Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mossad by Michael Bar-Zohar

If the stories in this book are anywhere near true, there had to have been some serious secrets declassification going on recently to allow the authors to tell them. Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal follow the Israeli Secret Service from its early days in the 50s to around 2011, and relate some great tales.

One of the tales which they  truncated is, of course, related elsewhere in book and film, but I'd have like to have gotten a more thorough take on it from these experts - the raid on Entebbe, when Israeli commandos journeyed to the heart of Africa and freed the hostages and killed the terrorists responsible for hijacking an airplane.

Here is the full story (probably) of the hunt for Adolph Eichmann, how he was apprehended overseas and smuggled back to Israel to stand trial for his war crimes, a number of stories about how most of the Black September organization, who had held the Israeli athletes hostage, then killed them all, during the Munich Olympics, were hunted down and assassinated, as well as many missions against Hamas and others.

Israel had a spy at a high level in the Egyptian government which helped them to win the Yom Kippur War, and another at a high level in the Syrian halls of power, and seem to have  a large organization in Iran which has helped them to keep the mullah's nuclear ambitions in check.

It also was betrayed by one of its own citizens - a mere disgruntled employee laid off from a low level position in their prototype nuclear weapons factory, embarrassed by Jonathan Pollard's discovery spying against a key ally, the U.S., and was once roundly criticized for assassinating the wrong target - someone who looked like a Black September leader.

On a more human note, one division of the Mossad has been responsible for rescuing children and families of Jews from Syria, and organized a mammoth operation to bring home thousands of Ethiopian Jews.

Fascinating reading.

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