Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War

Article excerpt

Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War. By Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. 304 pp. $26.

Foxbats over Dimona is a welcome addition to the history of the Soviet role in the 1967 Six-Day War and the USSR's strategic deception. The return of Russia's adversarial stance towards the West makes it particularly relevant.

Through archival work and interviews, the authors persuasively argue that the Soviet role in triggering the Six-Day War was greater and more decisive than previously thought. Ginor of the Hebrew University and Remez, a journalist, contend that the USSR provoked and caused the Six-Day War, that the Kremlin wanted to destroy Israel's nuclear weapons program, and that it planned to deploy its military power directly against Israel in support of Egypt and Syria.

To achieve that, the Soviet Union's policy positions and documents were shaped to reflect deception and outright propaganda. Soviet disinformation, including doctored "aerial photographs," claimed that Israel was massing troops for an attack against Syria and other Arab states. The Soviets also engaged in military provocations such as the flight of Soviet MiG-25 ("Foxbat") reconnaissance planes over Israel's Dimona nuclear plant before the war. …

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