Blocked Denounce of IllegalTransfer of American Missiles Technology by Dow Chemical
while holding several positions within the Israeli market, I was approached by the Dow Chemical Company and asked to help them market one of their special products. The request was unusual because it was aimed for RAFAEL, the weapons developing authority of the State of Israel and because it referred to classified technology used until then exclusively by the American Army.
I was invited to the European Headquarters of the Dow Chemical Company in Horgen, nearby Zurich, by the Ethocel Product Manager in Europe. There, a German technical worker about to retire asked me to create contact between them and RAFAEL and to help pass the technology; during the talk it was clear the American military was not involved in the event. They claimed that since they are the unique producer of the product and Israel is not buying, then Israel does not own the technology.
The problem is simple; many types of missiles are propelled by solid fuel. Regardless their method of guiding their way to the target, all these missiles suffer of a similar problem. Microscopic cracks develop on the solid fuel as a result of the immense pressures acting on it during the flight time. The cracks lead to an uneven burning of the fuel which is impossible to calculate by the computer controlling the flight. The final result is small deviations from the specified route; if the problem is not accounted for, the missile often misses. The Dow Chemical Company is the unique provider of the solution to the problem to the American Army.
A special film is used for covering the solid fuel rod and to give it the necessary structural strength. The company’s production chain starts from three oxide special products extracted from Texan oil wells. One of them is ethylene oxide, which is produced in excess. In order to get rid of the surplus quantities of this toxic product, the excess is added to cotton cellulose, and ethyl-cellulose is created. The commercial name of this product is Ethocel and it is mainly used in the pharmaceutical and food industries, but not only there. Ethyl-cellulose forms brittle films and complex three-dimensional structures which are used in a wide variety of specialty products. If a plasticizer is added, then the film is made malleable. The relative amount of ethylene oxide used creates various products differing in their viscosity. The Dow Chemical Company products are labeled according to the ethylene oxide degree of substitution of the original carboxyl terminals of the cellulose molecules; in simpler words the number following the product name indicates the viscosity of its solutions. One of these products is Ethocel 45 Mil, meaning it is a military grade product. If Ethocel 45 Mil is mixed with a plasticizer produced by Philips 66, and then extruded – a regular process in many industries – a strong film is created. The film exhibits the perfect characteristics to be used as a protective layer for solid-fuel rods.
Unwilling to cooperate, I made a general complaint to the Israeli Ministry of Defense through Mashmam – the department in charge of such issues. They never believed Dow’s claim regarding the way they deduced Israel does not possess that technology. Instead they chose to believe I got the information from Rafael and then transferred it to Dow. The final result was that I became a key witness to an illegal military technology transfer from the USA to Israel and thus a target of the Israeli security services.
Since then, I have become a recognized refugee.
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