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The Schmooze

Israeli Producer Says He Was a Secret Agent

The rumors were true.

For years, the gossip was that the Israeli-born producer Arnon Milchan (“12 Years a Slave,” “The King of Comedy”) was a secret agent for his homeland. More recently, a 2011 book maintained that Milchan, chairman of New Regency, was recruited by Shimon Peres as a liaison for LAKIM, the Bureau of Scientific Relations. His job: help get technology and materials for Israel’s nuclear program.

The spy has come in from the cold. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Milchan admits his undercover work to Ilana Dayan, host of Uvda (Fact), an investigative documentary program that will air a length report next week on Keshet.

One of the most interesting revelations in the segment is that the late director/producer Sydney Pollack was an occasional collaborator. The report offers brief appearances by Robert De Niro, Warren Beatty and others who have worked with Milchan over the years. De Niro said: “I did ask him once. We spoke about something and he told he was an Israeli and that he of course would do these things for his country.”

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