Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

January 18, 2013
BY Yitzchak Jaffe
by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal Ecco 2012: hardcover, 400 pages

It took me a while to get into this book. At first, its structure confused and bothered me. It was completely non-linear and seemed to be more speculation than fact; and I really have no interest in reading about what some people think Mossad may or may not have done.

But before I knew it, I was totally caught up, excited to find out what would happen next. The book morphed into a series of thrilling espionage short stores, filled with action, bravery and treachery. I read the remaining majority of the book with pleasure.

The title is a little misleading. It might have been more fitting to call it “Successes and Failures of the Mossad.” It seems the Mossad had its fair share of blunders, everything from killed or kidnapped agents to horrifically embarrassing international incidents.

“Mossad” tells of many of the most famous (and infamous) incidents of one of the most intriguing and mysterious intelligence agencies in the world. Some of the stories were familiar, such as the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the overwhelming success — and ultimate demise — of Elie Cohen and the relentless hunt for the Munich massacre terrorists. Other stories were less familiar, but absolutely fascinating, such as the breathtaking theft from Iraq of a MiG-21 fighter jet and the rescue of groups of oppressed Jews from such places as Syria and Ethiopia.

In all, “Mossad” is an extremely informative read.

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