(A Hebrew version of this article first appeared in Makor Rishon Israeli Weekly on June 9th 2006. Henry A. Kissinger in Newsweek’s issue of 2/16/09 writes about Our Nuclear Nightmare. He says, “A new nuclear agenda requires coordinated efforts on several levels: first, the declaratory policy of the United States; second, the U.S-Russia relationship; third, joint efforts with allies as well as other nonnuclear states relying on American deterrence;…”)
Nuclear reactor of Dimona
It is impossible to rely on the deterrence of a “Second Strike” or on the protection of “Arrow” missiles * The promise of the “American Umbrella” is worthless * Only an Israeli threat, with resolute preparedness to carry it out, may motivate the Americans to terminate Ahmedinajad
If the ISRAELI government were led by a true leader and not a puffed-up balloon he would have understood that this week the first whistle was blown by the train leading Israel towards Shoah. This is the real meaning of the announcement made by President-Elect Obama, on his intention to open negotiations with the Iranian Hitler.
If a true leader had been the head of our state he would have immediately declared: “Israel reserves the right to carry out a preemyive nuclear first strike that will destroy Ahmedinajad’s extermination apparatus.
Telling it like it is
In polite public discourse things are not called by their real names. Instead of saying that Israel is a nuclear power we talk about “opaque nuclear status of Israel”. Instead of saying “Shoah” we say “Terrible Danger”, “Existential Threat”, “Catastrophe” –
as if referring to the problem of the hole in the ozone layer. The simple truth is not told: A nuclear bomb in the hands of Iran will certainly bring down a second Holocaust on the Jewish People.
A scenario of what is in store for Israel when an Arab state acquires a nuclear bomb can be found in a book by the Israeli journalist, Shlomo Nakdimon, “Tammuz in Flames”, which describes the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor and the deliberations prior to the decision:
”An unidentified Boeing 707 passenger jet approaches the coast of Israel. Air Force jets are scrambled in order to intercept it, but the pilot of the Boeing does not reply. The government struggles with the decision whether to order the downing of the plane. Then a dim thunderous rumbling is heard – an atomic mushroom over Tel Aviv. Hundreds of buildings crumble and burn, tens of thousands are killed. The nerve center of the Jewish State has become a heap of rubble.
45 minutes after the blast Sadam Hussein already appears on television and announces that “he has put an end to the Zionist cancer”. He demands of the remaining government in Jerusalem their declaration of the cessation of the existence of Israel as a political entity. . Those Jews that are still alive, says Saddam, will have their future decided by an Arab commission headed by himself. In the event of a delayed Jewish response the faith of the survivors is extermination.”
Primeminister Menachem Begin, in the historic decision to destroy the Iraqi reactor, eliminated the danger of a nuclear holocaust on Israel for more than two decades. Israel is now faced with a worse threat than the previous one
Ever since the end of the War of Independence in 1949 David Ben-Gurion lived with the awareness that Israel is under the threat of a Shoah. The gap in manpower and resources when comparing Israel to the Arab states are such that the Arabs will be swiftly rehabilitated after any defeat. To destroy Israel, all that is necessary is one Arab victory, even in a conventional war.
This being the case, he put his emphasis, while yet in the midst of the War of Independence, on massive investments in scientific development that would balance the quantitative advantage of the Arabs with a qualitative Israeli superiority. He wrote to an Israeli scientist: “…if there looms a threat of extermination – and to my sorrow it is impending, and Hitler’s Shoah was only the greatest terrible episode in the many attempts to destroy us during our history…”
In 1954, when the idea to build a nuclear reactor was beginning to develop, he already spoke of the danger of nuclear weapons in Arab hands: “One bomb can destroy the entire country which is concentrated around Tel Aviv”, he said.
As far back as 1966 four “red lines” were established that would justify the use of nuclear weapons:
• Arab military incursion into populated areas of Israel.
• The destruction of the Israeli Air Force.
• The use of chemical or biological weapons against Israel.
• The use of nuclear weapons against Israel.
