the Dimona technicians were issued or they weren't, and either the Obama Administration has an embargo on selling anything to Dimona similar to the Administration's de facto arms embargo on Israel or it doesn't.
Given the general level of credibility in this White House, I'm sticking with this story until I hear differently.,,especially since it seems exactly in character, given the way the Obama Administration has generally treated Israel.
This smacks of damage control.
Roger L. Simon, who carried the story in Pajamas Media reports:
MORE (IMPORTANT): An interesting follow-up to this story has been published by Politico, including a denial by a White House spokesman and an indirect denial from an unnamed Israeli official. The White House denial seems odd given that I was told by a State Department spokesperson that federal law prohibits (see above) discussing individual visa cases. Well, never mind. More importantly the Politico author, Ben Smith, calls the sourcing of the original Maariv article "a bit hazy" when that article quotes Dr. Zeev Alfassi, a professor of nuclear engineering at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, verbatim on the subject. Hazy sourcing? Well, again, never mind. Pajamas Media has sent email to Dr. Alfassi and we will see what he has to say about the matter.