The Mossad and Israeli Intelligence: An Annotated Bibliography (Books)
By Wesley Britton
Tessa Quayle: "I thought you spies knew everything, Tim?"
Tim Donohue: "Only God knows everything, and he works for Mossad."
(John Le Carre, The Constant Gardener, 2000)
By no means should the lists of books below be considered comprehensive; rather it is a detailed overview of many of the most accessible sources on the Mossad and related Israeli intelligence agencies in English . Most analysis and observations on each item are my own and thus limited to an outsider's perspective. However, I rely on other reviews to supplement and fill in aspects from perhaps more reliable sources. This bibliography should be considered a work in progress with new items added as new titles appear and my reading and research expands.
Separate files at this website include films as well as online and print articles.
Legendary and often overly romanticized, the Mossad remains an organization cloaked in myth. In the words of Samuel Katz, "Born out of the controversial remnants of the mysterious Foreign Ministry's political department, the Mossad, as it is most commonly known, was formed on April 1, 1951." More specifically, formerly known as the Central Institute for Coordination and the Central Institute for Intelligence and Security, As defined by 10 year agent Ytzack Shamir, the Mossad translated exactly, its official and full name-- Ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim--"means `The Institution for Intelligence and Special Tasks.'" In America, the CIA is also known as "The Agency" or "The Company"; in Israel, the Mossad was dubbed "The Office." One prevalent myth repeated in many sources came from Victor Ostrovsky, that the Mossad's motto is "By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War." In fact, the motto is: "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure." (Proverbs XI, 14).
The Mossad's responsibilities include intelligence collection, counter-terrorism, and covert operations such as paramilitary activities. While focused on Arab nations and organizations throughout the world, the Mossad has participated in and been accused of a myriad of other activities. For example, the Mossad has been responsible for the clandestine movement of Jewish refugees out of Russia, the former Eastern block, Syria, Iran, and Ethiopia. It is one of the main services for Israeli intelligence alongside Aman (military intelligence) and the Shin Bet (internal security).
In the view of former Prime Minister Shamir, its work remains crucial as Israel's survival is constantly at stake. Shamir believes "the charge laid on the individual men and women who work in and for the Mossad is indeed heavier than that governing the work of their counterparts elsewhere." The Mossad's record, as demonstrated in the overview below, is both heavy and dark filled with both important successes alongside the misdeeds that seem part and parcel of any secret organization. In the case of Israel's secret warriors, their battles are often unique in the history of espionage.
Note: A (NR) indicates a title this reviewer has not read, so any annotation is drawn from a variety of sources. If no reviews or other information was found, only author and title will be listed.
As many books on the Mossad appeared first in other languages, only English titles and some variants are noted. For the same reason, I do not include publishers as they vary from country to country, hardcover to paperback. For a number of these books that appeared before 2002, see "Mossad, Bibliography" which includes publication information without annotations:
Aharoni, Zvi. Operation Eichmann: The Truth About the Pursuit, Capture, and Trial. (1996). Alongside Harel and Malkin, this is the third history written by one of the actual participants in the 1960 Mossad mission to apprehend ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. Each of these authors jockey for the lion's share of the credit. For example, Aharoni claimed Peter Malkin could not have had the discussions he purported to have had with Eichmann in his book as such were against orders and neither had a common language. Reviews are mixed on Operation Eichmann's credibility and readability--most claiming all three books--the others by Harel and Malkin--should be taken together. See also Bar-Zohar (Spies in the Promised Land), Bascomb, Shpiro. (NR)
ALDOUBY, Zwy And Jerrold BALLINGER. The Shattered Silence: The Eli Cohen Affair. (1971). See Ben-Hanan, Dan, Segev. Also see note 3 below. (NR)
Alexander, Yonah, Yuval Ne'Eman, and Ely Tavin, eds. Future Terrorism Trends. (1991). While not specifically a source on the Mossad, one chapter, "The Role of Intelligence in Combating Terrorism: The Israeli Experience," by General Yehoshua Saguy, former chief of intelligence, Israeli Defense Forces, a member of the Knesset, stands out for those interested in the thinking of policy makers at the publication date. (NR)
Avni, Zeev. False Flag: The Soviet Spy Who Penetrated The Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. (1999). Reviews are mixed regarding the literary qualities of this account about Zeev Avni, said to be the only known Soviet spy to have penetrated Mossad. Motivated, he claimed, to serve Russia as it was the best force against Hitler, Avni became disillusioned, was arrested, and rehabilitated himself in prison as a psychotherapist.
The book description reads in part: "Though Mossad was impressed with Avni's professionalism, deploying him in Brussels and Belgrade against German technicians rebuilding Egypt's military strength, and later assigning him to Israel's Foreign Ministry, his true masters were the Soviet GRU. When Avni was unmasked as a Soviet mole, his arrest was considered so damaging that no public statement was made about his trial or imprisonment." (NR)
Bar-Zohar, Michael and Eiten Haber. The Quest for the Red Prince: The Manhunt for the Killers Behind the 1972 Munich Massacre. (1983. Reissued in 2005 as Massacre in Munich: The Manhunt for the Killers Behind the 1972 Olympics Massacre.) When this book reappeared in 2005 with a new title, reviewers complained the obvious nod to the Spielberg movie was misleading as the contents had little to do with the Munich events. Instead, much of the book is a multi-generational history of the Salameh family and the Black September group, exploring the cycle of violence begun by the Palestinians. Includes a prologue by Abner, the Mossad team leader, who claims, in the light of the fanatical Islamo-fascist terrorism today, he would do it all again despite the abuse given his team by the Mossad.
