Monday, June 4, 2018
The Sword and the Olive: A Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force, by Martin VanCreveld. New York: Public Affairs, 1998. 320pages. $27.50,hardcover., a review by Stephen darori, The Bard Of Bat Yam, Poet LaureateOfZion
Knives, Tanks and Missles: Israel's Security Revolution, by Eliot A. Cohen, Michael Eisenstadt and A.J. Bacevich. Washington, DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1998. 154pages. $16.95,paperback.
Israel and the Bomb, by Avner Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. 478 pages. $17.95, paperback.
Rabin and Israel's National Security, by Efraim lnbar. Washington, DC: The Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1999. 276 pages. $32.00, hardcover.
National Security: The Israeli Experience, by Yisrael Tal. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2000. 216 pages. $55.00, hardcover.
Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination, by Ehud Sprinzak. New York: Free Press, 1999. 384 pages. $27.50, hardcover.
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, there has been a radical transformation in Israel's conception of its national-security concerns and interests. No longer the underdog David against the powerful Goliath, as portrayed by books on Israel during the mandatory period or the early years of statehood, Israel in the year 2000 is a nuclear power; and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is a modem, high-tech fighting force renowned for its conventional ground, aerial, naval and nonconventional (weapons of mass destruction) prowess. Israel possesses the military capability to strike long-range targets deep into enemy territory and has been preparing itself to defend against incoming ballistic missiles with its joint U.S.-Israel Arrow (Chets) anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) program. Moreover, the research and development programs of Israel's military industry are ranked (relative to size) among the world's most sophisticated and advanced. Israel also ranks as one of the world's preeminent arms suppliers, with multi-billion-dollar military trade relations with countries as diverse as Chile, China, India, Russia and Turkey. In addition, Israel is a leading military trainer of countries in need of assistance with internal insurgencies - for example, Colombia and Sri Lanka and even the militarily advanced China.
In the Middle East, Israel's military prowess has been further enhanced by the transformation of the nature of the national-security threats ushered in by the peace treaties and accords reached with former enemies Egypt and Jordan. A final accord with the Palestinians is also within reach. Along Israel's northern frontiers, the security landscape underwent a major shakeup in late May 2000, when Israel withdrew its forces from the security zone in southern Lebanon. It remains to be seen whether this border will be peaceful if cemented by a peace treaty between Israel and Syria, to be followed by another between Israel and Lebanon. It even appears that the last rejectionist holdouts - Iraq and Libya -will become increasingly marginalized and present little threat to Israeli security. In the case of Iran, the power struggle between the regime's clerical hard-liners and moderate reformers points to a lessening of the threat toward Israel.
Nevertheless, several problem areas remain. There is much controversy in Israel over the definition of the country's national-security concerns and interests. In fact, it could be argued that some of the ways the concept of “security" has been used have actually damaged the country's security, for example, using the term "security settlements" by Jewish inhabitants of the occupied West Bank. These have become a security burden by committing the IDF to defend elements that seek to exacerbate rather than harmonize relations with the neighboring Palestinians. Moreover, in view of Israel's overwhelming conventional military advantage over its regional enemies, has the time arrived for greater transparency in discussing the country's nuclear-weapons capability and intentions, including targeting? Does Israel need to revise its ambiguous policy concerning whether or not it actually possesses nuclear weapons to deter its enemies from using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against it? Is a new doctrine being developed to integrate Israel's conventional and WMD prowess to fight future wars in which ballistic missiles armed with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads might be launched from distant countries such as Iran, Iraq and Libya? Moreover, if ballistic missiles are not likely to be launched from Syria, Lebanon or the nascent Palestinian state as a result of peace accords, would such a scenario make it feasible for Israel to relinquish the remaining territories it occupies in the West Bank and Golan Heights without risking a major threat to its own security?
Other concepts that require redefinition include measuring "military success" in irregular warfare situations such as in southern Lebanon, the nature of the threats posed by Arab terrorism, and whether the Israeli response has mitigated or exacerbated the problem by treating it as a purely military as opposed to a military/political problem. Finally, it has been reported that the Israeli security and intelligence services have upgraded the threat posed by Jewish right-wing, ultra religious nationalists, particularly as a result of the November 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the potential for future political assassinations against the country's moderate leaders as the peace process reaches its final stages.
Several recent books on Israeli national security discuss the external and internal threats facing the country and the Israeli government's response to them, particularly against the background of progress that has been reached so far in the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian peace process.
Israeli defense expert Martin van Creveld is a military historian at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the author of numerous highly regarded books on war. In The Sword and the Olive: A Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force, he presents a comprehensive twentieth-century military history of Israel, starting in 1907 in Ottoman Palestine with the organization of Jewish defense groups (HaShomer, Hagana) that continued through the British mandate, through the various wars, including the Palestinian uprising, and concluding with the present day. Much of the book's focus is on the IDF's glory years, roughly the quarter century from Israel's declaration of statehood in June 1948, the 1956 Sinai campaign against Egypt, the June 1967 Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, to the October 1973 War against Egypt and Syria. Despite being massively outnumbered, Israel won each time. Van Creveld points out that during this period the IDF evolved from mainly an infantry force in 1948-1949, which "slugged it out" with the enemy forces "at a slow pace and heavy cost," to a mechanized force in 1956-1967, which centered around the fighter-bomber and the tank. This phase was marked by a flexible system of command, which led to the brilliant blitzkrieg campaigns of 1956 and 1967. In the 1973 war, for which Israel was initially unprepared, the IDF quickly adopted combined-anus warfare, which proved highly effective in eventually winning the war. In the next phase, the mid to late seventies, the IDF entered the era of electronics, missiles and long-range strike forces, enabling it to penetrate deep into enemy lands. Finally, in parallel with the increase in Israel's conventional military might during the late seventies and early eighties, its strategic position was "revolutionized by the widely reported introduction of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles" (p. 359).
These transformations led many military experts to claim that man for man (and equipment), no army in the world is tougher or more brilliant than the one Israel deployed in battle. Van Creveld elaborates on these accomplishments, which created the myth of Israeli military invincibility. However, he is also highly critical of what has happened to the IDF since the early 1980s. He considers the IDF's decline to have started with the strategically ill-considered invasion of Lebanon in September 1982 by the Begin government. He compares this bungled mission to the American debacle in Vietnam. Van Creveld updates the situation in Lebanon by discussing Israel's politically unpopular military campaign in the 1990s against Hezbollah 's guerrilla warfare in Israel's security zone in southern Lebanon, which led to the deaths of many Israeli soldiers and dragged on without the possibility of a military solution.
Van Creveld also believes that the IDF's decline was accelerated by the politically inflexible response to the intifada in the late 1980s, which exposed the military's various shortcomings in confronting a violent civil resistance. The IDF discovered that its "numerical strength and technical superiority in weapons and weapons systems conferred no considerable advantage" (p. 361 ). Moreover, the IDF experienced difficulties in coping with the "moral dilemmas" entailed in policing the territories, which lowered morale in the armed forces to the point where hundreds of soldiers refused to serve in the territories and tens of thousands of Israelis evaded service "by one means or another" (p. 362).
Israel's inability to resolve the intifada during this period, according to van Creveld, not only created internal problems for the IDF but affected Israeli society as a whole by undermining faith in the state (p. 363 ). With its society so polarized, the longer Israel held on to the territories, the greater the possibility loomed of a civil war among the Jews, whose "warning light" was the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin in November 1995 by an opponent of the peace process.
Israel's experience in the 1991 Persian Gulf War exposed the IDF to additional limitations and vulnerabilities, van Creveld holds. First, to preserve the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq, particularly the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Syria, the Israeli government agreed not to retaliate independently against Iraqi Scud missile attacks against Israeli territory but to let the United States dominate the air war against Baghdad. Second, the IDF's "only" defensive weapon against the Iraqi Scud missiles consisted of early-edition U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft missiles. The Patriots, however, were not designed for long-range anti-missile operations and proved "almost useless" for intercepting incoming warheads. Thus, writes van Creveld, Israel's efforts "to organize passive [or active] air defenses had been almost entirely useless... " (p. 332).
As a result of Israel's experience in the Gulf War, the government decided to "change priorities" and devote greater resources to upgrading its civil-defense capability. A new Home Front Defense Command replaced the previous HAGA (Haganah Ezrahit Civil Defense Organization), and, with U.S. financial support, development was accelerated for the Israeli-produced Arrow anti-ballistic missile. Unlike the original Patriot, the Arrow is designed to bring down ballistic missiles rather than aircraft, and its 50-mile range is long enough to prevent parts of missiles from falling near protected zones.
According to van Creveld, the main lesson of the Gulf War is that the most effective response to a potential missile attack with WMD warhead is "not to spend billions on antimissile defenses but to threaten retaliation of a similar kind. A fortiori the same applies to a nuclear threat, which may one day emerge. Indeed so large is the nuclear threat that any attempt to build a 'reliable' defense against it would almost certainly represent an oxymoron" (p. 333).
Another important book that discusses the changes in Israel's approach to national security is Knives, Tanks & Missiles: Israel's Security Revolution by American defense experts Eliot A. Cohen, Michael J. Eisenstadt, and Andrew J. Bacevich. Their study is based on extensive research and intensive discussions with active and retired Israeli military officers and government officials. Their thesis is this: because of Israel’s overwhelming conventional military superiority, a new type of asymmetric warfare will be fought between Israel and its remaining adversaries, who are likely to wage unconventional chemical, biological and even nuclear warfare launched by means of ballistic missiles from great distances away from Israel. In response, new technological, strategic, economic and social forces are "combining to render as obsolete Israel's traditional approach to national security and its armed forces" (p. xiii). A "revolution in security affairs" (RSA) is taking place that will produce radical changes in the organization, role and capabilities of the IDF, including the relationship between the IDF and society. In terms of the IDF's military capability, the authors believe that in the future the IDF will "trade quantity to preserve quality" by relying less on first line helicopters, tanks and sophisticated artillery systems in favor of long-range aerial attack against enemy surface-to-surface missiles or WMD-related facilities (p. xiii). The Israeli Air Force (!AF), while still supporting the ground forces, will perform an "increasingly independent role" in conducting these long-range aerial attacks, while the navy will also assume a more prominent role as a strategic strike force (p. xiv). As a result, the IDF's force structure will be transformed from a mass army to a smaller, more complex and high-tech military.
According to these authors, Israel's revised strategic doctrine is also based on the post-1991 Arab-Israel negotiations, which constrain Israel's use of force because of the desire to seek postwar peace settlements. With "permanent postwar settlements" a real possibility, Israeli military operations will be directed "at destroying enemy forces rather than seizing terrain"(p. 128). Thus, future wars are not likely to replicate the past because, as Israel retains its conventional military superiority, potential opponents will rely ever more on terrorist attacks or attack by nonconventional (chemical, biological or nuclear) weapons, which Israel will find difficult to counter. Nevertheless, the authors believe that Israel's new high-technology anti-missile defense effort, based on the three elements of the Arrow anti-missile system, an unmanned aerial-vehicle based, boost-phased intercept (BPI) system, and the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL) system, is likely to prove effective in protecting Israel from incoming ballistic-missile attack (p. 40). Such an active defense, the authors conclude, will be accompanied by offensive operations by Israel's long-range strike aircraft and ballistic missiles deep into enemy territory.
Interestingly, Cohen et al. urge Israel to adopt a "less ambiguous nuclear posture" because, with its enemies likely to resort to attack by nonconventional weapons, Israel's nuclear capabilities "will figure increasingly in [its] security policy ... " (p. 129). A similar argument, although expressed somewhat differently, is presented in Israel and the Bomb by the academic researcher Avner Cohen, an expatriate Israeli currently residing in the United States. Cohen's book makes a great contribution in clearing away the obscurity surrounding the political background and actual production of Israel’s nuclear-weapons program, located primarily in the Negev town of Dimona. His political history draws on thousands of American and Israeli government documents - most of them recently declassified and never before cited - and more than I 00 interviews with key individuals who played important roles in this story.
Writing the book was a difficult process for Cohen. He had to overcome "scholarly" difficulties of gaining access to archival and human sources and the "personal" difficulties of "breaking the Israeli code of silence" concerning the discussion of Israel's nuclear weapons program and arsenal (p. 338). Thus, in such discussions, Israeli writers will use phrases like "according to foreign sources," "nuclear option" and "nuclear capabilities" rather than direct discussion or using Israeli sources (p. 338). This code of silence, Cohen explains, is testimony to kedushat habitachon - the sacredness of security. As a result, "Israel's nuclear status has remained an enigma, referred to both as 'the world's worst kept secret' and 'the bomb that never is."'(p. 338)
Cohen reveals that Israel crossed the nuclear-weapons threshold on the eve of the 1967 war. At the time, Israel was the sixth nation to acquire nuclear weapons, yet unlike the first five, Israel was not a powerful country with a large population, rich resources and industrial base or a major player on the international scene. As a result, Israel has remained ambiguous about its nuclear capability to this day. Cohen terms Israel's intentional secrecy "nuclear opacity": a "situation in which a state's nuclear capability has not been acknowledged, but is recognized in a way that influences other nations' perceptions and actions..." (p. 2).
Israel and the Bomb reveals the story of this opacity, explaining how it developed in Israel and became accepted abroad. Cohen focuses on a two-decade period from about 1950 until 1970 during which Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion 's vision of making Israel a nuclear-weapons state was realized. The formative years of Israel’s nuclear program began in the early 1950s and was driven by Ben-Gurion's belief that Israel had to develop a nuclear capability because the Arab-Israeli conflict was not amenable to a diplomatic solution. Following the creation of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission in 1952, the alliance with France provided Israel with the sophisticated technology it needed to embark on a nuclear program. According to Cohen, the current policy of opacity was solidified by several historical developments, including the failure of American intelligence to identify the Dimona Project for what it was and negotiations between President Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir. Cohen writes that in return for Israel's commitment "not to reveal its nuclear capability by conducting a test or by declaration," the Americans promised not to pressure Israel to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and to omit the issue from the bilateral agenda (pp. 336-37). Moreover, with American cooperation, Israel succeeded in convincing the international community to accept its formula for nuclear ambiguity: that "it would not be the first to introduce" nuclear weapons into the Middle East.
The weakest part of Cohen's otherwise excellent study is his disagreement with the complex reasons motivating Israel to conceal its nuclear weapons program and its positive achievements. To Cohen, Israel has gone "too far in its nuclear pursuit of opacity," and "nuclear weapons have made Israel arrogant" in its insistence that the Arab states "should not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons" in order to maintain "an Israeli nuclear monopoly" in the region (pp. 342-43). Cohen goes so far as to argue that "opacity prevents conceptual clarity about Israel's intentions and objectives" (p. 346). In fact, other analysts argue that the formula of ambiguity is grounded in a sound policy because, as Ari Shavita explains, "It enabled a reasonable level of deterrence to be maintained against the Arabs without engaging in undue flagrance; and because it enabled a lenient approach by the international community without causing undue provocation. In fact, it allowed all sides to deceive themselves, not to see how Israel was going nuclear before their eyes."1 Shavita adds that this ambiguity is not only impressive as foreign policy, but also as domestic policy because the Israeli government has always understood "the danger inherent in nuclearization" and that "it was out of the question to make irresponsible use of the facility. It could not be exploited in the normal diplomatic and political games; it could not be integrated into the regular defense doctrine.... It had to be maintained absolutely as an option of last resort." 2 Shavita concludes that it is necessary to keep Israel's nuclear capability "semi-secret" "in order to minimize the danger that Dimona would ever be used, ... that under no circumstances must Dimona be relied upon. In short, life must go on as though Dimona doesn't exist."3
