Claim: 'Soviets engineered Six Day War'
Having received information about Israel's progress towards nuclear arms, the Soviets aimed to draw Israel into a confrontation in which their counterstrike would include a joint Egyptian-Soviet bombing of the reactor at Dimona. They had also geared up for a naval landing on Israel's beaches.
"The conventional view is that the Soviet Union triggered the conflict via disinformation on Israeli troop movements, but that it didn't intend for a full-scale war to break out and that it then did its best to defuse the war in cooperation with the United States," Gideon Remez, who co-wrote Foxbats over Dimona, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday. Essentially, the Soviet Union at the time was regarded as having evolved "a cautious and responsible foreign policy," the book elaborates. "But we propose a completely new outlook on all this," said Remez.
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the war, Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War, by Remez and Isabella Ginor, is to be published by Yale University Press early next month. The title refers to the Soviets' most advanced fighter plane, the MiG-25 Foxbat, which the authors say flew sorties over Dimona shortly before the Six Day War, both to help bolster the Soviet effort to encourage Israel to launch a war, and to ensure the nuclear target could be effectively destroyed once Israel, branded an aggressor for its preemption, came under joint Arab-Soviet counterattack....
Historian Michael Oren, author of the landmark Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, told the Post Tuesday night that he had not found"any documentary evidence to support" the book's central claims. He noted that he had visited the Soviet archives and that"not a lot has been declassified." Oren said he had found"several reasons why the Soviets helped precipitate the war, and this wasn't among them."
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