A rah-rah account of Zionist and Israeli espionage activities that adds nothing of consequence to the record variously set...

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THE SURVIVAL FACTOR: Israeli Intelligence from World War I to the Present

A rah-rah account of Zionist and Israeli espionage activities that adds nothing of consequence to the record variously set forth in Deacon (The Israeli Secret Service, 1978), Eisenberg et al. (The Mossad, 1978), and earlier works. Even partisans, moreover, may blink at the assertion that political and military intelligence ""explains to a great extent why the State of Israel exists today""--while only partisans will accept the very different judgments of the same strong-arm practices, depending on whether Israelis or Arabs are responsible. Numerous operations are described: the Aaronsohn spy network in WW I Palestine; the worldwide apparatus for smuggling in people and arms under the British mandate; the exploits of superspies Wolfgang Lotz and Elie Cohen; the spectacular 1968 escape of six motor missile boats from France; the development of Israeli nuclear weapons. Failures are noted too--including Israeli unawareness of the Arab potential for warmaking in 1973. There is no continuous thread, however, linking many of the episodes. There is no clear explanation of the organization and functions of the various agencies. And there are important omissions (the 1967 Liberty incident, along with other unpleasantnesses) as well as significant evasions (wide-open Israeli arms-procurement in the US in the late '40s; probable French complicity in the '68 missile boat escape). Readers who want the whole story--with less gloss and more snap--will do better elsewhere.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 1981

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1981

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