Abstract: The authors continue their analysis of Soviet involvement in the 1967 War with a discussion of new evidence and a response to criticisms regarding their controversial thesis that the USSR provoked that war, sought to use the conflict to eliminate Israel's nuclear capability, and seriously considered direct intervention...
"Admittedly, key archival documentation remains under lock and key and will be inaccessible for a long time to come.... But enough material is available, in the form of declassified documents, memoirs, oral histories and journalistic treatments, to begin to piece together the story." -- Fredrik Logevall
Eight years ago, MERIA Journal provided the first academic platform for the highly revisionist findings of our joint research on direct Soviet military involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Focusing on the Six-Day War and relying on newly available sources in the former USSR and elsewhere, we challenged the prevailing concepts of Western and Israeli historiography, not to mention the official Soviet version that was upheld by post-Soviet Russia. Several additional papers in scholarly journals led to the appearance of our conclusions in book form, on the fortieth anniversary of the war.
In brief, we sought to demonstrate that:
- The war resulted from a deliberate Soviet-Arab effort to provoke Israel into a preemptive strike;
- A central motive for the Soviet move was to halt and destroy Israel's nuclear development before it could attain operational atomic weapons;
- This Soviet effort was accelerated by a direct message from Israel that despite its official ambiguity, it was bent on acquiring such weapons;
- Soviet nuclear weapons were readied for use against Israel in case it already possessed, and tried to use, any nuclear device;
- The Soviets prepared a marine landing--with air support--on Israel's shores, which was not only planned but actually set in motion, and readied strategic bombers to strike Israeli targets;
- The USSR committed its most advanced, still secret experimental aircraft and top pilots for provocative reconnaissance sorties over Israel's most sensitive installation--its nuclear complex--in possible preparation for the planned attack on this target and/or in order to create such concern in Israel that would ensure its launch of a first strike;
- The planned Soviet intervention was to be unleashed once Israel was drawn into this preemptive attack and was internationally branded as the aggressor, out of calculation that the Soviet input could tip the balance in favor of an Arab counterattack.
Even before our book's official publication on June 5, 2007, press reports about its main thesis touched off two chain reactions, which have since produced such an abundance of repercussions that this update can only present a brief sampling....
Follow the link to the full article with copious details and referenced sources.