Israel's Nuclear Option: Behind the Scenes Diplomacy between Dimona and Washington

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9781845190149: Israel's Nuclear Option: Behind the Scenes Diplomacy between Dimona and Washington

In the early 1950s, Israel secretly launched a project designed to achieve a nuclear option. Initially supported by France, this daring project stood to engineer a dramatic change in Israel's strategic position with its neighboring Arab states and the wider international community. A nuclear program was driven by the firm conviction of David Ben-Gurion that Israel's existence could be guaranteed only with the aid of such a deterrent. The ensuing nuclear defense strategy was upheld by successive Israeli governments. Adamantly opposed to America's request to allow external supervision of its nuclear activity, Israel labored to avert a potentially disastrous rift with its one superpower ally. Israel's Nuclear Option recounts the dialogue and related diplomatic activity that took place during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the Ben-Gurion and Eshkol premierships. The intense and often difficult discussions, which pitted Israel's security concerns against the United States' determined goal to stem nuclear proliferation, eventually produced a set of formal and informal strategic understandings regarding Israel's nuclear deterrence.

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About the Author:

Zaki Shalom is a senior researcher at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute at Ben-Gurion University. He is also member of the research staff at the Institute for National Security Studies and has published extensively on various facets of Israel’s defense policy, the Arab–Israeli conflict, and the role of the superpowers in the Middle East, and Israel’s struggle against Islamic terror.

Review:

“The book focuses in considerable detail on the diplomatic exchanges on arrangements and understandings of the nature, scope, and monitoring of Israel’s nuclear activity between Israel and U.S. administrations, which often took a benign view of that activity. Shalom concludes that this historical account has relevance for the current U.S.–Israel diplomatic dialogue on nuclear policy and on arms control.”  —Choice



“While Israel’s nuclear status has long been an open secret, the details surrounding the nuclear program and its impact on the Middle East are complex and elusive. In this book, Zaki Shalom draws upon a rich collection of primary sources (including some recently declassified material) to examine the history of Israel’s nuclear program and its effects on Israel’s strategic and diplomatic standing in the world. Within that context, Shalom considers whether Israel should maintain its current nuclear policy or replace it with a more open one.”  —Middle East Journal

“Zaki Shalom recounts the U.S.–Israel dialogue on Israel’s nuclear project, and delineates the limitations a superpower faces when trying to impose its security agenda on a regional ally. Shalom’s book is an important contribution to our understanding of the Israeli nuclear project, and the diplomacy of arms control.”  —Professor Yair Evron, School of Government and Policy, Tel Aviv University

“Shalom focuses on the reciprocal relations between Jerusalem and Washington with regard to Israel’s nuclear program. Building on Shalom’s and others’ research into this topic, Israel’s Nuclear Option is the product of an archival search in Israel and elsewhere and is based on original documents, most of which have never been hitherto publicly revealed.”  —Middle East Quarterly

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the early 1950s, Israel secretly launched a project designed to achieve a nuclear option. Initially supported by France, this daring project stood to engineer a dramatic change in Israels strategic position vis-a-vis its neighboring Arab states and the wider international community. A nuclear program was driven by the firm conviction of David Ben-Gurion that Israels existence could be guaranteed only with the aid of such a deterrent. The ensuing nuclear defense strategy was upheld by successive Israeli governments. Adamantly opposed to Americas request to allow external supervision of its nuclear activity, Israel labored to avert a potentially disastrous rift with its one superpower ally. Israel s Nuclear Option recounts the dialogue and related diplomatic activity that took place during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the Ben-Gurion and Eshkol premierships. The intense and often difficult discussions, which pitted Israel s security concerns against the United States determined goal to stem nuclear proliferation, eventually produced a set of formal and informal strategic understandings regarding Israels nuclear deterrence. Bookseller Inventory # AAG9781845190149

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the early 1950s, Israel secretly launched a project designed to achieve a nuclear option. Initially supported by France, this daring project stood to engineer a dramatic change in Israels strategic position vis-a-vis its neighboring Arab states and the wider international community. A nuclear program was driven by the firm conviction of David Ben-Gurion that Israels existence could be guaranteed only with the aid of such a deterrent. The ensuing nuclear defense strategy was upheld by successive Israeli governments. Adamantly opposed to Americas request to allow external supervision of its nuclear activity, Israel labored to avert a potentially disastrous rift with its one superpower ally. Israel s Nuclear Option recounts the dialogue and related diplomatic activity that took place during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the Ben-Gurion and Eshkol premierships. The intense and often difficult discussions, which pitted Israel s security concerns against the United States determined goal to stem nuclear proliferation, eventually produced a set of formal and informal strategic understandings regarding Israels nuclear deterrence. Bookseller Inventory # AAG9781845190149

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