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August 07, 1987 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-07

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Israel's Nuclear Strategy
Relies On Ambiguity


Jerusalem has reportedly developed and tested a powerful new missile
capable of reaching parts of the USSR. And Moscow is unhappy.

Reading becomes
a stage art


Singles balance
work and leisure


AUGUST 7, 1987 / 12 AV 5747

7 I


For The

Some of the
burden of
caring for
seriously ill
or elderly
at home is
eased by
respite care


Special to The Jewish News

Jerusalem — At 10 p.m. on Oct. 8,
1973, two days after Syrian and Egyp-
tian forces launched a surprise attack
which marked the start of the Yom
Kippur War, the head of Israel's Nor-
thern Command, Major General Yitz-
hak Hofi, told his superiors: "I'm not
sure we can hold out."
The warning was passed on to
-Prime Minister Golda Meir, who
ordered Israel's Kfir and Phantom
fighter planes, as well as its home-
made Jericho missiles, to be armed
with a top-secret arsenal of 13 atomic
Within hours, however, the tide of
battle turned dramatically in Israel's
favor and the Doomsday weapons
were shipped back to their depots in

the desert, where they remain to this
Details of this alleged brush with
Armaggedon, reported in Time
magazine on April 12, 1976, were
vigorously denied by Israeli officials.
So, too, were countless other
charges — dating back to the early
1960s — that Israel does indeed
possess nuclear capability.
To all such questions and claims,
officials in Jerusalem intone a stan-
dard, inscrutable response: "Israel
will not be the first to introduce
atomic weapons into the Middle
East." That is what a succession of
Foreign Ministry spokesmen have
told journalists and it is what a suc-
cession of Israeli politicians have told
inquisitive international leaders.
It is what David Ben-Gurion told
President Charles de Gaulle in June

1960; what Shimon Peres told Presi-
dent John F. Kennedy in April 1963,
and what Prime Minister Levi
Eshkol, told President Lyndon B.
Johnson in June 1964. In fact, Israel
could not be the first to introduce
nuclear weapons into the region; it
would, at best, be the fourth: the
British have deployed nuclear
weapons at their military bases in
Cyprus, while the United States and
Soviet fleets in the Mediterranean are
both well-stocked.
It is one thing, however, to possess
nuclear weapons — and in Israel's
case, the point is still moot — but it
is quite another to have an effective
means of delivering those weapons.
The question of Israel's nuclear
capability was, therefore, given a
decidedly sharper edge by a recent

Continued on Page 20

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