Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets’ Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War by Isabella Ginor & Gideon Remez
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Overview: Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez’s groundbreaking history of the Six-Day War in 1967 radically changes our understanding of that conflict, casting it as a crucial arena of Cold War intrigue that has shaped the Middle East to this day. The authors, award-winning Israeli journalists and historians, have investigated newly available documents and testimonies from the former Soviet Union, cross-checked them against Israeli and Western sources, and arrived at fresh and startling conclusions.
Contrary to previous interpretations, Ginor and Remez’s book shows that the Six-Day War was the result of a joint Soviet-Arab gambit to provoke Israel into a preemptive attack. The authors reveal how the Soviets received a secret Israeli message indicating that Israel, despite its official ambiguity, was about to acquire nuclear weapons. Determined to destroy Israel’s nuclear program before it could produce an atomic bomb, the Soviets then began preparing for war–well before Moscow accused Israel of offensive intent, the overt trigger of the crisis.
Ginor and Remez’s startling account details how the Soviet-Arab onslaught was to be unleashed once Israel had been drawn into action and was branded as the aggressor. The Soviets had submarine-based nuclear missiles poised for use against Israel in case it already possessed and tried to use an atomic device, and the USSR prepared and actually began a marine landing on Israel’s shores backed by strategic bombers and fighter squadrons. They sent their most advanced, still-secret aircraft, the MiG-25 Foxbat, on provocative sorties over Israel’s Dimona nuclear complex to prepare the planned attack on it, and to scare Israel into making the first strike. It was only the unpredicted devastation of Israel’s response that narrowly thwarted the Soviet design.
Genre: Non-fiction, History