For the record: Israeli Chemical/Biological Weapons

For a better understanding of the regional context of the proposed dismantling of the Syrian CWs, it may be interesting to have a look at the article published in 2001 by Avner Cohen, ‘Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control’ The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Fall-Winter 2001), available here. Updated information on Israeli CW capabilities is also found on NTI’s website.


3 Comments on “For the record: Israeli Chemical/Biological Weapons”

  1. Fiorangela says:

    Cohen wrote:

    “Beginning in the early 1950s, Israeli military planners considered a scenario in which a pan-Arab military coalition would launch a war against Israel with the aim of liberating Palestine and destroying the Jewish State. This worst-case scenario became known as mikre h-kol, the “everything scenario.””

    In a 1993 paper, Prof. Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan Univ. reviewed the CW threats posed by divers states in the region, not just a “pan-Arab military coalition.”

    Of Syria, Steinberg wrote:

    “Despite the peace talks, the possibility of war with Syria continues, and the Assad regime is still committed to achieving strategic parity with Israel, which will enable it to take on the IDF without the assistance of other Arab states.31 Confrontation continues in the Golan Heights, and although Damascus has acted prudently, concern about growing Syrian military capability continues. Syrian control in Lebanon has been extended and consolidated, and while tacit coordination has prevented accidental clashes and escalation, the prospects of war are still significant.”

    Cohen’s paper is pockmarked with holocaust references. Steinberg mentions the same underlying dynamic — or psychosis. It’s past its sell-by date.

    As is the case with many ideational delusions, the capacity to consider the obvious solution is impaired: wouldn’t it be easier to just get along with the Palestinians as equals in a genuinely democratic — i.e. equal rights for all — state, rather than cling to the Iron Wall doctrine that ‘Arabs will allow us to steal their land once they’ve beat their heads against the wall of our killing ability enough times’?

    How many more millions have to die so that 7 million Israelis can live in fantasy-land-on-the Mediterranean?

    • Fiorangela says:

      got carried away with the moral outrage bit …

      meant to point to the fact that apparently there is nothing Syria could have done or can do to keep Israel at bay: it “acted prudently” but, since Syria still sought the ability to defend itself, that rational activity was, apparently, sufficient to cause Israel to think only in terms of war.

      It also seems that while removing Chemical Weapons from Syria would be considered a good first step, the most satisfactory resolution of Syria from Israel’s point of view would be the decimation of its capacity to defend itself.

      No state can permit that to happen.

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