Israel’s nuclear deterrent.

By Ted Belman

Collision Course? is a very informative article on Israel nuclear deterrence.

How did America feel about Israel acquiring the bomb?

    There was only one American President who was truly committed in his effort to stop Israel from going nuclear and this was President John F. Kennedy, but his determination was short-lived as he was assassinated in 1963. All others after him, in particular Johnson and Nixon, quietly came to agree with the notion that Israel could have the bomb. Essentially, the Johnson and Nixon administrations, even though they publicly claim to be against Israel acquiring the bomb, in reality they were not. Some would say they were ambivalent, others would say they were sympathetic. Obviously for Israel the nuclear issue was a question of life and death.

I extract from one paragraph dealing with Iran.

    You are right to point out that there are different views in Israel about characterizing the Iranian nuclear threat. Some refer to it as “existential threat,” while others do not like to use this phrase. Some say “Israel is strong, and nobody in the world can pose an existential threat to Israel.” For example, both Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni avoid using the phrase “existential threat” in reference to Iran. I personally also believe that it is somewhat a misleading phrase because Israel, at the present time, is much stronger than Iran. Therefore if anybody can pose an existential threat, it is Israel to Iran and not vice versa. At the same time, virtually all Israelis agree that Iran’s nuclear program is a major security challenge to Israel. Simply put, it could end Israel’s monopoly in the region. I think it is fair to say that virtually all Israelis are concerned about such an eventuality. Furthermore, I think almost all Israelis agree that they would not rule out the possibility of military action against Iran’s nuclear program. But the degree of willingness and readiness to actually do it is quite different among various Israeli leaders. I do believe that PM Netanyahu would be more willing to take that path.
January 19, 2011 | 11 Comments »

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  1. Thanks Yamit. Just a couple of other questions. After chapters 38 @ 39, the rest of the book deals with the temple. Does that mean the temple can’t be rebuilt until after Gog and Magog? Does the Mosiach appear before or after Gog and Magog? cheers Andrew.

  2. “I can’t imagine that this government will act in a preemptive manner to prevent the coming Armageddon”.

    Armageddon or Gog and Magog? Anyway, I would love to hear your views on Ezekial 38 & 39 Yamit. Cheers Andrew.

    There is a guarantee, a solemn oath, a surety, a divine bond that the Jewish people cannot be ever destroyed but rather that they and their G-d will emerge in days to come triumphant over the evils and the foolishness of all other nations. Zion will and must emerge as the mount to which all peoples will turn and the Jewish L-rd will be the One before Whom all knees bend. Jerusalem must be rebuilt as the throne of the world and the Exile must end with all Jews returning to their land.

    lo, it is a people that shall dwell in isolation,” that we are assured that the final redemption is upon us. The promise of the terrible hatred and isolation is the guarantee that we approach the era of the final redemption. Listen:

    “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog: Thus saith the L-rd G-d… In that day when My people Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and mighty army. And thou shalt come up against My people Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the end of days, and I will bring thee against My land, that the nations may know Me… And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains… and I will judge against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will cause to rain upon him and upon his lands and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing torrent, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. Thus will I magnify Myself and sanctify Myself and will make myself known in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that I am the L-rd.” (Ezekiel 38:14-23)

    The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand. “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep”

    And when they came into the nations, whither they came, they profaned My Holy Name, in that the nations said concerning them: These are the people of the L-rd and they are driven forth from the land! But I had pity for My Holy Name which the House of Israel profaned among the nations whither they came. Therefore say unto the House of Israel: Thus saith the L-rd, G-d: I do this not for your sake O House of Israel, but for My Holy Name And I will sanctify My great Name which hath been profaned among the nations which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the L-rd, saith the L-rd, G-d, WHEN I SHALL BE SANCTIFIED THROUGH YOU BEFORE THEIR EYES. For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all the countries and will bring you into your own land. (Ezekiel 36)

    Israel’s degradation is the desecration of the Name of the L-rd. (The Biblical commentator Rashi, Ezekiel 39:7)

    “O G-d, keep not Thou silence. Hold not Thy peace and be not still, O G-d. For lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar and they that hate Thee have lifted their heads. They hold crafty counsel against Thy people… They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may no longer be remembered… The Tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagerites, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek… To pursue them with Thy tempest and afright them with Thy storm. Fill their faces with shame, yea let them be abashed and perish that they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the L-rd, and most high over all the earth.” (Psalms 83)

    These are my thoughts Andrew.

  3. “I can’t imagine that this government will act in a preemptive manner to prevent the coming Armageddon”.

    Armageddon or Gog and Magog? Anyway, I would love to hear your views on Ezekial 38 & 39 Yamit. Cheers Andrew.

  4. If Pakistan could produce over 50 nuclear devices along with delivery systems youcanbet that Egypt and Iran can do much better. Algeria has a robust nuclear development project as well as Libya and Syria. in a few decades all ME countries will have some nuclear capabilities. That is not in itself apocalyptic: a few hundred Muslim nuclear weapons cannot destroy a country the size of America.

    Such a war between Muslim countries and the West, it is fairly likely some Muslim leader will certainly use them. Striking America is a chance he might or might not take, but there is an option closer to home: Israel. When biblical prophets predicted that Armageddon battles would take place in Israel, they did not know that their country would be located on the border of two hostile civilizations. History confirmed their prophecies.

    Israel is a tempting target for the Muslims. They sense that the West won’t avenge Jews, just as it did not avenge the Holocaust. Muslim nuclear arsenals, inadequate against the West, are superfluous against Israel. ABM won’t work well in Israel because S-400 in Syria can easily down our interceptor missiles; Israel is too small to defend with ABM.

    Our only hope is a highly credible threat to annihilate any Muslim country we suspect of developing nuclear weapons.

    Our problem is we have a leadership too timid to defeat a bunch lightly armed terrorist militias in the South and the north, have let our cities, towns and populations be bombarded and threatened; but only the mildest ineffective responses. I can’t imagine that this same government will act in a preemptive manner to prevent the coming Armageddon.

  5. Those of us who were born in the West think that all human beings basically are rational. They don’t understand the Islamic death cult. Does it seem rational to blow themselves up even to kill a few infidels?
    We have hundreds of thousands of jihadists brain washed to commit Suicide in most Islamic countries, Especially, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, somalia and many more.This is a recent phenomenon. In all the wars that Israel fought against the Arab armies since 1948, there weren’t any Arabs ready to commit suicide. To stress the point of their irrational hatred allow me to quote an Iranian leader who is considered by the West as moderate.
    In 2003 he suggested to nuclear bomb Israel. “If we bomb them, we will finish them off. If they retaliate a few millions of us would die, but the majority of Islam will survive,” Is that rational thinking? He is willing to let millions of Muslims to die only to wipe the Jews of the map. If you think that I invented it just look it up on google.

    Iran Press Service ^
    Posted on March 12, 2003 7:54:15 PM IST by William McKinley


    TEHRAN 14 Dec. (IPS) One of Iran’s most influential ruling cleric called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them “damages only”.

    “If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world”, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

    Analysts said not only Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani’s speech was the strongest against Israel, but also this is the first time that a prominent leader of the Islamic Republic openly suggests the use of nuclear weapon against the Jewish State.

    “It seems that Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani is forgetting that due to the present intertwinement of Israel and Palestine, the destruction of the Jewish State would also means the mass killing of Palestinian population as well”, observed one Iranian commentator.

  6. I’d have used them in 1973. It’s normally “three strikes and you’re out” and that was the Arabs’ 4th.

    So would I have.

    I would have used them when we were being hit with Saddam’s 39 scuds. I would have told the Americans get the fuck out of the way or suffer the consequences. One of those fuckers hit the building next to my office didn’t exploded but put a big hole through the three top floors of the building. When your own life is put at risk who cares what your (Friends[sic] say, think or do?)! The Americas did not take out a single scud for all there big talk and assurances. Shamir was a wuss.

  7. “According to an official report which was submitted to the American congress in 2004,[7] it may be that with a payload of 1,000 kg the Jericho 3 gives Israel nuclear strike capabilities within the entire Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and almost all parts of North America, as well as within large parts of South America and North Oceania. The range of the Jericho 3 also provides an extremely high impact speed for nearby targets, enabling it to avoid any ballistic missile defenses that may develop in the immediate region.[8] On 17 January 2008 Israel test fired a multi-stage ballistic missile believed to be of the Jericho III type reportedly capable of carrying “conventional or non conventional warheads.”[9]”

    — Wikipedia

    I like hearing that sort of thing. They’re silo-protected, too, which is even better. One would have to be either a lunatic or a Moslem, to attack Israel.

  8. The State of Israel has never made public any details of its nuclear capability or arsenal. The following is a history of estimates by many different reputable sources on the size and strength of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Estimates may vary due to the amount of material Israel has on store versus assembled weapons, and estimates as to how much material the weapons actually use, as well as the overall time in which the reactor was operated. Israel nuclear might is commonly estimated as moving between 200 to 400 warheads, equivalent to almost four thousand Hiroshima-type bombs.