Interestingly, in Jan. 2006,Bar-Zohar drew from this book in a review of Spielberg's Munich posted at his Amazon blog. He noted three major flaws: the entire operation was presented as an act of vengeance. "This is absolutely false. The quest for the terrorists . . . was not for revenge - but in order to destroy "Black September" and prevent future abominable terrorist acts." Second, the film "suggests a kind of balance between the terrorists who kill Israelis - and the Israelis who kill the terrorists. It means that both sides are to blame. I cannot accept that . . . The terrorists are the bad guys, the agents who kill them are the good guys." Last, the movie "shows us the Israeli agents haunted by moral dilemmas for having to kill the terrorists. That's absolutely untrue. The Mossad agents sent after `Black September' were deeply convinced that they were doing the right thing by eliminating the murderers. They had no moral dilemmas." For more details, see Calahan , Jonas, and Tinin below. (NR)
Bar-Zohar, Michael. Spies in the Promised Land: Iser Harel and the Israeli Secret Service. (1972). (Translated from the French by Monroe Stearns). A book by a noted scholar on one of the most important figures in Israeli intelligence. From 1944 to 1947, Isser Harel held one of the top posts in the Hagana’s information service, Shai, the forerunner for all future agencies. from 1952 to 1963, he was head of Mossad and supreme head (given the title of Memuneh) of Shin Bet, which he had led from 1948. A hands-on director, he lead important operations in person, the best known of which was Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann’s abduction in Argentina to stand trial in Israel. During his period in office, Harel forged the Mossad, adapting it to current realities and new objectives. Held in high esteem by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Harel is remembered for changing the Mossad from an organization serving a state in the making to a state institution. (He died in 2003 after book's publication.) See also Aharoni, Bascomb, Malkin, Harel, Shpiro. (NR)
Bascomb, Neal. Angels of Justice: The Hunt for Adolph Eichmann, Death's Architect. (Scheduled for Dec. 2007). According to Publisher's Lunch, "describes the fifteen year manhunt for the engineer of The Final Solution, who lived alone in the forests of Germany for five years before finding safe passage to Argentina via the Nazi `rat lines' in 1950, and was eventually seized by Mossad agents in one of their very first missions in 1960, featuring newly declassified documents and first-person accounts." See also Aharoni, Bar-Zohar (Spies in the Promised Land), Harel, Malkin, Shpiro. (NR)
Ben-Hanan, Eli. Our Man in Damascus. (1972). To date, the only full-length English account of how Israeli spy, Elie Cohen, under the alias of Kamal Amin Tabas, infiltrated the Syrian government and became a legend in Israeli intelligence. After possible training in Unit 131 of Aman, Cohen went to Argentina to establish his cover, became acquainted with General Amin el-Hafez, who came into power in March 1963. Coming close to becoming third in line in the Syrian government, it has been claimed Cohen was able to ascertain the number, type, and placement of MIG-21 planes, T-54 tanks, and other Soviet armament, as well as Damascus plans to divert the Daniyas, one of the principal sources of the Jordan River. Cohen is better known for the photographic memory that allowed him to tour the Golan Heights military fortifications which he sent to Tel Aviv, which helped set up the Israeli success in the Six Day War. Hanged publicly in 1965 after being caught red-handed, efforts continue to get his remains returned to Israel.
This version of the story, written as a dramatic interpretation of events, was the inspiration for the 1987 HBO/BBC film, The Impossible Spy. While separating fact from fiction is often problematic, it’s clear the author interviewed Cohen’s widow, his brother Maurice, and had access to trial transcripts. (For more on Eli and his brother Maurice, see note 3 below and Cohen lists in the other Mossad resources at this website.) See also ALDOUBY, Dan (Spy).
Betser, Muki, with Robert Rosenberg. Secret Soldier: The True Life Story of Israel's Greatest Commando. (1996). While not directly related to the Mossad, this account of Betser, a former senior officer in Sayeret Matkal, the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Delta Force, has much to say regarding Israeli covert actions including criticism of the military while pointing to what makes the IDF successful. See also Katz, Soldier Spies. (NR)
Black, Ian and Lenny Morris. Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services (1991). Clearly a classic of the non-fiction espionage genre, this history should interest anyone exploring intelligence gathering in general, not just those focused on Israeli matters. The depth of detail and the pace of the narrative are well above average as the authors trace the growth of Israel's spy agencies from the "amateurish, improvised" operations of Zionists in the late 1930s through the decades of both the finest and darkest hours in intelligence history, period. We learn about the Mossad's early involvement with encouraging more immigration to the new country, the friendship between Iran and Israel, the "War of the Spooks." I didn't know anyone rated John Le Carre's novel, The Little Drummer Girl so highly, but the introduction to this history indicates the story was very much in the spirit and letter of the truth. Dense and fast-paced, not easy reading but invaluable as a research tool. It belongs on every library shelf alongside Raviv and Melman and Samuel Katz's Soldier Spies (see below.)
Blumberg, Stanley A., and Gwinn Owens. The Survival Factor: Israeli Intelligence from WORLD War I to the Present. (1981). Somewhat superceded by later books covering the same turf, covers the uneven and shaky beginnings of Israeli intelligence until Colonel Yehoshafat Harkabi took over military intelligence in May 1955, just as relations between Israel and Egypt began the decline that inevitably lead to war. See also Hacking. (NR)
Calahan , Alexander B. "COUNTERING TERRORISM: THE ISRAELI RESPONSE TO THE 1972 MUNICH OLYMPIC MASSACRE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDEPENDENT COVERT ACTION TEAMS." (Masters Thesis, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, April 1995) In terms of information, this thesis is essentially a thin summary of George Jonas's Vengeance which dealt with the response teams sent out by Israel after the 1972 Munich massacre. Calahan spliced in his own conclusions in the final chapter that claimed: "Although there are inherent differences between Israeli and U.S. policies, specifically those addressing the use of assassination as a political tool, important lessons may be gleaned from this study for policy makers . . . bureaucracies inherently limit the degree of operational success by the nature of their systems. Bureaucracies cannot move effectively beyond a predetermined operational tempo, and impose fatal restraints regarding operational tradecraft and tactics. Successful covert operations demand a flexible capability with full decentralized authority enabling officers to initiate actions as circumstances dictate, enhancing the operational success-failure ratio." In short, when politics force operations to work within unreasonable time or tactical constraints, success of ad hoc units are prone to fail. See also Bar-Zohar (Quest), Jonas, Klein, Tinin. Available online.
Claire, Rodger W. Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb. (2004). Widely praised for the research and storytelling, Claire describes Israel's controversial" Operation Babylon" air attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear facility in 1981. Combining the policy decision process and operational details, Claire was granted access to de-classified documents and contact with eight pilots, the mission coordinator, and cockpit film of the attack. Considered a valuable contribution to studies of this subject. (NR)
Clements, Frank. Israeli Secret Services (International Organization Series). (1996). (NR)
Cockburn, Andrew and Leslie. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israel Covert Relationship. (1991). One of many titles exploring the topic, among other unconfirmed claims, states the CIA helped instigate the Six Day War by encouraging Israel that Nassar was unprepared for war and that the U.S. would support Israel after the outbreak of hostilities. See also Green, Hacking. (NR)
COHEN, Yoel. The Whistleblower of Dimona: Israel, Vanunu, and the Bomb.
(1992). Benjamin Tuck's review for the Journal of Military History says Cohen's work "is a fascinating and worthy work on the intriguing story of the unacknowledged Israeli nuclear program, and the Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who exposed it in 1986. Cohen effectively and comprehensively integrates numerous threads about the Israeli nuclear program, Israeli intelligence operations, and the disclosure by the Sunday Times of London on 5 October 1986, which provided an unprecedented glimpse
inside Israel's highly secretive nuclear program." However, for the New York Times Book Review, Victor Gilinsky pointed out major omissions including "the 1968 smuggling past Euratom inspectors of two hundred tons of uranium ore to Israel, the CIA's conclusion at about the same time that Israel previously stole bomb-grade uranium from a US naval fuel plant, and the 1979 Vela satellite signal that was widely interpreted as an indication of an Israeli nuclear test. The book's complete silence on these important events is especially odd as they have been discussed extensively elsewhere." See also Gilling, Hounam, Toscano. (NR) Other helpful reviews are collected at:
DAN, Ben. The Spy From Israel. (1969). Translation of: L'Espion qui venait d'Israel: l'affaire Elie Cohen. (French). For details, see ALDOUBY, Ben-Hanan, Segev. NR
Dan, Uri, and Ben-Porat, Y. The Secret War: The Spy Game in the Middle East. (1970). Said to be an account of a number of Israeli, Egyptian, and Soviet espionage cases with most attention given to the Beer and Wolfgang Lotz cases . Reviewers have noted errors in treatment of other intelligence agencies and citations are few. See also Lotz, The Champagne Spy. (NR)
Davenport, Elaine with Paul Eddy, Peter Gillman. The Plumbat Affair. (1978). Recounts the story of how, after France ceased to supply Israel with uranium, through complex covert operations involving European front companies and mid-sea transfers from one ship to another, Israel obtained two hundred tons of uranium ore that had been stockpiled in Antwerp in 1968. Dubbed the "Plumbat Affair" as the sealed drums were labeled "Plumbat" (lead), the action was a violation of European Atomic Energy Commission (Euratom) controls. After discovering the clandestine operation, They informed the US Atomic Energy Commission but the story was not revealed for years.
Then in 1973, Norwegian police captured Mossad assassin Dan Aerbel after his team's botched mission to hunt down and kill the leader of the Black September members who'd murdered 11 athletes in Munich. Under interrogation, Aerbel revealed a number of Mossad missions including "Plumbat." So this book ties together two stories involving Israeli intelligence: the "Plumbat Operation" and the botched assassination in Norway. To date, considered best book on the Plumbat affair in print. See also Eisenberg on ""Plumbet:; for Black September, see also Bar-Zohar (Quest), Calahan, Jonas, Klein, Tinin. (NR)
Deacon, Richard [Donald McCormick]. The Israeli Secret Service.(1977). Widely panned as thinly researched, drawing on apparently newspaper accounts of the time. Under his real name, McCormick is far more useful in his books on spy novels. (NR)
Derogy, Jacques, and Hesi Carmel. The Untold History of Israel. (1972). (NR)
Eisenberg, Dennis, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau. The Mossad: Israel's Secret Intelligence Service--Inside Stories. (1978). Beyond being rather outdated, known for numerous errors that make it useless for serious researchers or historians. (NR)
Eisenberg, Dennis, Eli Landau, and Menahem Portugali. Operation Uranium Ship. (1978). Considered a slightly useful account of the disappearance in 1968 of a cargo of uranium orchestrated by the Mossad known as "The Plumbat Affair." The story is covered more adequately in Davenport--se above. (NR)
El-Ad, Avri, and James Creech III. Decline of Honor: A First Person Account by the Israeli Spy Whose Sabotage in Egypt Brought Down the Ben-Gurion Government. (1976). Noting this book is now difficult to find, Helene Fragman-Abramson says, "This autobiographical account of the Lavon Affair has the feel of a diary. He also names names and, of course, his motives remain suspicious . El-Ad (AKA Paul Frank in Egypt or, Avriel Seidenwerg as he was born)documents his leading role as the Aman officer operating covertly in Egypt in the mid-1950s. There is much detail on creating his cover as a former SS Officer in order to procure arms for Israel and/or uncover
dealers to Egypt. While Lavon was ultimately cleared of his role in this 'fail-safe' operation supposedly designed to undermine British pullout plans for Suez, El-Ad
was tried in secret and spent a decade in prison; it should be noted that his jail sentence was preferable to the death sentence issued in absentia for Frank in Egypt. The failed operation and subsequent arrest of those involved--including Eli Cohen who was later released--proved an international embarrassment for the nascent Jewish State, particularly as it was attempting to woo the U.S. for security. Ultimately, El-Ad contends that he was misled into action for political gain by Moshe Dayen and that forcing Lavon out was part of the plan." See also Golan, Teveth.
Eshed, Haggai. Reuven Shiloah--The Man Behind The Mossad: Secret Diplomacy in the Creation of Israel. (1997). (Translators, David Zinder and Leah Zinder.) Considered an important biography of Shiloah, the founder and first head of Mossad (1951-1953). Based on documents from private archives and interviews with people who worked closely with him, readers learn much about the early days of Mossad and the Israeli intelligence apparatus. As with many such studies, this book is said to have a vested interest in rehabilitating the reputation of a man with both defenders and detractors. (NR)
Gilling, Tom, and John McKnight. Trial and Error: Mordechai Vanunu and Israel's Nuclear Bomb. (1991). The spin on this version of the story of nuclear "whistleblower" Vanunu, arrested by the Mossad for giving the British press photos of a secret Israeli plant, is that while visiting Australia on holiday, Vanunu claimed to have revealed his pro-Arab sentiments to clergyman McKnight. McKnight then converted him to Christianity and encouraged him to prove his new faith and interest in world peace by exposing Israel's clandestine nuclear activities. See also Cohen (the most reliable book to date), Hounam, Toscano. (NR)
Golan, Aviezer. Operation Susanna. (As told by Marcelle Ninio, Victor Levy, Robert Dassa and Philip Nathanson; translated from Hebrew by Peretz Kidron). (1978). First person account of the failed Aman spy ring set up in Egypt during the 1950s to destabilize the Nassar government, resulting in considerable embarrassment for Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. See also El-Ad, Teveth.(NR)
Green, Stephen. Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel. (1984). As the title implies, this is a polemic unhappy with U.S. policy regarding Israel. Is among those believing one of the US's ongoing secrets is that America was directly helpful to the Israelis during the Six Day War. See also Cockburn, Hacking.
