The Samson Option
An investigation into Israel's nuclear capabilities discloses information about the country's rush toward nuclear status, its collaboration with South Africa and Iran, and its espionage activities.
The Samson option
Exposes one of the most well-protected political-military secrets of the Cold War
The Samson Option
Samuel Rosen passed from this life into the next with no struggle, no anxiety as the thin blade severed the artery in his throat . . . His killer calmly stepped back out of the range of the spurting blood, wiped off his knife with a corner of the duvet and whispered "Allah Akbar," God is great. Far away in Bombay, Ari Ben Chaim learns that four people in his life have been murdered by unknown assassins -- his adoptive parents, a psychologist who treated him after he resigned from the Israeli Army, even an old Englishwoman who had been his baby nurse many years before -- and Ari must find out why. He returns to Israel in search of answers, only to find more questions when he is kidnapped by a Muslim splinter group, escapes and then is recruited by the Israeli intelligence service for a top secret mission into the heart of Iran's weapons program.
Israel and the Bomb
Until now, there has been no detailed account of Israel's nuclear history. Previous treatments of the subject relied heavily on rumors, leaks, and journalistic speculations. But with Israel and the Bomb, Avner Cohen has forged an interpretive political history that draws on thousands of American and Israeli government documents -- most of them recently declassified and never before cited -- and more than one hundred interviews with key individuals who played important roles in this story. Cohen reveals that Israel crossed the nuclear weapons threshold on the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War, yet it remains ambiguous about its nuclear capability to this day. What made this posture of "opacity" possible, and how did it evolve? Cohen focuses on a two-decade period from about 1950 until 1970, during which David Ben-Gurion's vision of making Israel a nuclear-weapon state was realized. He weaves together the story of the formative years of Israel's nuclear program, from the founding of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission in 1952, to the alliance with France that gave Israel the sophisticated technology it needed, to the failure of American intelligence to identify the Dimona Project for what it was, to the negotiations between President Nixon and Prime Minister Meir that led to the current policy of secrecy. Cohen also analyzes the complex reasons Israel concealed its nuclear program -- from concerns over Arab reaction and the negative effect of the debate at home to consideration of America's commitment to nonproliferation. Israel and the Bomb highlights the key questions and the many potent issues surrounding Israel's nuclear history. This book will be a critical resource for students of nuclear proliferation, Middle East politics, Israeli history, and American-Israeli relations, as well as a revelation for general readers.
Samson Blinded A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict, by Obadiah Shoher, abandons moralizing and ideological hubris to view Israeli-Muslim struggle in terms of raw realpolitik. Terrorism is historically normal mode of war. Israel must respect terrorists as efficient warriors - and kill them. Nuclear terrorism is unavoidable, and it will hit America before Israel. We must learn to tolerate and mitigate its damages. Shoher makes the case that only by shedding liberal idealism the West can win against Islamists. Espousing political rationalism, he deplores both Jewish and Muslim myths, and argues for efficiency and separating politics from moralism.
The Worst Kept Secret
Israel has made a unique contribution to the nuclear age& mdash;it has created (with the tacit support of the United States) a special "bargain" with its bomb. Israel is the only nuclear-armed state that keeps its bomb invisible, unacknowledged, opaque. It will only say that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. The bomb is Israel's collective ineffable& mdash;the nation's last taboo. This bargain has a name: in Hebrew, it is called amimut, or opacity. By adhering to the bargain, which was born in a secret deal between Richard Nixon and Golda Meir, Israel creates a code of nuclear conduct that encompasses both governmental policy and societal behavior. The bargain lowers the salience of Israel's nuclear weapons, yet it also remains incompatible with the norms and values of liberal democracy. It relies on secrecy and opacity. It infringes on the public right to know and negates the notion of public accountability and oversight, among other offenses. Author of the critically acclaimed Israel and the Bomb, Avner Cohen offers a bold and original study of this politically explosive subject. Along with a fair appraisal of the bargain's strategic merits, Cohen provides a critique of its antidemocratic faults. Arguing that the bargain has become increasingly anachronistic, he calls for a reform in line with domestic democratic values as well as current international nuclear norms. Most important, he believes the old methods will prove inadequate in dealing with a nuclear Iran. Cohen concludes with fresh perspectives on Iran, Israel, and the effort toward global disarmament.
Samson Hero or Fool
This collection of essays, presented at an international conference on Samson held in 2008 at the University of Nijmegen, studies the text of Judges 16-18, the reception history of the Samson traditions in later Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature, and his representation in figurative and performing arts.
The Unspoken Alliance
A revealing account of how Israel’s booming arms industry and apartheid South Africa’s international isolation led to a secretive military partnership between two seemingly unlikely allies. Prior to the Six-Day War, Israel was a darling of the international left: socialist idealists like David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir vocally opposed apartheid and built alliances with black leaders in newly independent African nations. South Africa, for its part, was controlled by a regime of Afrikaner nationalists who had enthusiastically supported Hitler during World War II. But after Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, the country found itself estranged from former allies and threatened anew by old enemies. As both states became international pariahs, their covert military relationship blossomed: they exchanged billions of dollars’ worth of extremely sensitive material, including nuclear technology, boosting Israel’s sagging economy and strengthening the beleaguered apartheid regime. By the time the right-wing Likud Party came to power in 1977, Israel had all but abandoned the moralism of its founders in favor of close and lucrative ties with South Africa. For nearly twenty years, Israel denied these ties, claiming that it opposed apartheid on moral and religious grounds even as it secretly supplied the arsenal of a white supremacist government. Sasha Polakow-Suransky reveals the previously classified details of countless arms deals conducted behind the backs of Israel’s own diplomatic corps and in violation of a United Nations arms embargo. Based on extensive archival research and exclusive interviews with former generals and high-level government officials in both countries, The Unspoken Alliance tells a troubling story of Cold War paranoia, moral compromises, and Israel’s estrangement from the left. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Israel’s history and its future. From the Hardcover edition.
Surviving Amid Chaos
Now facing a genuinely unprecedented configuration of existential threats, Israel's leaders must decide whether to continue their deliberate nuclear ambiguity policy (the "bomb in the basement") as they consider such urgent and overlapping survival issues as regional nuclear proliferation, Jihadist terror-group intersections with enemy states, rationality or irrationality of state and sub-state adversaries, assassination or "targeted killing," preemption, and the probable effects of a "Cold War II" between Russia and the United States. Israel must develop a strategic posture that will involve a suitably coherent and refined nuclear strategy. This book critically examines Israel's rapidly evolving nuclear strategy in light of these issues and explains how it underscores the overarching complexity of strategic interactions in the Middle East.
How The End Begins
Each chapter of the How the End Beginsdeconstructs the dangers we face. Rosenbaum begins by showing all the ways the post-Cold War order that tried to impose a set of rules of averting a nuclear mistake has fallen apart. In chapter 2, he describes the journey of one Bruce Blair, once a missile launcher, whose experience inside the nuclear establishment left him alarmed about its vulnerabilities. Chapter 3 looks at nuclear war from the Russian side, using the architect of that nation's early warning system as a focus. Chapter 4 looks at how the Bush Administration helped pushed the world closer to a nuclear conflict by rewriting the rules of deterrence. Chapter 5 describes all the ways the international incidents we have seen - Georgia, the Israeli raid on Syria, the Iranian moves - are evidence that some governments have shown a willingness to move closer to the brink of a conflict involving nuclear weapons. The rest of the book looks at the broader nuclear issues facing the world in the 21st century: What is deterrence? Who can claim to have it? How many nuclear weapons can we live with? Is zero really possible? In other words: Can we undream the nightmare?