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Old 02-25-2015, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 265
What are Israel's "Samson Option" targets?

I've seen some sketchy info and haven't read Seymour Hersh's "The Samson Option"--

Is it generally assumed among those-in-the-know that if Israel suffers a chemical/biological/nuclear attack, it will retaliate by nuking Damascus, Cairo, Tehran, etc?

Is nuking Mecca a possibility too?
Old 02-25-2015, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: London
Posts: 52
I asked them - they were reluctant to share..

Old 02-25-2015, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 11,578
I, for one, happen to be one in the know, and I don't make assumptions, because you know what happens when you ass-u-mption.

Let's just say a particular ex of mine could do worse than wearing sunglasses.

It's the "etc." where you might be onto something.

ETA: I haven't checked recently; that might be a footnote in the book.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 02-25-2015 at 01:24 PM.
Old 02-25-2015, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,211
All bluster aside, they'd probably just nuke whichever country was attacking them. No?
Old 02-25-2015, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
I suspect there is some truth in a line from Joel Rosenberg's "Metzada" novels, in which Israel was chased off Earth to an inhospitable planet, where they survive in the galactic economy by selling mercenary services.

He references "Operation David's Gift" - "They took our land from us... for now. We took their sacred Ka'aba away, forever."
Old 02-25-2015, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 15,124
I don't know a thing about what the actual Israeli plans are, but I sort of doubt that if say... Hamas perpetrated a biological attack on Israel, that the Israelis would nuke Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and Riyadh. What would be the point in such indiscriminate violence, unless there was a standing, publicized policy to do so? In that case, I suspect the governments in question would try their best to rein in the extremists and non-state actors. But without that standing policy, it would seem a bit on the crazy and ineffective side.

Better to figure out who did it/supported it, and then nuke the absolute piss out of them as an example to the rest.
Old 02-25-2015, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 22,413
Originally Posted by Steken View Post
All bluster aside, they'd probably just nuke whichever country was attacking them. No?
Yeah, it's basically just MAD by another name.
Old 02-25-2015, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 12,655
The "Samson Option" would be to use crop dusters to spray "Nair" over major Arab population centers.
Old 02-26-2015, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NY USA
Posts: 7,635
For what it's worth this is Wiki's 'use' section of its Nuclear weapons and Israel article:

On October 8, 1973, just after the start of the Yom Kippur War, Golda Meir and her closest aides decided to put eight nuclear armed F-4s at Tel Nof Airbase on 24-hour alert and as many nuclear missile launchers at Sedot Mikha Airbase operational as possible. Seymour Hersh adds that the initial target list that night "included the Egyptian and Syrian military headquarters near Cairo and Damascus".[193] This nuclear alert was meant not only as a means of precaution, but to push the Soviets to restrain the Arab offensive and to convince the US to begin sending supplies. One later report said that a Soviet intelligence officer did warn the Egyptian chief of staff, and colleagues of US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger said that the threat of a nuclear exchange caused him to urge for a massive Israeli resupply.[194] Hersh points out that before Israel obtained its own satellite capability, it engaged in espionage against the United States to obtain nuclear targeting information on Soviet targets.[195]

Israeli military and nuclear doctrine increasingly focused on preemptive war against any possible attack with conventional, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or even a potential conventional attack on Israel's weapons of mass destruction.[29][196]

Louis René Beres, who contributed to Project Daniel, urges that Israel continue and improve these policies, in concert with the increasingly preemptive nuclear policies of the United States, as revealed in the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations.[197]

After Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War, Israel went on full-scale nuclear alert and mobile nuclear missile launchers were deployed.[198] In the buildup to the United States 2003 invasion of Iraq, there were concerns that Iraq would launch an unconventional weapons attack on Israel. After discussions with President George W. Bush, the then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned "If our citizens are attacked seriously — by a weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological or by some mega-terror attack act — and suffer casualties, then Israel will respond." Israeli officials interpreted President Bush's stance as allowing a nuclear Israeli retaliation on Iraq, but only if Iraq struck before the U.S. military invasion.[199]

All in all, pretty common sense stuff. At least in terms of the situation.

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