Hacking, Nick. Bound by Deception: The Secret History of Spying between the United States and Israel. (2007). Another in the current vogue of looks at espionage by these two countries. According to the writer's agent, the book reveals how the U.S. and Israel "use their close proximity to one another to further their own military, diplomatic, and economic agendas . . . The covert relationship between the U.S. and Israel emerged out of the continual second-guessing, distrust, and paranoia engendered by the Cold War. There have been many hidden conflicts between these allies over their foreign policies in the Middle East, Israel’s nuclear arsenal, and the transfer of US military technology to Israel. When things boil over, as they did over Iraq in the late 1980s between George H. W. Bush and Yitzhak Shamir, the breakdown of overt and covert relations became a matter of life and death to US assets in the field." See also Cockburn, Green. (NR)
HaLevy, Efraim. Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad. (2006). Efraim HaLevy was Deputy Director and then Director of the Mossad during the period between Operation Desert Storm to the beginning of US incursions into Iraq. According to Helene Fragman Abramson, “Without revealing secrets about the inner-workings of one of the world’s most respected intelligence organizations, HaLevy documents his international activities and offers much insight on Israel’s back-channel endeavors to obtain peace with her Arab neighbors. More significantly, the book is a stunning indictment of the ineptitude and reluctance of the West to take a pre-emptive stance on terror. While his view is surely colored by the clarity of hindsight—he is writing Post-911—HaLevy’s ability to itemize the indicators leading up to today’s global terror situation is unobstructed by what he identifies as the West’s greatest stumbling block: political correctness.
“This highly readable volume, written in HaLevy’s native English—he originally hails from London and immigrated to Israel shortly before independence—stresses the importance of and the difficulties in obtaining a collaborative effort between the political, military and the intelligence-gathering efforts of a democratic nation. He points out that this account `is not an autobiography,’ but does little to camouflage his disappointment with Israel’s politicians and how their public activities frequently undermined the potentially significant gains made during his secret meetings with important leaders—Arab and otherwise—around the globe. While he claims personal responsibility for Mossad and those who join him in the shadows, Mossad’s operational failures as well as his thwarted attempts to successfully secure preliminary agreements that would lead to peace for the world’s most contested strip of land, according to HaLevy, rest primarily with the politicians who placed their personal success in the public forum above that of the nation. To this end, HaLevy joins the ranks that include among them two-time president and former Aman chief, Chaim Herzog, whose distain for (current Israeli Prime Minister) Shimon Perez and his characteristically self-serving activities, is far from veiled.
“The book serves well as a primer on the precipitating factors leading to Israel’s current standing within the Arab world and on the difficulties Israel faces in ameliorating what is now globally referred to as `the Palestinian issue.’ He successfully draws on his 30-plus years running with Israel’s elite and operating in international diplomatic circles to provide both color and context for activities undertaken by both Mossad and Israel at large. All told, however, HaLevy concludes with a particularly harsh and grim view for the West should the international community not heed HaLevy’s call to arms and respond in unison with gusto to the ever growing world threat Muslim terror poses.”
Harel, Isser. The House on Garibaldi Street: The First Full Account of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann. (1975). Written by the architect of the operation, this is a classic account of how the Mossad tracked down and kidnapped the ex-Nazi hiding in Argentina. Made into an acclaimed film of the same title in 1979; remade as The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996) in a TV movie. (Two other books on the subject also by participants are by Aharoni and Malkin, listed here). For more on subject, see Bar-Zohar, Spies in the Promised Land, Bascomb, Shpiro.
Herzog, Chaim. Living History: A Memoir (1996). Contains much interesting background beginning in 1943 when the future President of Israel worked with British Intelligence in the days when motorcycles were standard equipment and mastery of them was an essential skill. Herzog describes intelligence personnel going through a course in acrobatics at a Yorkshire slag heap outside a coal mine. He was trained in how to interrogate and how to be interrogated. Later, Herzog served on a committee with Brig. Gen. Bill Williams, the intelligence chief for Gen. Montgomery, to set up a British intelligence unit during the occupation after the war. This was, Herzog claims, valuable experience when he later helped craft similar plans in Israel. Chapter 8, in particular, discusses the creation of the first Israeli military intelligence agency, how its framework overcame political squabbles, and Israel's first Soviet mole--Israel Beer who wasn't uncovered until the late '60s after a close association with David Ben-Gurion. Herzog made one strong assertion--that the best intelligence comes from published sources and radio intercepts. Chapter 12 also deals with the realm of intelligence, noting Israel's close association with Ethiopia which allowed them to help prevent the assassination of Haille Salassie. (Chapter 3 of Katz's Soldier Spies gives praise for Herzog's work and gives details about his intelligence blueprints in 1948. See below.)
Herzog, Chaim. The War of Atonement: October 1973 (1975). An almost minute-by-minute analysis of the 1973 Yom Kippor war. Regarding intelligence, which is only briefly hit on in the book, he says intelligence failures were based partly on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's success at misleading Israeli and all Western agencies--keeping his intentions secret from most of his own commanders, Israel's Failure to appreciate the brinkmanship of Sadat and not knowing that both Saudi Arabia and Egypt would now be using oil as a weapon of power. Chapter 4 discusses the failures and disagreements within Israel's intelligence community before the war.
All this is explored in more depth by Black and Morris (see above) which came out later. Also noting failures in the Israeli intelligence community, the heart of the matter, in the view of Black and Morris, was not a lack of knowledge but belief in it. As a result of these blunders, the evaluation process of intelligence was revamped in 1974. For a credible but shorter history of this war, see Katz, Soldier Spies.
Horesh, Joshua. An Iraqi Jew in the Mossad: Memoir of an Israeli Intelligence Officer. (1997). After working with British intelligence in World War II, Horesh served with the Jewish underground prior to independence. He joined Mossad after the establishment of Israel. (NR)
Hounam, Peter. The Woman From Mossad: The story of Mordechai Vanunu and the Israeli Nuclear Program. (1999). Controversial book on a controversial subject. The woman in question isn't the subject--Mossad agent Cheryl Bentov, masquerading as "Cindy," an American tourist, persuaded Vanunu to fly with her to Rome on a holiday where other Mossad agents drugged him and smuggled him to Israel. Her short mission resulted from Vanunu, a former nuclear technician, revealing details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. Tried in secret and convicted of
Treason, he spent 18 years in jail before getting a highly conditional release in 2004.
Over the years, the Vanunu case became a cause celebe for Human Rights activists and those wishing to debate when conscience should outweigh concerns over treason. Then again, the conscience of Vanunu is also a subject of considerable debate. Author Hounam clearly believes Vanunu is both heroic and a victim, and this perspective earned wide critical panning of the book for its obvious lack of objectivity (and some claims of poor editing). In addition, Hounam tried to produce a film based on Vanunu and found himself also in trouble with Israeli authorities. No doubt, all this should result in a new edition of the book if not a sequel. See also Cohen, Gilling, Toscano. (NR)
Jonas, George. Vengeance. (1984). This book was first the inspiration for the 1986 HBO production, The Sword of Gideon which, in turn, inspired Spielberg's 2005 Munich. It was also the major source for Alexander B. Calahan's 1995 Masters Thesis on the subject (see above.) In particular, Jonas is convinced that "Avner's" account of his mission as the team leader of the Mossad's European independent covert action team is authentic.
