On Jan. 12, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stood on the dock of Israel’s naval base in Haifa, looking eagerly to sea. They watched as a slick dark mass glided silently into the harbor. It was the INS Rahav, one of the most sophisticated, ultra-modern submarines in the world, arriving directly from the port of Kiel in Germany. In what other country would the highest tier of political leaders participate in the celebratory reception of a new submarine? Only in Israel, apparently. In their impassioned speeches at the event, the three men competed to be the one to use the most impressive superlatives when describing Israel's power, capacity for deterrence and ability to strike at enemies with unprecedented force far from the country’s borders.
The three top leaders had good reason to participate in the launching ceremony for this new submarine, the fifth of its class in the Israeli fleet. According to foreign publications, this submarine, like the others, has the capacity to carry and launch long-range cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads. Foreign intelligence services estimate that the country’s fleet of submarines of this class, six in total by 2019, constitutes “Israel’s life insurance policy.” That should deter any foreign power toying with the idea of launching any kind of weapons of mass destruction against the Jewish state.