Digital Commonwealth

Interview with Mordekhai Gur, 1987

Item Information

Title:
Interview with Mordekhai Gur, 1987
Description:
Mordekhai Gur was a military officer who served as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 1974-1978, then became a member of the Knesset. He discusses his thinking about nuclear issues in the Middle East. He asks rhetorically whether Israel can trust the balance of terror to protect it from attack, pointing to “crazy” Arab leaders like Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein. If Israel chose to use such weapons first, in his opinion, it could raise significant problems, which is why Israel’s policy is not to do so. He points to the 1981 strike against the Iraqi nuclear reactor as a complex and widely debated issue that was resolved only when there was “no doubt” that Baghdad was about to use the facility to produce weapons. He explains why Moshe Dayan’s proposal for utilizing a mix of a nuclear threat with conventional power was a mistake. He doubts international agreements on nonproliferation will work in a region like the Middle East where he implies certain leaders may act illogically. No international supervision, in his view, would be able to stop a threat such as that posed by the ongoing war between Iran and Iraq.
Interviewee:
Gur, Mordekhai, 1930-
Date:
January 21, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
WGBH Open Vault
Series:
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Subjects:
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear nonproliferation
Qaddafi, Muammar
Nuclear weapons
Hussein, Saddam, 1937-2006
Places:
Syria
Iran
United States
Israel
Iraq
France
Libya
Extent:
00:53:44:10
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Rights status not evaluated.
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Publisher:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Identifier:
V_D5A213D971304BD59AC90F868F5C43D4