Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Five of the best books on Israel's intelligence service

Gordon Thomas is a political and investigative journalist and the author of over 50 books, published in more than 30 countries and in dozens of languages. The total sales of his works exceed 45 million copies. A revised and updated edition of his Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad has just been released.

One of Thomas's five best books on the Israeli intelligence service, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
by George Jonas (1984)

In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by the PLO at the Munich Olympics. "Vengeance" is the story of the Mossad hit team ordered to hunt down and kill the terrorists. Israel became the first democratic nation to accept the legitimacy of state-sponsored assassination as a tactic to deal with terrorists. While parts of "Vengeance" have been challenged and its author has said that he could not hope to come up to the standards of a historian, the book provides illuminating insights into the methods used by the Mossad's kidon assassination team. Kidon is Hebrew for bayonet. As the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist strongly suggests, the kidon program is still very much active—but the government's policy is not to confirm or deny any such action. In the event that one of Mossad's kidon operations goes awry and an agent falls, the only clue would be a new name carved on the agency's Glilot memorial.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue