By Carol Moore
Posted January 14, 2012
Israel refuses to admit officially that it has nuclear weapons ~ a policy known as “nuclear ambiguity” or "nuclear opacity."
Originally a strategy of last resort retaliation ~ even if it means Israel’s annihilation ~ it has developed into being a nuclear bullying strategy to further Israel’s territorial goals through threats and blackmail.
"bombard any city all over the world, and not only those in Europe but also those in the United States." 
During the 1960s Israel concentrated on conventional military superiority to defend lands confiscated in the 1948 and 1967 wars ~ and to convince Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories that they could not break free of it. However, in 1973's Yom Kippur War Israel was almost overwhelmed by Arab forces. Prime Minister Golda Meir authorized a nuclear alert, ordering 13 atomic bombs be prepared for missiles and aircraft. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Simha Dinitz threatened “very serious conclusions" if there was not an immediate airlift of supplies. 
Fearing intervention by the Soviet Union, U.S. forces went on Defense Condition (DEFCON) III alert status , something which could have led to full scale nuclear war in case of misinterpretation of signals or hardware or software failures. Additionally, as Seymour Hersh documents in detail in his book The Samson Option, from 1973 these weapons have been used to discourage the Soviet Union ~ now Russia ~ from intervening militarily on behalf of Arab nations. 
Not surprisingly, no nation state has attempted to attack Israel since 1973. A former Israeli official justified Israel’s threats.
“You Americans screwed us in not supporting Israel in its 1956 war with Egypt. We can still remember the smell of Auschwitz and Treblinka. Next time we’ll take all of you with us.” 
“Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” 
"If left to its own Israel will have no choice but to fall back on a riskier defense which will endanger itself and the world at large... To enable Israel to abstain from dependence on nuclear arms calls for $2 to 3 billion per year in U.S. aid." 
"We are much more important than (Americans) think. We can take the middle east with us whenever we go" and"Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches." 
To dissuade the Soviet Union from interfering with its plans, Prime Minister Begin immediately
“gave orders to target more Soviet cities” for potential nuclear attack. Its American spy Jonathan Pollard was caught stealing such nuclear targeting information from the U.S. military in 1985. 
In 2002, while the United States was building for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened that if Israel was attacked
“Israel will react. Is it clear?” 
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has admitted that nuclear weapons are used by Israel for “compellent purposes” ~ i.e., forcing others to accept Israeli political demands. 
In her book Israel’s Sacred Terrorism Livia Rokach documented how Israelis have used religion to justify paramilitary and state terrorism to create and maintain a Jewish State. 
Israeli Israel Shahak wrote in 1997:
"Israel clearly prepares itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East...without hesitating to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones." 
"Off-the-cuff Israeli nuclear threats have become a problem." 
“The threatening of wild, irrational violence, in response to political pressure, has been an Israeli impulse from the very earliest days” and called Israel a candidate for “the role of 'nuclear-crazy' state.” 
“the craziness of the state is not because the people are insane. Once you pick a policy of choosing expansion over security, that's what you end up getting stuck with.” 
SAMSON OPTION SUPPORTERS
Two Israel supporters are frequently quoted for their explicit support of the Samson Option.
"Most European capitals are targets for our air force....We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under." 
"What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter? Or invite all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists to join us in the ovens? For the first time in history, a people facing extermination while the world either cackles or looks away ~ unlike the Armenians, Tibetans, World War II European Jews or Rwandans ~ have the power to destroy the world. The ultimate justice?" 
The Israelis also are egged on in its nuclear threats by "Christian Zionists" like Hal Lindsay who believe Israel must expand its control of territory to its Biblical borders in order to bring about Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ. 
"If you want to see World War Three, you know, a way to do that is to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon." 
Israel’s threats to use nuclear weapons, including preemptively, have increased greatly since the revelation in 2002 that Iran was building uranium enrichment facilities. That year Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demanded that the international community target Iran as soon as it was finished dealing with Iraq. 
Unlike Israel, Iran has accepted supervision of its nuclear program under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Iran claims its program is only for production of nuclear power as oil becomes more scarce and expensive, and not for nuclear weapons. However, Israel opposes any challenge to its nuclear hegemony since not only would it be less able to use its nuclear threat to keep confiscated lands, but fear of Iran actually might cause citizens to leave Israel and investment to dry up.  
In 2004 Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that Israel would consider "all options" to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. 
Meanwhile, Israel still considers Russia a target because of its technical assistance to Iran’s nuclear program and its continued arms sales to Iran and other “enemy” nations.   
"We hope they understand that this is a threat that could come back to them as well." 
Too few peace or political activists left or right, are willing to challenge Israel’s Samson Option threats or even to make a nuclear free Middle East a central demand. 
Also, my comments on the “Samson Option” were quoted in the New York Sun, September 2005.
1. Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, Random House, 1991, pp. 42, 136-137, 288-289.
2. Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, Columbia University Press, 1998, pp. 2, 7, 341 and Avner Cohen, “Israel's Nuclear Opacity: a Political Genealogy,” published in The Dynamics of Middle East Nuclear Proliferation, pp. 187-212, edited by Steven L. Spiegel, Jennifer D. Kibbe and Elizabeth G. Matthews. Symposium Series, Volume 66, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2001.
3 Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, p. 1-3.
4. Peter Hounam, Woman From Mossad: The Torment of Mordechai Vanunu, Vision Paperbacks, 1999, pp. 155-168.
5. Harold Hough, “Could Israel’s Nuclear Assets Survive a First Strike?” Jane’s Intelligence Review, September, 1997, pp. 407-410.
6. “U.S. Air Force: Israel has 400 nukes, building naval force,” World Tribune, July 4, 2002
7. Douglas Frantz, “Israel Adds Fuel to Nuclear Dispute, Officials confirm that the nation can now launch atomic weapons from land, sea and air,” Los Angeles Times, Sunday, October 12, 2003.
8. "Vanunu Confirms Israel's Global Thermonuclear Blackmail," An Interview With Hesham Tillawi, PhD, December 19, 2009.
9. Seymour Hersh, pp. 225-227; Avner Cohen, p. 236 and Mark Gaffney, Dimona, The Third Temple: The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation, 1989, Amana Books, p. 147.
10. Warner D. Farr, "The Third Temple's Holy of Holies: Israel's Nuclear Weapons." Counterproliferation Paper No. 2, USAF Counterproliferation Center, Air War College, September 1999.
11. Avner Cohen, "The Last Nuclear Moment," The New York Times, 6 October 2003.
12. Federation of American Scientists web page on DEFCON Defense Condition.
13. Seymour Hersh, pp. 17, 40, 66, 174-75, 177, 216, 220, 223-231.
14. Seymour Hersh, p. 42
15. Seymour Hersh, p. 174-180
16. David Hirst, “The War Game, a controversial view of the current crisis in the Middle East,” The Observer Guardian, September 21, 2003.
17. Mark Gaffney, p. 153.
18. Seymour Hersh, 259-261.
19. Seymour Hersh, 289.
20. Mark Gaffney, p. 165.
21. Encyclopedia of Orient on Likud Party and Elfi Pallis, "The Likud Party: A Primer," Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1992.
22. Seymour Hersh, pp. 288-289.
23. Seymour Hersh, p. 260.
24. Avigdor Haselkorn, The continuing storm: Iraq, poisonous weapons and deterrence, Yale University Press, 1999 131-135.
25. David Eberhart, “Samson Option: Israel's Plan to Prevent Mass Destruction Attacks,” NewsMax.Com, October 16, 2001.
26. Stephen Farrell, Robert Thomson and Danielle Haas, “Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Israel,” London Times, November 5, 2002.
27. Ross Dunn, “Sharon eyes 'Samson option' against Iraq,” Scotsmann, November 3, 2002.
28. Mark Gaffney, p. 131
29. Warner D. Farr online article, op cit.
30. Livia Rokach, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism, Third Edition, Association of Arab American University Graduates, 1986.
31. “Operation Wrath of God” article in Wikipedia.
32. “The Dahiya strategy,” including interview with IDF Northern Command Chief Gadi Eisenkot,Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynet News), June 10, 2008.
33. Israel Shahak, Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies, Pluto Press, 1997, p. 2.
34. “United States Information Agency’s Foreign Media Reaction Report, Middle East section, February 4, 1998,” reprinted at GlobalSecurity.org.
35. David Hirst article, op cit.
36. Transcript of Noam Chomsky talk: "Assessing the Role of US Foreign Policy, Israeli Security, & Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," April 7, 2009 Madison, WI. Youtube Video of talk.
37. Efraim Karsh, Between war and peace: dilemmas of Israeli security, Routledge, 1996 pp.130-131.
38. David Hirst article, op cit
39. David Perlmutter, Opinion Page piece “Israel: Dark Thoughts and Quiet Desperation,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2002.
40. Louis Rene Beres,”Israel and Samson. Biblical Insights on Israeli Strategy in the Nuclear Age,” March 22, 3004; Beres, et al. Project Daniel final report; “The world, of course, continues to begrudge the Jewish state: Israel and Palestine, the Samson Option” Canada Free Press, March 31, 2009.
41. Jerome Corsi, Atomic Iran, Chapter: “The Samson Option, Israel's Preemptive Strike,” WND Books, 2005, and
Why Israel Can't Wait: The Coming War Between Israel and Iran, Simon and Schuster, p. 101, 2009.
42. Jerome Corsi, Atomic Iran, op cit.
43. See Hal Lindsay on the Samson Option: The Samson Option, July 14, 2007 at StandingWithIsrael.org and “Prophesied destruction of Damascus imminent?” WorldNetDaily.Com, September 21, 2007.
44. Michael Ortiz Hill, “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Bush's Armageddon Obsession, Revisited,” Counterpunch.org, January 4, 2003.
45. “Bush defends World War Three comments on Iran,” Reuters, Nov 7, 2007.
46. Stephen Farrell, Robert Thomson and Danielle Haas, “Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Israel,” London Times, November 5, 2002.
47. Roger Howard, "Why Israel Really Fears Iranian Nukes,” Antiwar.com, November 27, 2004.
48. “Nuclear Shadow over the Middle East,” Palestine Chronicle, May 11, 2009.
49. Stuart Reigeluth, “Race to ultimate arms,” Weekly Ahram.org, 14-20 August 2008, Issue No. 910.
50. “Israel Takes Issue With Iran Weapons,” Yahoo News, September 29, 2004.
51. “Israeli Defence Minister Calls For Calm Over Rumoured Attack On Iran Jerusalem,” Agence-France Presse, December 22, 2004.
52. Jason Ditz, “Israel Preparing to Attack Iran Without US Assistance,” Antiwar.com, December 4, 2008.
53. Alan Sabrosky, “Bibi Netanyahu: a Knave of Ghosts and Shadows,” Salem-News.com, October 5, 2009.
54. Michael Jasinski, "Russia's Nuclear and Missile Technology Assistance to Iran; Nasser Karimi, Russian Fuel Ready for Iran," Associated Press, September 16, 2007 and Robert Tait, Mark Tran, “Putin warns US against military action on Iran,” The Guardian, October 16, 2007.
55. Herb Keinon, "Jerusalem sees Russian interests behind arms sales to Damascus,” The Jerusalem Post, August 20, 2007
56. Yaakov Katz and Herb Keinon, “Israel warns Russia on Iran arms sale,” Jerusalem Post, January 16, 2007
57. Francis Harris, “America would back Israel attack on Iran,” The Telegraph February 18, 2005.
58. Aluf Benn, “Obama's atomic umbrella: U.S. nuclear strike if Iran nukes Israel,” Haaretz, November 12, 2008.
59. Jeffrey Goldberg, “Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will,” The Atlantic, March 31, 2009.
60. Michael Theodoulou, “Iran threatens to set Israel ablaze as fears grow of US-backed war,” Scotsman, July 9, 2008.
61. "Iran threatens to strike Israel's nuclear sites if attacked," Daily Star, December 10, 2009.
62. Jason Ditz, “Obama Emphasizes Iran ‘Threat’ on Eve of Netanyahu Visit,” Antiwar.com, May 17, 2009.
63. Jason Ditz, “Netanyahu Leads Calls for Harsh Moves Against Iran,” Antiwar.com, September 24, 2009.
64. Jason Ditz, “Obama: Iran Is on Notice, Won’t Rule Out Military Action,” Antiwar.com, September 25, 2009.
65. Text of Netanyahu speech before the United Nations, September 24, 2009.
66. Stephen J. Sniegoski, “Obama and the Neocon Middle East War Agenda,” Antiwar.com, March 21, 2009.
67. Daniel Luban, “Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right,” Inter Press Service, August 12, 2009.
68. Robert Parry, “Is Joe Lieberman Protecting Israel?” originally published in ConsortiumNews.com, December 15, 2009.
69. Stephen M. Walt, “On Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Lobby: A response to Peter Beinart,” ForeignPolicy.com, December 9, 2009.
70. John Steinbach, “Israeli Weapons of Mass Destruction, A Threat to Peace: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal,” GlobalResearch.Ca, March 2002.