Cohen is on firmer ground when he points out that opacity "has made it difficult, if not impossible, to research and debate" certain "intriguing, even disturbing, questions" about the Israeli nuclear bomb (p. 343). He adds that opacity "has stifled public debate" on the nuclear issue and that the country's democratic institutions, such as the Knesset, political parties, the press and academia "have looked the other way when it came to nuclear weapons"(pp. 343-44). As a matter of fact, following the publication of Cohen's book, the Knesset did take up the issue of Israel's nuclear policy, although briefly, on February 2, 2000, when this subject was raised by Issam Mahout, a Hadash member of the Knesset (MK). The government's response was delivered by MK Haim Ramon, who restated, in Israeli academic Gerald Steinberg's characterization, the "ritual formula that Israel would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region," and that Israel did not sign the NPT because it lacks a "fitting solution" to the Middle East due to its inability to prevent Iran and Iraq from acquiring such weapons.4 In Steinberg's view, the Israeli government should have used this forum to fully explain the logic of its nuclear-deterrent policy, not only to the Israeli public but to foreign audiences as well.5
In the case of Israel’s academic research, Cohen's critique is confirmed when one examines the reference to Israel's nuclear capability in the leading reference books on Middle East security issues published in Israel. For example, the authoritative series of volumes entitled The Middle East Military Balance,published annually by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, in the section on nuclear, biological and chemical technology mentions that Israel's nuclear capabilities consist only of “two nuclear research reactor s."6 On the other hand, in discussing the nuclear capabilities of Iran, the same volume is more expansive about its "5 mw research rector" in Tehran, "a small 27 kw miniature neutron source reactor" in Isfahan, and a" 1,000 mw VVER reactor under construction" in Bushir.7 Thus, information about the size and capability of Israel's nuclear weapons program, although unofficial and speculative, is likely to be found in foreign, not Israeli, publications. 8
There are, nevertheless, numerous studies of a conceptual nature by Israeli academics about the country's nuclear-weapons program and its role in the strategy of deterrence. A recent example is Rabin and Israel's National Security by Efraim Inbar. Inbar, the director of the BESA Center at Bar Ilan University, devotes a chapter on Rabin's conceptualization of the role of weapons of mass destruction in national-security strategy. Inbar writes that Rabin was "skeptical" about the utility of nuclear weapons in deterrence or in warfighting because "conventional power suffices to guarantee Israel's security in the near future. Attempts to rely on mystical weapons are negative trends" (p. 116). It is interesting that Rabin used the euphemism of “mystical weapons" to refer to "nuclear" weapons. Nevertheless, while Rabin was willing to "lower the nuclear profile," he still sought to keep Israel's nuclear option "alive as long as possible" and to employ such weapons when the country's existence or vital interests appeared in "jeopardy" (p. 131).
It is interesting to note that despite the increasing openness on the nuclear issue by some Israeli experts on national security, many of the country's prominent defense authorities are still reluctant even to mention the existence of such an arsenal. The most recent example is Israel Tai's National Security· The Israeli Experience, which obliquely refers to the potential use of “uncompromising countermeasures" in a situation of “total war involving massive casualties and danger to its very physical existence" (p. 55). Otherwise, there is no mention of Israel’s "atomic" or "nuclear" weapons capability in the book's index. Such a reluctance to address this issue may be understandable in view of Tal's background as a retired IDF general and current position as assistant minister of defense. Nevertheless, glossing over this issue weakens an otherwise competent discussion of Israel's doctrine of national security.
INTERNAL THREATS(BY RELIGIOUS-NATIONALIST EXTREMISTS)
The second major threat confronting Israel is internal. The nation's politics have become so contentious over certain issues, particularly relations with the Palestinians and the future of the West Bank, that polarization often erupts into extra-parliamentary political violence. In Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination, Ehud Sprinzak, a political scientist at Hebrew University, lays bare the historical roots of violence in Israeli domestic politics by examining the effects of such militancy on the nation's civic culture. He shows how such violence grew increasingly malignant in the 1990s, culminating in the November 1995 Rabin assassination. Sprinzak demonstrates how extreme polarization has been present within Israel from its founding. For example, the violence by the politically extreme rightwing underground paramilitary groups Irgun, Stem and LEHI during the 5-year revolt against British rule ( l 944-48) led to several publicized political assassinations of British officials and Count Folke Bernadotte, the U.N. mediator in the Middle East. Immediately following the declaration of independence, there was an attempted coup by right-wing elements associated with Menachem Begin, which resulted in the sinking of their arms ship, the Altalena. According to Sprinzak, the 1967 war and the conquest of the West Bank reopened the great rift between the left and right over the future borders of Israel, inspiring such agitators as the late Meir Kahane and the orthodox rabbis of the Gush Emunim settler movement to advocate using violence to achieve political goals.
