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View Diary: End the Nuclear Threat in the Middle East (45 comments)

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  •  Perhaps you could supply some context by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zemblan

    writing a brief summary of the historical strategic context in which Israel developed its nuclear weapons program.  Please include the Six Day and Yom Kippur wars and the Cold War alignments of the various involved parties.

    I'd also like to tip another diary from yesterday on the dangers of falling for ahistorical bullshit:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:58:25 AM PDT

    •  And for your next feat (0+ / 0-)

      explain how nukes would help Israel in a war against Egypt, Jordan, or Syria.  Or are Israelis magically immune from real and metaphorical fallout?

    •  The Israeli government began its ... (4+ / 0-)

      ...nuclear weapons program more than a decade before the Six Day War and the choice to build such a weapon was made more than 60 years ago.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:46:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  unsurprising given its global context at the time. (0+ / 0-)

        which was certainly far more precarious...

      •  That is correct, and exactly my point. Israel (0+ / 0-)

        had no security assurances from anyone at the time, and was not receiving significant military or financial aid from the US before 1968.  It was in a strategic situation vs the surrounding states that made the nuclear decision obvious.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:25:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah. So your implication was NOT that the... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WattleBreakfast

          ...Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War led to Israel's development of nuclear weapons. They were just a vindication of the decision to build them. And they worked so well to stop those wars from happening.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:28:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Try learning some history. Your intended snark (0+ / 0-)

            is very close to actual events:

            http://www.nti.org/...

             It was during the years of the Johnson administration that Israel crossed the technological nuclear threshold. While Israel completed the R&D work on its first nuclear device sometime in late 1966, it continued to pledge to the Johnson administration that "it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region." Clearly, Israel was committed to having a nuclear option, but this did not mean necessarily a commitment to becoming a NWS. In fact, Israeli hesitation as to the future of its nuclear program seemed to intensify in the wake of a major accident at the Dimona facility in December 1966, which caused the shutdown of the nuclear plant for three months.

            Crossing the Nuclear Threshold

            The 1967 Six-Day War was a turning point in Israel's nuclear history. In Israel and the Bomb, author Avner Cohen revealed that on the eve of the Six-Day War, in late May 1967, Israeli engineers improvised rudimentary, but operational, nuclear weapons—the first time that Israel assembled nuclear devices.[10] The 1967 war brought about a new political and strategic reality, as well as domestic changes in Israel itself that significantly decreased Israel's nuclear inhibition. The fear that Israeli nuclear development could bring about a Middle East war was moot now. With its victory in the 1967 war, Israel had passed the vulnerable transition period with little opportunity for an Arab reaction.

            Where are we, now that we need us most?

            by Frank Knarf on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:54:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am quite familiar with Israel's... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WattleBreakfast

              ...nuclear history. Israel planned to build nuclear weapons early on. It lied publicly about the purposes of the nuclear reactor at Dimona. It was built in tandem with a plutonium-reprocessing operation whose purpose was to extract nuclear material for a Bomb, starting in 1958. The reactor was upgraded from 24 megawatts to as high as 150 megawatts with the sole purpose of producing more plutonium.  

              The U.S. obtained an inspection agreement in 1962, but Israel only allowed one visit a year during which the inspectors saw only the aboveground operations in which everything was simulated. Underground, the push for a Bomb moved forward, and the plutonium-reprocessing operation began in 1964-5. Some high-level Israelis were, indeed, "inhibited" about building a Bomb. But as Cohen makes clear, there is a direct line from 1952 with the establishment of Israel's atomic energy commission under military supervision right until those rudimentary Bombs were fabricated 15 years later.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:17:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess all that strategic context stuff is just (0+ / 0-)

                meaningless noise to you.  Do you have any sympathy at all for situation that Israel faced in those days?  Should they have relied on the kindness of strangers?

                Where are we, now that we need us most?

                by Frank Knarf on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:27:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What was the strategic context behind.. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shaharazade

                  ...Israel's high-level talks with South Africa to discuss selling some of its nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime and the almost certain assistance Israel gave to that government when it decided to build its own Bombs? That was meant to protect it against an attack by whom exactly?

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:09:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I believe it had to do with access to uranium (0+ / 0-)

                    supplies.  What is your view?  Do you believe that the Israeli government's intent was to endorse the SA system, for some reason?

                    Where are we, now that we need us most?

                    by Frank Knarf on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 07:51:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Israel's willingness to bolster a regime... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      shaharazade

                      ...headed at the time of its meetings in 1975 by a prime minister who opposed Britain's (and thus South Africa's) entry into World War II and openly called for a German victory in the war is just a little on the, uh, moral edge, wouldn't you say?

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:04:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  There is an interesting discussion that could be (0+ / 0-)

                    based on a diary about the South African nuclear weapons program.  Why was it begun, why was it ended, how did the regime there see its cold war strategic position, what motivated the Israelis to seek reactor fuel there rather than from France or Canada or the US or the Soviet Union.

                    This would require thinking, research, analysis and context.

                    Instead we get innuendo and emotional button-pushing, trying to link something about Israel to something about apartheid, cough cough.

                    Sadly, a far too common phenomenon on Kos.

                    Where are we, now that we need us most?

                    by Frank Knarf on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:03:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Israel DID get reactor fuel from France... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MBNYC

                      ...as well as the Negev phosphates. Perhaps you should do a little research, thinking and analysis yourself. Are you suggesting that Israel had no possible sources of uranium other than one of the most despised regimes on the planet, one led at the time of its dealings from uranium by someone who was pro-German during World War II? There is no innuendo here. It's flat-out true that Israel dealt with South Africa and helped it build the Bomb. Outright proliferation to a racist government. And this was done because, you suggest, it had no choice given the enemies Israel had to face down? Sorry, not buying it.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:11:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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