Israel has set the pace for nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Although Israeli politicians, like the leaders of other governments surveyed in this book, have paid lip-service to the benefits of peaceful nuclear research, the real intention from the outset was to develop nuclear weapons. A secret nuclear strategy was formulated soon after the creation of Israel, when the country’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, was able to secure crucial assistance from France. In the early years of this collaboration the French were given access to a new Israeli method of producing heavy water. French help with building the Dimona reactor was first revealed in 1960, when an American U2 spy plane took pictures of the site. Earlier, Ben Gurion had tried to hide the existence of the reactor by claiming it was a textiles plant.