A valuable document for understanding Israel’s defense policy and its broader effects on the Middle East as a whole.




A detailed account of a little-known episode in Middle Eastern history.

Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Katz (co-author: The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower, 2017, etc.) takes advantage of high-level contacts in the Israeli military and government to give the inside story of a bombing mission that preserved the balance between two rival powers. The story begins in 2007, with a visit by Meir Dagan, director of the Mossad, to the George W. Bush White House. Dagan met with the director of the National Security Agency and Vice President Dick Cheney, showing them photos of a site in Syria that Israeli intelligence believed to be a nuclear reactor under construction. With some help from American intelligence, that interpretation was confirmed. However, Bush decided not to take direct action, which left it to Israel to determine how to respond to the threat. The decision was complicated by Israel’s setbacks in its 2006 conflict with Hezbollah along the Syrian border, which left that nation in an apparently weak defensive posture. Furthermore, the clear evidence of a North Korean role in Syria’s reactor project raised the critical issue of nuclear proliferation. Katz takes readers inside the discussions at the White House, the Israeli National Security Council, and the Israeli Defense Forces, and he profiles key figures in the mission and in the political discussions preceding it, many of whom are probably unfamiliar to many American readers. We get close-up looks at former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and Amos Yadlin, head of Israeli military intelligence. The author also explores the early career of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as part of the analysis of Syria’s response to the attack. On the whole, Katz makes a solid case that the attack, which largely escaped wide public attention at the time, had profound implications for nuclear nonproliferation policy, the ongoing Syrian civil war, and the U.S.–Israel relationship.

A valuable document for understanding Israel’s defense policy and its broader effects on the Middle East as a whole.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-19127-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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