Today is the 50th anniversary of the surprise Israeli attack against Egypt that started the Six-Day War, and the Mainstream Narrative to justify it is lumbering back into view, right on schedule. Yesterday the New York Times ran a breathless, front-page report about Israel’s “secret doomsday plan” in 1967 — a proposal to explode an atomic device near an Egyptian base in the Sinai to warn the Arab nations that it had nuclear weapons.
The Times article faithfully included the two main points of the Mainstream Narrative, both of which have been long since discredited:
* That the Arab nations planned to attack Israel, and
* That Israel’s leaders feared that its very existence was at risk, that “doomsday” was possible.
The article contends that the revelation about the atomic weapon “reveals Israel’s early consideration of how it might use its nuclear arsenal to preserve itself.” The report adds, “It has long been known that Israel, fearful for its existence, rushed to complete its first atomic device on the eve of the Arab-Israeli war.”
The Times reporters, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, are decades out of date. As the scholar Norman Finkelstein has shown, no legitimate historian of the period, whatever their political persuasion, contends any longer that Israeli leaders in June 1967 genuinely feared a massive Arab attack, or worried that Israel’s existence was in jeopardy.
So why this biased Times article? And why now? On closer inspection, the “doomsday plan” story looks sketchy. The single source was a retired Israeli brigadier general, Itzhak Yaakov, who spoke to an Israeli-American academic named Avner Cohen way back in 1999 and 2000, and died in 2013. But somehow only today are Yaakov’s revelations being released to the public?
In the middle of the Times story is a Mainstream Narrative gem, a quotation from the memoirs of Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, (and the father of Israel’s secret nuclear program, although the Times left that part out).
The Times says that Peres’s memoirs hinted at the “secret doomsday plan,” mentioning “an unnamed proposal that ‘would have deterred the Arabs and prevented the war.’”
The wily Peres is laughing from the grave. He knew that in 1967 “the Arabs” had no plan to attack and did not need to be deterred. Israel’s leaders did intend to attack, knew they would win easily, and therefore certainly had no serious intention to use their secret nuclear weapon.