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MOST PEOPLE are under the impression that Israel's adventures in outer space began with the late Col. Ilan Ramon, whose journey on the space shuttle Columbia ended in tragedy five years ago
But President Shimon Peres disclosed last week that Israel had engaged in cooperative endeavors with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration since the mid-1970s.
In 1975, when putting in a request to the US for military acquisitions, he also asked for a spacecraft, and for Israel to be allowed to participate in NASA programs.
There were many eyebrows raised in Israel at the time, said Peres, but it was a period in which the superpowers were busy exploring space and developing the most advanced technologies to send a man to the moon, and it was imperative that Israel be involved.
The Americans acceded to Israel's request, and there had been flourishing cooperation between NASA and Israel ever since, said Peres.
In the taped conversation, Graham was agreeing with Nixon's earlier comments on Jews when he said, "This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain."
"You believe that?" Nixon asked in response.
"Yes, sir," Graham replied.
"Oh boy. So do I," replied Nixon. "I can't ever say that but I believe it."
"No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something," Graham responded. (The Watergate Hotel burglary of the Democratic national headquarters took place on June 17, 1972. Nixon was reelected that November.)
In 1954, the Israeli secret service set up a spy ring in Egypt, with the purpose of blowing up US and British targets. The operation was code-named "Susanah." The terrorist hits were to be blamed on the regime of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, with the purpose of alienating the US and Britain from Egypt and Nasser and somehow preventing Egyptian nationalization of the Suez canal.