cover image Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal. Ecco, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-212340-4

Two insiders—Bar-Zohar, a politician and biographer of David Ben-Gurion, and Mishal a leading Israeli journalist—reveal some of the more fantastic episodes in the history of Israeli intelligence operations around the world. A quick and easy read, this book focuses on the operational details and personalities behind the famed Mossad’s record of assassination, kidnapping, sabotage, and clandestine surveillance. Most of the stories covered—the assassination of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, the botched attack on Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al in Amman, Elie Cohen’s rise through the ranks of Syrian society and eventual capture and execution—are well-known, a few are more speculative, concerning highly confidential subjects such as the strikes on Iranian nuclear scientists and facilities. Mostly silent about the political, social, and ethical dimensions of the Mossad’s work, Bar-Zohar and Mishal are resolute cheerleaders, and the writing is patchy and breathless: “The news spread through Damascus like wildfire. Fantastic, absurd, impossible nonsense!... Could one of the leaders of the ruling party... be a spy?!” 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writers House. (Nov.)