The environment for greater violence was also facilitated by the polarized rhetoric introduced by the Begin government in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, in February 1983, Emil Greentzweig, a Hebrew University graduate student, was killed during a Peace Now demonstration in Jerusalem against the Begin government's policies in the Lebanon war when a hand grenade was thrown into the crowd of marchers by a right-wing extremist. Right-wing violence accelerated following the signing of the Oslo accords in September 1993, which was also accompanied by a series of terrorist acts by the Palestinian Hamas movement. Jewish militancy reached its peak in the February 1994 massacre in Hebron of 29 Palestinian worshippers by Baruch Goldstein, a machine-gun-toting orthodox Jewish doctor and follower of the extremist Kahane movement. The country's first assassination of a political leader since 1948 occurred in November 1995, when Yigal Amir, a young orthodox student at Bar Ilan University and a virulent opponent of the peace process with the Palestinians, shot Prime Minister Rabin at a Tel Aviv peace rally.9 According to Sprinzak, Rabin's assassination did not occur in a vacuum but "was the culmination of a process of delegitimization of the Israeli government by Israel's ultranationalists." (p. 245). Their uncompromising nationalism was fused with a religious orthodoxy that dehumanized Arabs while also delegitimizing and demonizing Israel's moderate leaders. They were abetted by right-wing orthodox rabbis who spoke of Rabin according to the traditional halakhic (Jewish legal) heinous categories of rode/and maser (respectively, a person who pursues another with intent to kill, and a Jew who informs on other Jews to the gentile authorities). Moreover, during the events leading to the assassination, Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition, behaved like a right-wing demagogue, inflaming popular sentiment against the government's peace policies.
Unfortunately, Sprinzak does not discuss Netanyahu's role in inflaming and polarizing the Israeli public, focusing his discussion on right-wing ideologues. Thus, one of the weak spots in Sprinzak's book is the lack of discussion about the wider political context, particularly the roles of the right-wing parties associated with the Likud in creating the conditions that led to Rabin's assassination. It was for this reason that, during Rabin's funeral, his widow, Leah, refused to meet with Netanyahu. Sprinzak concludes that there is little danger of an outbreak of civil war in Israel and that the traumatic assassination of Rabin has actually had a restraining influence on most Israelis, including the radical right. He attributes the restraining influence to several factors. Israel still possesses a powerful psycho-political cultural mechanism of “nonviolent taboos" to contain physical confrontation, and, although "sluggish" at times, Israeli prime ministers have employed determined action against domestic groups that threatened or carried out violent acts (p. 295). Sprinzak concludes by hoping that by the year 2000, when peace between Israelis and Arabs becomes imminent, Israeli society, including the extreme right, will "accept the necessity of compromise in order to make a real peace with the Palestinians. I pray that the cost of waiting will not be too high" (p. 306).
Fortunately, most of the Israeli right-wing political parties have grudgingly accepted the inevitable creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Nevertheless, there remains a violent minority determined to stop at nothing to prevent the handover of land in agreed-upon areas to the Palestinian Authority. It is possible that, unlike the period leading up to the Rabin assassination, this time the Israeli security services will place extremists who threaten violence against moderate Palestinian and Israeli leaders under tight surveillance and control.
1 Ari Shavita, "The Meltdown Pot of the Zionist Revolution," Haaretz, December 31, 1999.
4 Gerald Steinberg, "The Knesset's Nuclear Nursery School," The Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2000.
6 Mark A. Heller and Yiftah Shapir, The Middle East Military Balance, 1997 (Tel Aviv: The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University; and New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), p. 232.
7 Ibid., p. 193.
8 One of the most authoritative sources for information about Israel's nuclear weapons program is the section on Israel in Rodney W. Jones, et al., Tracking Nuclear Proliferation: A Guide in Maps and Charts, 1998 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I 998). They estimate that Israel's nuclear arsenal contains between 70 and 80 weapons, although they doubt that it includes full-fledged thermonuclear weapons (p. 205). According to other estimates cited in the volume, Israel may have between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons (p. 205). The American journalist Seymour Hersh, in his The Samson Option (New York: Random House, 1991 ), argues that Israel had "hundreds" of low-yield nuclear weapons, including full-fledged thermonuclear weapons (p. 291).
9 For a full treatment of Amir's role in the Rabin assassination, see Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman, Murder in the Name of God: the Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin (1999).