The Nuke That Never Was

50 years ago today the Six Day War began…..all that Americans know about it is that the Israelis won…the total extent of their knowledge.

But there was so much more that happened during the course of that war… the Israeli attack on the US Naval vessel, USS Liberty (topic to be covered later)….and the plan to use a nuke by the Israelis if their army was not winning the conflict….

Israel has never officially admitted that it developed nuclear weapons. But in interviews recorded nearly two decades ago, a former Israeli brigadier general describes a “doomsday operation” to detonate an atomic weapon on top of a mountain near Egypt during the Arab-Israeli war. Avner Cohen, an expert on Israel’s nuclear history, tells the New York Times the plan is “the last secret of the 1967 war.” Cohen interviewed Itzhak Yaakov—a “key organizer” of the plan, code-named “Samson” after the super-strong biblical hero—multiple times in 1999 and 2000. Those interviews—and other documents related to the plan—will be made public this week on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Arab-Israeli war.

Yaakov, who died in 2013, told Cohen the plan was to detonate an atomic bomb on a mountain on the Sinai Peninsula if it looked like Israel was going to lose the war. This would either scare Egypt and other Arab forces enough to rethink things, or it would cause world powers to intervene in the conflict. Yaakov said the only way to stop an enemy who was “going to throw you to the sea” was to “scare him.” The casualties that would have resulted from the plan are unclear. The US considered a similar plan in regards to Japan during WWII before deciding to bomb the country directly. Israel’s atomic weapon was never moved to the mountain due the speed at which Israel won the war, and the plan was never carried out. Read the full story here.

Two points….Israel refuses to admit that they possess nukes to this day…..second…what would the Middle East look like if they had gone through with the plan?

Then there was the plan by the USSR to destroy Israel……..

Abstract: The Soviet warning to Egypt about supposed Israeli troop
concentrations on the Syrian border in May 1967 has long been considered a
blunder that precipitated a war which the USSR neither desired nor expected.
New evidence from Soviet and other Warsaw Pact documents, as well as memoirs
of contemporary actors, contradicts this accepted theory. The author
demonstrates that this warning was deliberate disinformation, part of a plan
approved at the highest level of Soviet leadership to elicit Egyptian action
that would provoke an Israeli strike. Soviet military intervention against
the “aggressor” was intended to follow and was prepared well in advance.

Source: IMRA – Wednesday, September 10, 2003 Excerpt – How The USSR Planned To Destroy Israel in 1967

During that war there were so many plans within plans that most people do not know…..but it is the Middle East….there are ALWAYS plans within plans.


8 thoughts on “The Nuke That Never Was

  1. Interesting. I had heard that they had made plans to go nuclear if everything was going south, but I’d never heard that the idea was, in effect, a demonstration. First. Not such a bad policy. In fact, it’s a pretty good one.

      1. Yes, then we’re not in a good place. Ghastly fucking things. Do you know the history of Brazil and Argentina regarding nukes? Both countries hate each other and started developing nuclear weapons. Brazil was way ahead, but then cooler heads got together and they agreed that the path they were both on was just wrong, wrong, wrong. 1) the costs are prohibitive. 2) Neither side would win in a nuclear exchange. So, they both voluntarily gave up their programs.

  2. Would Israel really have committed ‘national suicide’ by detonating a nuclear bomb so close to their own country? I’m not sure they would have done that, especially with the US propping them up so well at the time. Hard to look back so far, and to know what might have happened. Chances are it would have precipitated another wider conflict though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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