I read this book on holidays in less than 2 weeks. It is difficult to put down. It is a book that describes in well researched and referenced detail the history of Israel's security services and it's policy developed over time of tarrgetted assassinations of Palestinian opponents wreaking terror against Israel following nationhood in 1948.
It goes into detail about the morally and ethical decisions faced by Israel in developing this policy and the development of legal support for its policy. Were a state of war operating, Israel's policy would not have been open to question. The situation however was not so clear.
Each chapter cou.d be developed as a spy novel. Succinctly Ronan Bergman outlines the issue or problem, why the victim is targeted and the outcome. Often as he described the outcome was affected by unanticipated events. This saw Israeli agents captured or killed as well as innocent people including children killed - an outcome avoided at all costs. Operations cancelled due to risks of innocent victims or uncertainty as to guaranteed success provide insight into the analysis undertaken before each assignment.
The assassinations escalated over time from within Israel and the occupied territories to Lebanon, Iran and Dubai. Early targets also included Argentina and bringing to Israel Adolf Rich man for trial and execution. This event is the description of the politics behind targeted assassinations. Eichmann's arrest and trial perhaps was the public relations coup of the 20th century, highlighti g to a sceptical world the scale of evil perpetrated against Jews and reinforcing the establishment of Israel.
The politics follows through to the various negotiations to establish peace with the Palestinians, the various meetings brokered by US presidents and the concessions Israel was prepared to make to establish a Palestinian state, rejected by Arafat.
The politics.itics and power between politicians and various security agencies is well covered.
The politics of Palestine and the various groups seeking power are covered as well as the corruption within some of these groups, the development of the suicide bombers and their effectiveness is described and the retaliation by Israel.
The book exams the relationships between Lebanon, Syria, Iran and the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah. The intervention by Saddam Hussein and the plan to execute him is detailed as well as the regret in calling off the operation which was primed and ready to go and subjecting the world to 10 years more of terror.
However, by far the most interesting aspect of the book is the development by Israel of technology used to gather intelligence which had not even been consideredby the USA. The drone developed in the 90s by Israel became not just an intelligence gathering tool, but was used to identify targets, coordinate with lasers red by Israeli Air Force pilots who would then strike.
It is a great read. You will be on the edge of your seats, as unlike fiction, the outcome is not guaranteed.
The terrible aspect of this book is the mutual hatred and distrust Israel and Palestine has for each other. Israel has concluded peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. It appears however that Palestinians will live without peace until leadership prepared to deal with Israel with integrity is in place.
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