OPERATION BABYLON by Shlomo Hillel

OPERATION BABYLON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A best-seller in Israel, this is a firsthand account of the late-1940's rescue by a nascent Israel of 125,000 Iraqi Jews. The rescue began in the summer of 1947 when a young Hillel--whose family had come from Iraq--helped smuggle 50 children by airplane from Baghdad. Now speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Hillel spent four years working with American adventurers, Iraqi secret police, members of the Mossad (Israel's famed secret service), and British diplomats to rescue Jews. There are, unfortunately, serious flaws in the English rendition of this book. Despite clear efforts to provide the much-needed background for American audiences, readers not familiar with early Israeli history will find some of the text difficult to follow. In addition, the first-person narrative, frequently punctuated with official letters and communiquÉs, lacks the novelistic techniques useful to liven up such bland raw material. Historians and those interested in Israel or Judaica will find this book valuable, but more for its unique account and its quiet heroism than for its prose.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday