The American Jew Who Created the Nuclear Submarine

June 15 2022

Since 1958, the U.S. military has employed submarines powered by onboard nuclear reactors, which have numerous advantages over those with conventional engines. Similar vessels were later developed by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and other maritime powers. Responsible for this technological breakthrough was a Jewish immigrant to America named Hyman Rickover. Rich Tenorio tells his story:

Rickover was born Chaim Godalia Rykower into an Orthodox Jewish family in 1899’s Poland. The Rykowers left an increasingly anti-Semitic climate at the turn of the 20th century and young Chaim, age six, arrived at Ellis Island with his mother, Ruchia, and sister, Faiga. Abram, the family patriarch, had arrived beforehand but never received news that the rest of the family had reached Ellis Island. Lacking financial support, Ruchia, Chaim, and Faiga were detained for ten days. Deportation appeared imminent. Yet an acquaintance from Poland miraculously recognized them and summoned Rykower’s father, ensuring their stay in the U.S., under Americanized names.

When the family—including baby daughter Hitel—relocated to the sizable Jewish community of Lawndale, Chicago, serendipitous circumstances connected Rickover with Congressman Adolph Sabath, a fellow Jew who got him into the Naval Academy.

By 1947, Rickover had served aboard multiple types of vessels, seen his leadership ability expand during World War II, and was working to develop a nuclear-powered submarine at the Manhattan Project site of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His superior and supporter, Admiral Earle W. Mills, grew disillusioned with the rate of progress and relocated Rickover to an office space where the plumbing from toilets was still visible.

Despite working in what was once a women’s bathroom, Rickover persisted in the project, and in five years’ time came up with a viable plan that, as Tenorio writes, included everything “from the production of material to shield the reactor to splitting atoms that would generate heat to power the turbines.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: American Jewish History, Jews in the military, Technology

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism