cover image Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services

Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services

Ian Black, Benny Morris. Grove/Atlantic, $24.95 (603pp) ISBN 978-0-8021-1159-3

Cataloguing half a century of Israeli intelligence's triumphs, debacles and infighting, this dense work will be of most use to Middle East and national security specialists. According to the authors, Israeli intelligence incorrectly predicted the British withdrawal from Palestine and 1948 Arab invasion; misread Egyptian and Jordanian troop deployment prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and failed to provide adequate warning of the 1973 Arab onslaught. Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the authors maintain, was ``Israel's greatest intelligence failure.'' A checkered record is described: Israeli intelligence agents arranged the clandestine exit of the Iraqi, Moroccan and Ethiopian Jewish communities; kidnapped Nazi Adolf Eichmann to make him stand trial in Israel; returned Yossele Schumacher, who was snatched to New York by his ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist grandparents, to his parents in Israel, and bought classified American documents from American-Jewish intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard. Black and Morris are the authors, respectively, of Zionism and the Arabs and The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949. (June)