AUTHORPolakow-Suransky, Sasha
TITLEThe Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa
PUBLISHERPantheon Books
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED2010
ISBN978-0-375-42546-2


This book provides insight into the darker side of Israeli foreign policy history by examining the dealings between Israel and apartheid South Africa during the Cold War and shortly thereafter. As the author explains, an alliance between the two countries developed to assist the economic interests of Israel and the military needs of South Africa, beginning just after the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 and terminating with South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994. Arranged chronologically in twelve chapters, the book shows how the exchange of technology between the two nations benefited both nations' nuclear weapons programs. Initially Israel benefited from modern arms sales to South Africa, an isolated apartheid state, and later the alliance allowed South Africa to develop nuclear missile technology and provided Israel with uranium ore and test sites for nuclear weapons and missiles. An interesting section addresses the VELA incident, the mysterious nuclear explosion off the coast of South Africa in 1979 that is thought to have been the test of an Israeli nuclear weapon. The narrative sheds light on how nuclear weapons affected the relations of the two nations and why South Africa chose to give up its nuclear weapons while Israel maintains its nuclear capability. The book contains an extensive notes section and bibilography.


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