An Israeli nuclear preemption is highly improbable, effectively inconceivable, and could be expected only if: (1) Israel’s enemy or enemies had unexpectedly acquired nuclear or other unconventional weapons presumed capable of destroying the Jewish state; (2) this enemy state had been forthright that its genocidal intentions paralleled its capabilities; (3) this state was reliably believed ready to begin a final countdown-to-launch; and (4) Israel believed that non-nuclear preemptions could not possibly achieve levels of damage-limitation consistent with its own national survival.
To reject altogether this particular argument on Israeli nuclear preemption would require an antecedent assumption that national self-preservation is not always Israel’s highest priority.
(Continued Next Week)
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.