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MOSSAD by Michael Bar-Zohar


The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

by Michael Bar-Zohar ; Nissim Mishal

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-212340-4
Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Action-packed accounts of the missions of one of the world’s most effective and mysterious intelligence services, Israel’s Mossad.

Former Knesset member Bar-Zohar (Shimon Peres, 2007, etc.) and Israeli TV personality and journalist Mishal (Those Were the Years: Israel’s Jubilee, 1997, etc.) spare no detail about the gruesome killings and plots of the Israeli agency. In fact, the authors often boast about the deadliness of Mossad agents, especially former director Meir Dagan. Most of the missions included here feature unexpected twists and nearly unbelievable plotlines that rival a fast-paced thriller. For example, there is the story of Elie Cohen, a Mossad agent who posed as a Syrian expatriate who was homesick in Argentina and wanted to move back to his homeland. He threw parties and mingled with the political inner circle, all while dispatching their secrets to Israel on a daily basis. Another operation involved smuggling the unconscious body of a former Nazi leader out of Argentina by having his double check into a hospital using the target’s name. Though unquestionably exciting, many readers may find the narrative bordering on propaganda, and the last chapter is disappointing. Bar-Zohar and Mishal cobble together facts to make an unconvincing argument about how Israel should receive support to fight against the threat of Iran, cherry-picking facts to fit their position. For example, the authors write that former Iranian deputy defense minister Ali-Reza Asgari defected to Israel in 2007, even though the debate continues about whether he actually defected or was kidnapped.

Entertaining and somewhat informative, but readers should take it with a grain of salt.