As is typical of most reviews of books converted to films, readers state Jonas is able to provide more depth than either of the film adaptations, noting "Avner" was only twenty-six when he was summoned out of relative obscurity to head a specialist Israeli team, moving from the ruthless efficiency of the operations before the human costs sinks in. In the words of one Amazon reviewer, "the terrible paradox that results when those in power, in a desperate bid against terrorism, resort to the very tactics of their enemies." Both Jonas and Calahan disagree with the claims of Stewart Steven, noted below. Also see Bar-Zohar (Quest), Klein and Tinin.
Kahana, Ephraim. Historical Dictionary of Israeli Intelligence. (2006) Reviews point to a mixed usefulness for this non-indexed and incomplete study. For example, the Jonathan Pollard article omitted a number of key facts. However, new information is included as in the Mordechai Louk spy-in-the-diplomatic-trunk
incident. According to a CIA review of the book, “Similarly, the domestic security service, often called Shin Bet, is discussed under its formal name, the Israeli Security Agency (SHABAK). There is a very useful chronology describing the evolution of the various Israeli intelligence services and the officers that headed them. The introduction is
a valuable summary of how Israeli intelligence operates, citing missions, failures, oversight, the importance of HUMINT, and a look to the future. Overall
this is a valuable reference book.” NR
Katz, Samuel M. Guards Without Frontiers: Israel's War Against Terrorism. (1990). From a frequently published writer on Israeli intelligence, this volume traces the origins of the Mossad and follows its agents on various assassination assignments. However, while other Katz titles earn considerable praise, intelligence experts brand this one worrisome for its lack of documentation and tone of near propaganda. (NR)
Katz, Samuel M. Hunt for the Engineer: How Israeli Agents Tracked the Hamas Master Bomber. (1999). The story of the hunt by Israeli security forces for Yehiya Ayyash ("the Engineer") and his elimination by an exploding cell phone. (NR)
Katz, Samuel M. Soldier Spies: Israeli Military Intelligence. (1992). While this book is an outstanding, even extraordinary, history of Aman, the intelligence branch of the Israel Defense Force (IDF), there is much material related to the Mossad. Connections between the two agencies include the much larger size of Aman and that sometimes operations overlap. For example, the Mossad's support of the Christian government in Lebanon, Katz maintains, set the stage for the IDF failures there. Recruits into Aman, like Eli Cohen and Wolfgang Lotz, were later moved to the Mossad to great success. Comparing Aman with America's NSA, Katz says Aman sets the stage for intelligence successes by other members of the Israeli espionage community.
Well-researched, drawing from sources in English and Hebrew, Katz supports Victor Ostrovsky's revelations that the Mossad was heavily involved in the Iran-Contra affair, although Katz agrees with most reviewers that Ostrovsky's books weave fiction with fact (see below). Like Black and Morris, this history includes much about Jewish operations in Palestine before the formation of Israel, including how Aman benefited from the training of British advisors and S.O.E. officers who instructed WWII guerillas to "Turn the night into your own," to use being outnumbered to your advantage. Early chapters draw heavily from Raviv and Melman--see below. Later chapters also draw from Black and Morris, Steven, and numerous Hebrew publications. Concludes with in-depth discussion of Israel's role in the first Iraqi War. Also see Betser.
Klein, Aaron J. Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response. (2005). For discussions on books on this topic, also see Bar-Zohar (Quest), Calahan , Jonas, and Tinin. (NR)
Loftus, John, and Mark Aarons. The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. (1994). In the view of Helene Fragman-Abramson, "I wouldn't exclude this book, written by the conspiracy-maven team of Loftus and Aarons, as a counter balance to Black and Morris. Loftus and Aarons do a fine job of detailing the behind the scenes negotiations that were often the result of selectively placed intel. Great primer on how covert operations can shape political relationships." (NR)
Lotz, Wolfgang. The Champagne Spy: Israel's Master Spy Tells His Story. (1972). Working for Aman and then the Mossad at the same time as Eli Cohen, Lotz was based in Cairo where his work centered on destroying the efforts of former Nazi scientists helping Egypt. Playing the role of an ex-Nazi himself, he earned the moniker "The Champagne Spy" due to his high-living as part of his cover. His account tells of transmitters in his boots and bathroom scale. Like Eli Cohen, he was captured but was traded in a prisoner exchange along with veterans of the botched Unit 131 "Operation Susanna" agents in 1973. One reviewer believes this book is "a rare work -- the story of a post-World War II non-Soviet illegal operation written by the illegal himself." See also Dan and Lotz, A Handbook for Spies. (NR)
Lotz, Wolfgang. A Handbook for Spies. (1980). Described as a do-it-yourself manual for testing your suitability to be a spy. For some critics, the book not only reflects Lotz's experiences and his outlook stemming from his work in Egypt but reveals much about Lotz himself. Some of his observations on espionage are universally pertinent; others seem to fit his particular experiences and circumstances." See also Lotz, The Champagne Spy. (NR)
Malkin, Peter Z. The Argentina Journal: Paintings and Memories: The Israeli Secret Agent Who Captured the Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann Through His Art. (2002). As described in his memoir (see below), Mossad agent Malkin used his cover as a painter on his mission to capture Adolf Eichmann. This book includes those paintings of Eichmann, his memories of World War II, Mussolini, Hitler and the scenes around him where Eichmann was guarded for ten days. Considered a valuable contribution to both history and art. See also Aharoni, Bar-Zohar (Spies in the Promised Land), Bascomb, Harel, Malkin, Shpiro.(NR)
Malkin, Peter Z. with Harry Stein. Eichmann in My Hands. (1990). Memoir of a highly regarded Mossad veteran. At the age of 12, Malkin was recruited into the Haganah, the Palestine Jewish underground. Later, he was invited to join the new Jewish state's fledgling security service as an explosives expert. Because of his skills as a master of martial arts and disguises, in 1960, Isser Harel assigned him to capture Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann and bring him to Israel. Malkin used his painter's identity as his cover while he successfully completed his mission. In 1991, after the facts of the operation including his role were publicly revealed, Malkin was interviewed by numerous publications and he exhibited the paintings that became known as "The Argentina Journal" (see above). One of three books written by actual participants--see also Aharoni, Harel. See also Bar-Zohar (Spies in the Promised Land), Bascomb, Shpiro. (NR) Excerpts and chapters from the book are posted at:
McRaven, William H. Special Operations--Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice. (1995). Intended for professionals in the field, case studies include the Israeli rescue at Entebbe (1976). Described as good history with thought-provoking analysis. See also Stevenson. (NR)
Neff, Donald. Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days That Changed the Middle East.(1984). According to Helene Fragman-Abramson, alongside Michael Oren's Six Days of War, this book provides "incredible insight to the political jockeying and information trades occurring in Israel behind the scenes prior to and during
the June 1967 war." See also Oren. (NR) The "Arab-Israeli War, 1967 - July 2002" is an extensive bibliography on the topic:
O'Ballance, Edgar. Electronic War in the Middle East (1968-1970). (1974). As title implies, a focused study of electronic wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors during the "War of Attrition." For specialists" general readers may find what they need in Katz, Soldier Spies, in which overviews of eavesdropping improvements after 1967 are discussed along with the birth of remote-control surveillance devices based on toy planes. (NR)
Oren, Michael B. Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. (2002). According to Helene Fragman-Abramson, alongside Donald Neff's Warriors of Jerusalem, this book provides "incredible insight to the political jockeying and information trades occurring in Israel behind the scenes prior to and during the June 1967 war.” See also Neff. (NR) The "Arab-Israeli War, 1967 - July 2002" is an extensive bibliography on the topic:
Ostrovsky ,Victor and Claire Hoy. By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of A Mossad Officer. (1990). controversial and clearly self-serving memoir, many reviews believe it should be taken with a pillar of salt. Later sources contend this expose didn't likely tell foreign agencies what they didn't already know but could have had an impact on U.S./Israel relations. Likely other governments as well, most notably Denmark as Ostrovsky published a credible organizational chart of their own services. Most of Ostrovsky's claims are impossible to prove or disprove, but the tone is clearly disingenuous when the former Mossad agent says he's interested in preserving agents safety while blowing their covers. If true, he revealed corruption of former officers who used their connections in private enterprises, especially in the Far East, and describing the sexual interactions in headquarters saying all the secretaries are essentially "hand-me-downs" from one agent to another. But doubts about his claims include his repeatedly defining himself as a Colonel in the Mossad when it's well-known there are no military ranks in this service, all participants civilian.
Nonetheless, there is much interesting information and this book is not to be disregarded outright. For example, his claim there are but 30 to40 katsas, or case officers, working at any time is supported by other sources. If he is correct about the Mossad misusing him as a scapegoat in a botched operation, he has much to be resentful about. Ostrovsky, a Mossad officer from approximately January 1983 to 1986, provides one of the most detailed descriptions of agent training in print. Claiming the Mossad, despite its relative small size, is an institution unto itself, he believes Prime Ministers have no control over it and instead foreign policy is manipulated by the desires of the very right-wing Mossad. He provides credible details about the Metsada as a highly secret organization within the Mossad which operates combatants. The book also describes the "Kidon," a specially trained, elite assassination unit. According to Ostrovsky, Kidon is a translation of the word 'bayonet,' and is the operational arm of the Mossad responsible for kidnappings and executions.
The most questionable sections of the book are his descriptions of operations he claimed to be privy to during his short tenure, and those he was told about in training. Stories include how the Mossad created a table filled with listening devices sent to Syria which didn't work, Black September's attempt to assassinate Golda Meir, and how the Mossad was so determined to take out this group it was distracted from battling Syria and Egypt, hence the failures before the 1973 Yom Kippor War. The most successful rescue operation in history, the air-lifting of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan, is described in more detail than other sources. While he doesn't have as much to say about the Lillehamer debacle as Calahan, Jonas, or Tinin, this book reveals much about the later missions of participants after the botched mission which are now well-documented. (See list of Ostrovsky websites in a separate file of this bibliography.)
Ostrovsky, Victor. The Other Side of Deception. (1994). A very different book from his 1990 expose', this dramatic memoir focuses on Ostrovsky himself and is thus more a personal narrative with lengthy descriptions of his life after the Mossad. Often reading more like a novel, we get explicit descriptions of sex with 22 year old girls and his emotional reactions to being forced out of the Mossad and his crusade of revenge.
The heart of the book is Ostrovsky's tale of recruitment by a rogue group within the Mossad who believed "The Office" had become uncontrollable and therefore in need of destruction. In 1986, Ostrovsky claimed he first helped expose a Soviet mole by offering the KGB and Palestinians Intel, then gave the British considerable information on Mossad operations in England, and went to Jordon and Egypt to reveal Mossad intentions and inoculate them against Israel. Always claiming to be a patriotic Israeli, Ostrovsky repeatedly stated his purpose was to work against an agency he felt certain was independent of the democratic government of Israel--and besides he had personal issues with his treatment as a Colonel in the Mossad. One mission, which he code-named "Operation: Joshua," allegedly helped Jordon set up a spy ring against Israel--such revelations, if true, should indeed brand Ostrovsky a traitor despite his denials. In the end, he states the group's attempts to blacken Mossad leadership led to little fruit beyond setting back Mossad operations in England, which led to his grandest stroke--the publication of the 1990 By Way of Deception.
Along the way, readers get more insights into intelligence work, especially terminology. But his descriptions of Mossad operations are again highly suspect. For example, he claims the Reagan administration was duped into bombing Libya in April 1986 after the Mossad planted a "Trojan Dick Trick" in Libya which broadcast disinformation confirming bogus Mossad reports about Libya's terrorist connections. Most studies of the bombing clearly indicate Reagan would have needed no prodding from Israel to retaliate against unquestionable Libyan involvement in terrorism. On the other hand, his notes about Mossad supporting publisher Robert Maxwell, making his empire possible, are now considered quite credible. He provides more details on the Jonathan Pollard affair, noting information he sent was passed on to the Eastern bloc in exchange for freeing Russian Jews, one reason Pollard was given life in prison. (See list of Ostrovsky websites in Part II of this bibliography.)
Payne, Ronald. Mossad: Israel's Most Secret Service. (1991). Appearing at the same time as both Black and Morris as well as Raviv and Melmen, this historical compendium perhaps suffers by comparison as it draws from well-known sources with no obvious insider interviews or contacts. Still, noted as well-written and considered useable. (NR)
Posner, Steve. Israel Undercover: Secret Warfare and Hidden Diplomacy in the Middle East. (1987). Has been described as a flawed but readable overview for the general reader. (NR)
Raviv, Dan and Yossi Melman. Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community. (1990). Appearing one year before Black and Morris, this history was quickly and obviously not "complete"--a title choice the authors admitted was impossible for any study of any intelligence agency. (The authors preferred the British title, The Imperfect Spies, which better suited the content.) Another strain on the American title was the claim that spies are mainly princes who work largely from patriotic motivations, even in the early years in Israel when turf wars and policies of the Ben-Gurion government weren't universally applauded. Black and Morris are far more comprehensive, but this book of equivalent length should not be simply dismissed as being superceded. It has material not duplicated in the other book, includes more direct quotes from sources and has more on perceptions of Israel's intelligence agencies by both observers and participants. Has different insights on principal characters and events, such as crediting Chaim Herzog as spearheading technological advances in the formative years. They discuss more connections with other countries and the CIA than Black and Morris. Includes a chronological list of important figures and the structural hierarchy of various agencies. As indispensable as Black and Morris and Katz's Soldier Spies.
Richelson, Jeffrey T. Foreign Intelligence Organizations. (1988). In this volume, Richelson, a fine authority on modern espionage, provided organization-chart overviews including, among others, the Mossad, Aman, Shin Bet, and the Lakam. Not for general readers, but invaluable on library shelves.
Schack, Howard H., with H. Paul Jeffers. A Spy in Canaan: My Life as a Jewish-American Businessman Spying for Israel in Arab Lands. (1993). Schack worked for Mossad from mid-1970s to late 1980s. (NR)
Scharf, Jonathan. South of Jericho: A Novel. (2006). While this list summarizes non-fiction books, this novel is allegedly based on a true story written by an ex-Mossad officer. Realism, the publisher claims, is seen in passages "from the attempted capture of 23 ex-Nazi scientists, planning for the terrorists a germ-
biological attack on Israel that could spread throughout the world, to a car chase in the backstreets of Baghdad behind KGB agents involving a Swiss banker and an Arab nuclear plant, to a threatened-to-be-stolen Russian super MiG fighter plane." The hero is terrorist hunter Ziki Barak who finds himself involved in a plot involving nuclear bombs. For more discussion on fictional accounts of the Mossad, see note 2 below and other files at this website. (NR)
Seale, Patrick. Abu Nibal: A Gun for Hire. (1992). Exploration of the late Arab terrorist mastermind. Discusses the atmosphere of paranoia in Palestinian guerilla groups fearing what they believe is certain penetration and manipulation by the Mossad. Chapters 8-10 discuss the enigmatic reputation of Nibal, in particular whether he was actually a Mossad agent or at least collaborator. After all, his organization was known more for dueling with the PLO, Jordon, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia more so than Israel, although Nibal's ostensible mission was the utter destruction of Israel. However, after 1977, Seale maintains, Nibal hit no Israeli targets and Israel didn't target him. Instead, his operations tended to blacken the reputations of more moderate Arab organizations--a ploy by Israel and Nibal? After looking at a variety of possibilities, Seale concludes it is quite conceivable that Nibal or members of his leadership were indeed Mossad agents and we may learn someday this was one of Israel's greatest coups.
Segev, Shmuel. Alone in Damascus: The Life and Death of Eli Cohen. (1986). Published by Keter Publishing,Jerusalem. Not translated into English from the original Hebrew; transliterated as 'Boded b'Damesek: Chaya v'mota shel Eli Cohen.' Apparently, Segev was a journalist with Israeli Hebrew daily Ma'ariv and, in a number of articles, identified as a former intelligence officer. (Source: Helene Fragman-Abramson). For details, see ALDOUBY, Ben-Hanan, Dan. NR
Shamir, Yitzhak. Summing Up. (1994). As the former Prime Minister's primary purpose here is to review and defend his policies and labors while in high office, he is sadly skimpy in sharing insights into his ten years as one of Israel's "anonymous soldiers" in the Mossad. He, like Herzog, offers more describing his days in the clandestine cells of Zionist agents working to help create the state of Israel, especially his training as a guerilla fighter. He was schooled in the rudimentary arts like camouflage, "walking in the shade." "Conspiratorial life," he wrote, "is tidier than most other styles of living. Everything, rules, regulations, prescriptions, discipline, is totally directed toward serving the cause." Leaving no trails, no inadvertent clues scattered behind, a way of living that helped shape his future life. For example, his entire family had to live with cover identities during one of his tours in France. He is likely unique in determining the various intelligence agencies in Israel work together in complete harmony.
Shpiro, Shlomo(Ed). Intelligence and Democracy in Israel: Isser Harel.(2005) See Aharoni, Bar-Zohar (Spies in the Promised Land), Bascomb, Harel, Malkin. (NR)
Silman-Cheong, Helen. Wellesley Aron: A Rebel With A Cause--A Memoir. (1991). While pre-dating the Mossad, this is the biography of a Jewish Palestinian who worked clandestinely for the Hagannah in the US during Israel's War of Independence. (NR)
Steven, Stewart. The Spymasters of Israel: The Definitive Inside Look at the World's Best Intelligence Service. (1980). For some reviewers, this history is readable but without the detail of volumes intended for researchers; others note some sections are good "recaps" of well-known stories with some errors. For example, in Soldier Spies, Katz notes there is no record of a Cairo-based secret group called "Together." As both Black and Morris as well as Raviv and Melman came out a decade later, perhaps Steven should be third on the list when looking for comprehensive overviews. (NR)
Stevenson, William. Ninety Minutes at Entebbe. (1976). Describes the Israeli rescue of hijacked airplane passengers at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976. See also McRaven. (NR)
Sumaida, Hussein Ali, with Carole Jerome. Circle of Fear: From the Mossad to Iraq's Secret Service. (1991--re-published as Circle of Fear: My Life as an Israeli and Iraqi Spy in 1994.) Sumaida, whose father was a high-ranking official and an intimate of Saddam Hussein, claims to have worked with Mossad in Europe and later with the Iraqis. Considered plausible but sensational and unsupported, some reviewers find this more an effort at self-justification rather than revealing much about espionage operations and methods. Others note there is no way to verify Sumaida's stories regarding his encounters with the Mukhabarat, the CIA, or Canadian intelligence officials. Also questionable is the actual authorship, and when and why the book was written. (NR)
Szulc, Tad. The Secret Alliance: The Extraordinary Story of the Rescue of the Jews Since World War II. (1991). Praised for the research and detail, Szulc recounts the story of the Mossad-backed "Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society," a complex and covert intelligence network organized to aid then illegal immigration to Palestine and then the new country of Israel. (NR)
Tadmor, Joshua. Silent Warriors: The Dramatic Story of the Men and Women,
Israeli and Arab Secret Agents in the Middle East from World War II to the
Present. (1969). Written by U. S. Marine Corps Museum General and Theoretical historian. See note 3 below. (NR)
Teveth, Shabtai. Ben--Gurion's Spy: The Story of the Political Scandal That Shaped Modern Israel. (1996). According to Book List, "A magnificently documented account of the Lavon affair, the 1960 political scandal that led to the demise of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's government three years later, and, says Teveth, the original progressive ideals of Zionism." See also El-Ad, Gollan.
Thomas, Gordon. Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad. (1999). Charges that Israel blackmailed President Clinton with phone-tapped tapes of his sex talks with Monica Lewinsky which induced the president to call off an FBI hunt for a top-level Israeli mole. In addition, speculates the Mossad was involved with the death of Princess Diana of Wales. All sources are unnamed and Thomas's own credentials have not been verified by any source. (NR)
Thomas, Gordon, and Martin Dillon. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Master Spy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. (2002). Develops the claims of Victor Ostrovsky's The Other Side of Deception (1994) that Maxwell was indeed a longtime "agent" of the Mossad. However, reviewers remain unconvinced Maxwell was murdered while considering the other claims credible. (NR)
Tinin, David B. and Dag Christiansen. The Hit Team. (1976). At first glance, this journalist's report might now seem outdated as its ostensible subject is the assassination operations of the Mossad after the 1972 Munich attack by Black September. As it appeared in 1976, clearly much material has come to light in the following decades leading up to the 2005 film, Munich. Indeed, coverage of the "first string" teams is thin, but the lengthiest section is an almost minute-by-minute account of the unraveling of the July 21, 1973 Mossad operation in Lillehammer, Norway, where the "second string" murdered Ahmed Boushiki, a Moroccan waiter after mistaking him for the "Red Prince," a Palestinian leader of the Black September terrorist group.
What gives this book some continuing interest is its detailed discussions of Mossad operations, weaponry, and especially training. Offers insights into the psychological costs for secret agents. For example, notes that false identities allow agents to commit acts in that name which distances the actions from the individual. However, guilt can grow later. Further, descriptions of team members explore why failures occur when agents are in the field too long, which is why 5 years is considered the maximum time an agent can be undercover and why their compensation should be high, their lives after secret work usually difficult in the civilian sector. Despite factual errors, this book served as a reference for later explorations of the same matters. See also Bar-Zohar (Quest), Calahan, Jonas, Klein.
Tirmazi, Brigadier Syed A. T. Profiles of Intelligence. (1995). The author held positions in Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau, eventually serving as its directorate general, and the Inter Services Intelligence (analogous to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the United States). Thus, his focus is mainly on Pakistani intelligence but then discusses intelligence in five geographic areas: the United States, India, Libya, Israel, and Iran. According to a CIA review of the book, “He is candid about the high quality of the Israeli services but leaves no doubt as to his political views: "Most ills that have enveloped the world today can be traced back to Tel Aviv…." (225)” NR
Toscano, Louis. Triple Cross: Israel, the Atomic Bomb, and the Man Who Spilled the Secrets. (1990). Yet another look into the Vanunu affair. One reviewer found it a slight book about Mordechai Vanunu's sad life in which the only notable thing "is that he managed to photograph Israel's Dimona nuclear bomb plant." Another noted the author told two stories: One story is that of Vanunu's life and beliefs, in which Vanunu "emerges as a sympathetic but confused individual." The other story concerns the Israeli government's reactions to Vanunu's disclosures. For other takes, see Cohen, Gilling, Hounam. (NR)
West, Nigel. [Rupert Allason, M.P.] Games of Intelligence: The Classified Conflict of International Intelligence Revealed. (1990). A broad comparison of U.S., UK, Soviet, French, and Israeli intelligence. Said to be both a good read and good reference as the author had access to highly sensitive information told with both analysis and anecdotes. A supplement to studies more focused on Israel. (NR)
WESTERBY, Gerald. In Hostile Country: Business Secrets of a Mossad Combatant. (1998). Using a pseudonym, this author offers an unusual approach--a how-to manual on succeeding in business by using principles he learned on espionage missions. Divided into three sections--patience, preparation, and persistence--advice is illustrated by such operations as getting a Sudanese target to come to Europe. (NR)
1. As of this writing, one book in the pipeline includes former Mossad undercover combatant Michael Burrows's The Volunteer, the memoir of a Christian born westerner who falls in love with Israel, converts to Judaism and serves as a senior officer in Israeli secret intelligence from 1988 - 2001, including two and a half years as Mossad's Counterterrorism Liaison Officer to the CIA and FBI.
2. While this bibliography didn't include many novels with Mossad characters, one author deserves an "Honorable Mention." In one noteworthy series, Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon was a reluctant killer for Israeli intelligence, an art restorer who'd seen his wife and child blown up by PLO terrorists. Before beginning the Allon series with The Kill Artist (2000), bestsellers included The Unlikely Spy (1995), The Mark of the Assassin (1998), and The Marching Season (1999). The second Allon book, The English Assassin (2002) was followed by The Confessor (2003) where Allon battled a secret conspiracy within the Vatican trying to keep hidden revelations about the Church's silence during the Holocaust. Based on extensive research, the book explored the Church's support of Nazis when both groups opposed Communism and the idea Jews might get their own homeland.
This series is important as the Silva books signaled a new direction in espionage literature, a shift from Cold War duels to the growing interest in Israel/Arab relations. Praised by many critics as a new force in espionage fiction, Silva benefits from contacts with a number of news correspondents, most notably his wife, NBC Today Show reporter, Jamie Jangel. For more information, see my Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film (2005).
3. According to Belle Cohen, these are titles about Eli Cohen published in various languages other than English:
Eli Cohen by Jacques Rabin and Jacques Overdo Paris, Flammarion, 1967
Eli Cohen, ha-Gibor ha Israeli be Damascus (The Israeli Hero in Damascus), By A Hagai, Tel Aviv, Gevura, included in Eli Cohen, Spy in Damascus, by Joshua Tadmoor, in The Silent Warriors, New York, McMillan, 1969.
Eli Cohen ve Eile she-Kadmu lo, by Arieh Hashavia, in Rigul (Espionage),
Tel- Aviv, Ledori.
Kamal Amin Taabet- Eli Cohen, by Gabriel Strassman, Baalot Lochamim, ( Best
Fighters) Moshe Ben Shaul,ed
Eli Cohen- Le Combattant de Damas by Jacques Mercier (Eli’s lawyer), Robert Laffont, Paris, 1998.