    According to historian Avner Cohen, Israel first articulated an official policy on the use of nuclear weapons in 1966, which revolved around four “red lines” that could lead to a nuclear response:

    1. A successful Arab military penetration into populated areas within Israel’s post-1949 (pre-1967) borders.
    2. The destruction of the Israeli Air Force.
    3. The exposure of Israeli cities to massive and devastating air attacks or to possible chemical or biological attacks.
    4. The use of nuclear weapons against Israeli territory.

    On 8 October 1973 just after the start of the Yom Kippur War, Golda Meir and her closest aides decided to put eight nuclear armed F-4s at Tel Nof Airbase on 24 hour alert and as many nuclear missile launchers at Sedot Mikha Airbase operational as possible. Seymour Hersh adds that the initial target list that night “included the Egyptian and Syrian military headquarters near Cairo and Damascus.” This nuclear alert was meant not only as a means of precaution, but to push the Soviets to restrain the Arab offensive and to convince the US to begin sending supplies. One later report said that a Soviet intelligence officer did warn the Egyptian chief of staff, and colleagues of US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger said that the threat of a nuclear exchange caused him to urge for a massive Israeli resupply. Hersh points out that before Israel obtained its own satellite capability, it engaged in espionage against the United States to obtain nuclear targeting information on Soviet targets.

    Israeli military and nuclear doctrine increasingly focused on preemptive war against any possible attack with conventional, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or even a potential conventional attack on Israel’s weapons of mass destruction.

    * 1967 (Six Day War)- 2 bombs; 13 bombs

    * 1969- 5-6 bombs of 19 kilotons yield each

    * 1973 (Yom Kippur War)- 13 bombs; 20 nuclear missiles plus developed a suitcase bomb

    * 1974- 3 capable artillery battalions each with 12 175 mm tubes and a total of 108 warheads; 10 bombs

    * 1976- 10-20 nuclear weapons

    * 1980- 100-200 bombs

    * 1984- 12-31 atomic bombs; 31 plutonium bombs and 10 uranium bombs

    * 1985- at least 100 nuclear bombs

    * 1986- 100 to 200 fission bombs and a number of fusion bombs

    * 1991- 50-60 to 200-300

    * 1992- more than 200 bombs

    * 1994- 64-112 bombs (5 kg/warhead);[86] 50 nuclear tipped Jericho missiles, 200 total

    * 1995- 66-116 bombs (at 5 kg/warhead);[88] 70-80 bombs;[89] “A complete Repertoire” (neutron bombs, nuclear mines, suitcase bombs, submarine-borne)

    * 1996- 60-80 plutonium weapons, maybe more than 100 assembled, ER variants, varitable yields

    * 1997- More than 400 deliverable thermonuclear and nuclear weapons

    * 2002– Between 75 and 200 weapons

    * 2004- 82

    * 2006- Federation of American Scientists believes that Israel “could have produced enough plutonium for at least 100 nuclear weapons, but probably not significantly more than 200 weapons”.

    * 2008- 150 or more nuclear weapons.
    * 2008- 80 intact warheads, of which 50 are re-entry vehicles for delivery by ballistic missiles and the rest bombs for delivery by aircraft. Total military plutonium stockpile 340–560 kg.
    * 2009- Estimates of weapon numbers differ sharply with plausible estimates varying from 60 to 400.
    * 2010- According to Jane’s Defense Weekly Israel has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads, most of them are probably being kept in unassembled mode but can become fully functional “in a matter of days”.
    * 2010- “[M]ore than 100 weapons, mainly two-stage thermonuclear devices, capable of being delivered by missile, fighter-bomber, or submarine”

    Delivery systems

    Israeli military forces possess land, air, and sea based methods for deploying their nuclear weapons, thus forming nuclear triad that is mainly medium to long ranged, the backbone of which is submarine launched cruise missiles and medium and intercontinental ballistic missiles, with Israeli Air Force tactical aircraft fulfilling the role normally played by strategic bombers in the Russian and American strategic deterrent. During 2008 the Jericho III ICBM became operational, giving Israel extremely long range nuclear strike abilities

    Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired army general and Tel Aviv University professor who is now an MP, told Israeli Channel 2 TV:

    “Everybody can do the math and understand that the significance is that we can reach with a rocket engine to every point in the world”

    Read more:

    Read more:

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  9. If Israel managed its public relations properly, every time it was asked about nuclear weapons, it would respond as follows.

    Nukes? What nukes? We ain’t got no Nukes!! We just used them all! 🙁

  10. Nuclear weapons are deployed in Turkey, Pakistan, Russia and Italy, and could be emplaced in hardened silos in Saudi Arabia on very short notice. The Turkish weapons are the closest to Israel, presumably under NATO command. As with most technology, the cost of becoming a nuclear nation has gone down significantly over the years, and many of Israel’s neighbors could soon be in the club. Even Libya had a serious program before it dropped out a few years ago.