Keywords: Egypt, Nasser, Dimona, Israeli nuclear doctrine, Iran, nuclear option, Iraq, Israel, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, Israeli sanctuary, nuclear opacity, Arab-Israeli wars, Middle East peace, deterrence, destabilisation
Israel and the bomb
In spite of its policy of ambiguity, Israel's nuclear military capability is universally admitted. This raises the question of the underlying doctrine and the function played by the bomb in the political-military relations between Israel and its neighbours since the end of the 1950s. This paper shows that instead of contributing to deterrence, the bomb has been irrelevant (at best) or destabilising. Israel's reluctance to define what constitutes its sovereign 'sanctuary', together with its drive to develop tactical nuclear weapons and an anti-missile system, has led to a confused doctrine. The paper finally argues for Tel Aviv's accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state, while acknowledging its linkage with the achievement of a Middle East peace.