While Israel has never officially confirmed it, conventional wisdom says that they’re one of the nuclear-armed nations. The recent news about submarine-based nuclear missiles has brought this back to general attention.
My question: Where did, do, and/or could they test their nukes? It doesn’t seem like the country is big enough to do the testing in their backyard, the way, say, India can, with its ample real estate. And even if they did have space, wouldn’t they want to avoid it for fear of tipping their hand about something they’ve never verified?
Might they take a device down to the South Pacific, the way the French used to do? If so, seems like they’d have to fly it over grouchy neighbors, or put it on a boat and take it either past Gibraltar or out through the Suez, neither of which seems like a good idea politically.
Obviously, given the Israeli government’s reticence about releasing the facts of their nuclear program, this calls for some speculation, but it seems like their alternatives are limited enough that GQ is the proper place to iron out at least a practical-minded answer.
(And speaking of which, this is not the proper forum for scoring cheap political points: “They should test it on Damascus! Haw, haw, haw.” Please take those aspects of the discussion elsewhere. Thanks.)