web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Why Israel Needs Nuclear Weapons: A Response To Zeev Maoz


Beres-Louis-Rene

Israeli strategist Zeev Maoz, currently a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, has written a controversial article calling for Israel to disband its nuclear weapons program and to join with Arab states in the region to create a “nuclear-weapons- free-zone.”Forthcoming in the prestigious Harvard journal International Security, “The Mixed Blessing of Israel’s Nuclear Policy” completely ignores the entire history of Israel-Arab relations, especially the still unending Arab call for Israel’s annihilation and the indisputably ceaseless record of Arab/Iranian non-compliance with international legal obligations. Most ominously, this record includes Iran’s recently revealed pursuit of nuclear weapons while a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

How little has been learned in some academic quarters. Should Israeli leaders ever take seriously the particular “wisdom” of Zeev Maoz, they might as well agree openly to national suicide. Deprived of any truly menacing deterrent, a denuclearized Israel would put itself at the mercy of governments that unambiguously profess genocide against a country that is half the size of Lake Michigan.

Admittedly, it is difficult to imagine nuclear weapons as anything other than inherently evil
implements of destruction. Yet, there are certainly circumstances wherein a country’s possession of such weapons will be all that protects that state from altogether catastrophic war. Moreover, because such terrible weapons may deter international aggression, their possession could also protect neighboring states (friends and foes) from war-related or even nuclear-inflicted harms. It follows that not all members of the Nuclear Club need be a menace; rather, some may offer a distinct and indispensable benefit to world peace and security.

An obvious case in point is the State of Israel. Should Israel ever be deprived of its nuclear forces because of misconceived Israeli hopes for regional cooperation, the Jewish state could become vulnerable to overwhelming attacks from certain enemy states. Even if pertinent Arab states were to actually abide by the expectations of a nuclear- weapons-free-zone – a presumption entirely unsupported by regional histories – their combined conventional, chemical and biological capabilities could, over time, become overwhelming for Israel.

Although Israeli existential vulnerability might be prevented in principle by instituting parallel forms of conventional/chemical/biological weapons disarmament among enemy Arab states and Iran, such parallel steps would never actually take place. After all, as we should have learned by now, verification of compliance in these matters is exceedingly difficult. Such verification would be especially problematic where several enemy states would be involved.

Nuclear weapons are not the problem per se. In the persistently bad neighborhood known as the Middle East, the problem is a far-reaching and essentially unreconstructed Arab/Iranian commitment to “excise the Jewish cancer.” Faced with this commitment, Jerusalem must already understand that the “Peace Process” has never been more than a temporary enemy expedient, a stratagem designed to weaken Israel to the point where, finally, it can no longer defend itself.

Significantly, this strategem, whether it be called “Oslo” or the “Road Map,” could soon succeed beyond the wildest dreams of enemy leaders. Should the “Peace Process” now be augmented by Israeli nuclear disarmament as recommended by Professor Maoz, and at a time when enemy states would continue to expand their own conventional and unconventional weapons activities, Israel’s very survival could be placed in doubt.

Contrary to prevailing conventional wisdom, which is almost always unwise, at least one Arab state that is now formally “at peace” with Israel remains effectively at war with the Jewish state. There can be little doubt that Egypt, should tactical opportunities arise, would quickly revert to its traditional stance, joining enthusiastically in joint Arab attacks against Israeli population centers and certain military targets. Syria, should it sometime sign a comparable peace agreement with Israel, would not hesitate to abrogate that agreement if Damascus felt the time were right for a gainful final assault. Here we must also take special note of growing cooperation between certain Arab states and Iran, which could soon imperil Israel with formidable combinations of conventional and unconventional threats, including nuclear weapons.

With nuclear weapons, Israel could deter enemy unconventional attacks and most large conventional aggressions. Moreover, with such weapons, Jerusalem could launch non-nuclear preemptive strikes against enemy state hard targets that threaten Israel’s annihilation. Without such weapons, such strikes would likely represent the onset of a much wider war because there would be no compelling threat of Israeli counter-retaliation. Israel’s nuclear weapons therefore represent an impediment to the actual use of nuclear weapons and to the commencement of regional nuclear war.

Let us be candid. Zeev Maoz’s stated willingness to give up the atom is a splendid example of what international lawyers call “naive legalism.” Left to depend upon the security guarantees of Israel’s mortal enemies, the Jewish state, denuclearized and incrementally dismembered by the “Peace Process,” might not long endure. But by maintaining indispensable military power in a hostile and increasingly anarchic region, Israel – which assuredly harbors no interest whatsoever in the destruction of any other state - could ensure both its own survival and general area security.

Of course, in the best of possible worlds, all unconventional weapons, chemical/biological as well as nuclear, would simply be eliminated. But as we still do not live in such a world, it is vital to realize that the weapons themselves are not the real problem, and that Israeli nuclear weapons are plainly necessary to preserve the peace and to prevent catastrophic war.

Copyright© The Jewish Press 2004. All rights reserved.LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy and nuclear war. He is Chair of “Project Daniel,” a private advisory group to the Prime Minister on existential security matters. The group’s final report, Israel’s Strategic Future, was delivered to PM Sharon in January 2003.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Israel Needs Nuclear Weapons: A Response To Zeev Maoz”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Poster for anti-Semitic rally to fight "Jewification" of north London neighborhood of Stamford Hill.
Anti-Semitic Rally Opposing ‘Jewification’ of Britain
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/why-israel-needs-nuclear-weapons-a-response-to-zeev-maoz/2004/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: