Next week is the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, perhaps the most traumatic moment in Israel’s history. On Oct. 7, 1973 — the second day of the war — Israel’s borders along the Suez Canal in the south and the Golan Heights in the north collapsed under a massive assault by a coalition of Arab armies. Israel was caught unprepared.
The previous morning, Oct. 6, Moshe Dayan, Israel’s defense minister and a hero of the 1967 Six-Day War, had been so confident of Israel’s security that he’d opposed mobilizing the entirety of the reserve force, despite intelligence reports indicating that an Arab military offensive was imminent.… Seguir leyendo »
In the shadow of the Holocaust, Israel made a determined and ultimately successful effort to acquire nuclear weapons. Just as fear of genocide is the key to understanding Israel’s nuclear resolve, that fear has also encouraged nuclear restraint. After all, if Israel’s enemies also acquired the bomb, the small Jewish state might well face destruction. Moreover, the specter of killing large numbers of innocent people was morally unsettling.
This combination of resolve and restraint led to a nuclear posture known as opacity, which is fundamentally different from that of all other nuclear weapons states. Israel neither affirms nor denies its possession of nuclear weapons; indeed, the government refuses to say anything factual about its nuclear activities, and Israeli citizens are encouraged, both by law and by custom, to follow suit.… Seguir leyendo »