These red lines were set up during the period when the Israeli nuclear option was still in its infancy. According to foreign sources, prior to the Six-Day War, Israel already had an improvised nuclear facility ready for use. Since the 70’s Israel was considered to be in possession of a nuclear arsenal with launching capabilities. After Vanunu’s defection it was revealed that Israel’s arsenal was much greater than had previously been suspected by the world at large. According to foreign sources, Israel was a nuclear power by any criteria. Since then, according to the same sources, great progress has been made in Israel’s nuclear research and today it has tactical nuclear weapons that can be deployed against pinpoint targets.
One of the photos taken by Vanunu
The escape from the threatening reality has produced three illusions in public discussions:
• A second strike
• The “Arrow” missile defense
• The American umbrella
The concept “second strike” was born during the Cold War period. The Americans developed the capability to destroy the Soviet Union even if it would start a nuclear war that would destroy a part of the United States. The Americans saw fit to invite Soviet missile officers and to explain to them the means available for a second strike (underground silo bases, nuclear submarines, aircraft always aloft, etc.). The goal was to make it clear to the Soviets that an attack on the United States would end up with the complete destruction of the Soviet Union.
Here, in Israel, (according to foreign publications) we speak about the second strike capabilities of submarines. Even if this were, indeed, the case, what kind of salvation would that provide for Jews afflicted by a radioactive cloud to know that Teheran was destroyed? Moreover, would this deter an Iran suffused with its death culture? Is it possible to forget the way in which they defeated Sadam: their dispatching of tens of thousands of children empty-handed to the battle-felds, equipped only with a plastic key to Paradise along with the blessing of their fathers and mothers.
The “Arrow” missile is a wonderful product of Jewish genius, but no one can assure that it will hermetically seal the country’s skies. An Iranian missile costs several tens of thousands of dollars. The “Arrow” costs many times more than that. The Iranians will be able to launch dozens of phony missiles that would be downed by the “Arrow” until they decide to launch a nuclear missile.
The Umbrella Illusion
Seemingly the solution is an American declaration that it would protect Israel from an Iranian nuclear attack. Will that save us? No chance. If Ahmedinajad decides to drop a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv he will not be deterred by an American umbrella. America will shed a tear, will apply sanctions, perhaps absorb refugees from Israel, and maybe erect a memorial site for the victims of the second Shoah in Washington. It will not drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.
A little story will illustrate this assertion. General Yosef Geva (Ret.) was at one time the Military Attache in Washington. Geva, a personable individual, knows how to speak to people and to befriend them. During the period of his tour he succeeded in making friends with many of his American colleagues with his openness and hearty manner. Among these he befriended the then American Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. In one of their unofficial conversations McNamara said to him more or less the following: You should know that Israel is dearer to our hearts than any other country in the world. We love her and consider her our bravest and best ally. But you should know that we would not engage in a world war for its sake. Because of Berlin or Cuba we would be prepared to go to war as this affects our vital interest. Not so for Israel.
Dimonaite taken by sattelite
What will the threat accomplish
An open Israeli threat to use tactical nuclear weapons will generate a major panic. We would be threatened with sanctions. Arab states would demand action by the Security Council. The United States will make a sour face. Yet, a threat such as this – on condition that it is not an idle one and is accompanied by a loaded gun – may start the wheels, which are now creaking and paralyzed, to begin rolling. Europe and the United States have time. While a nuclear Iran, would be liable to endanger Europe, but their danger is not that great. The insane leader of Teheran will not be crazy enough to drop a nuclear bomb on Paris or London when he knows that the response will be cruelly painful and won’t affect any change in the state of the world and the hegemony of Islam. An attack on Israel, on the other hand, will change the entire strategic position in the area. An Israeli threat of a preventive nuclear strike (assuming that Israel is unable to remove the Iranian threat with conventional means – after the sympathetic Bush administration also denied us the weaponry such as bunker-buster bombs and refueling aircraft) would bring about international action that would stop the madman of Teheran. It might even activate the United States to conclude the Iranian affair by day and night bombardment, bunker-busting bombs, until the elimination of the present danger.