web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


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
Mu'taz Hijazi
Non-Apartheid Alert: Suspected Shooter Worked in Begin Center
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

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

Louis Rene Beres

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.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

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: