The Samson Option was the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal, according to veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in his book of the same name – the title referring to the Biblical figure Samson, killed when by pulling on the support pillars of the Philistine Temple in Gaza. It conveyed the desperate measures the Israeli political leadership might be prepared to go through when faced with an existential crisis. However archival material now indicates that this was an option even considered in less serious circumstances – as a scare tactic and a display of force:
Israel developed a secret contingency plan to move an atomic device atop a mountain in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and detonate it in a display of force during the Six-Day War in 1967, says a key organizer of the project.
Retired Israeli Brigadier General Itzhak Yaakov detailed the initiative to Israeli nuclear scholar Avner Cohen in interviews back in 1999 and 2000, whose extracts were published in The New York Times newspaper on Saturday and a full text will be released on Monday.
Yaakov said he had initiated, drafted and promoted the plan, code-named Shimshon or Samson, and it would have been activated if Tel Aviv feared it was going to lose the war.
It would have been the first nuclear explosion used for military purposes since the 1945 US attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“Look, it was so natural. You’ve got an enemy … How can you stop him? You scare him. If you’ve got something you can scare him with, you scare him,” Yaakov said. . . .“The goal was to create a new situation on the ground, a situation which would force the great powers to intervene, or a situation which would force the Egyptians to stop and say, ‘Wait a minute, we didn’t prepare for that.’ The objective was to change the picture,” he added.
Not so much the noble Sampson Option but the Foolhardy Option! click here.