Avni, Zeev. False Flag: The Inside Story of the Spy Who Worked for Moscow and the Israelis. London: St. Ermin's, 1999.
According to Campbell, IJI&C 14.3, this is the story of how a Soviet spy penetrated the Mossad for the GRU. Bath, NIPQ 17.2, notes that this work "has the potential for being a great intelligence story but, unfortunately, fails to deliver."
Bar-Joseph, Uri. "A Bull in a China Shop: Netanyahu and Israel's Intelligence Community." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 154-174.
The author concludes: "Since June 1996, the heads of Israel's intelligence community have been confronted with a large number of incidents and crises in which they have been obliged to choose between preserving their professional integrity or pleasing their political superiors. Their dominant preference has been for the first." Clark comment: While that conclusion has some validity, Bar-Joseph goes astray in his efforts to contrast those behavior patterns with the CIA during the Reagan administration; he should have concentrated on matters Israeli.
Bar-Joseph, Uri. "Israel's Military Intelligence Performance in the Second Lebanon War." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 583-601.
There was a "gap between AMAN's correct strategic estimates prior to the war, and its failure to draw the obvious conclusions from this assessment." Also, Aman was overly reliant on "the high tech methods of collecting intelligence information." In addition, "the need to provide targets that can be destroyed by guided munitions should not overrule other, more traditional intelligence missions."
Bar-Joseph, Uri. "State-Intelligence Relations in Israel: 1948-1996." Journal of Conflict Studies 17, no. 2 (Fall 1997): 133-156.
Bar-Zohar, Michael. Spies in the Promised Land: Iser Harel and the Israeli Secret Service. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
Kirkus Review, 18 May 1972: Bar-Zohar recounts a "good story ... as a partisan of Harel and Ben-Gurion and a relatively rightwing Israeli.... If you discount the author's egregious political biases, this is an entertaining and informative story."
Bar-Zohar, Michael, and Nissim Mishal. Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service. London: HarperCollins, 2012.
Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun. 2013), and Intelligencer 20.1 (Spring-Summer 2013), comments that "[a]s with all unofficial case books of this nature, readers are left wondering how much is true." However, this is "an interesting survey of Mossad espionage operations. It is good reading."
Beres, Louis René. "The Iranian Threat to Israel: Capabilities and Intentions." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 9, no. 1 (Spring 1996): 51-61.
"Assessments of the Iranian threat to Israel must take careful account of both countries' capabilities and intentions, the components of these threat dimensions, their sources, their amenability to change and -- most important of all -- their very complex relationships and foreseeable interactions."
Betser, Muki, with Robert Rosenberg. Secret Soldier: The True Life Story of Israel's Greatest Commando. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996.
According to Cohen, FA 75.4 (Jul.-Aug. 1995), Betser is a former senior officer in Sayeret Matkal, the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Delta Force or the U.K. Special Air Service. Despite the title, this book is not filled with bravado. Betser has some insightful criticisms of the Israeli military, but also "reveals the qualities that have made the IDF a remarkable overall success." Karl, WIR 16.2, finds that one of the book's attractions "is that it deals with intelligence successes and failures and provides detailed descriptions of specific operations." Betser provides insight into the culture, history, and personalities of the IDF's key special forces units.
Black, Ian, and Benny Morris. Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. New York: Grove Press, 1992. [pb]
Clark comment: Interestingly, Black and Morris have been criticized for being both overly critical and not critical enough of the Israel intelligence services. In general, the Surveillant 2.4 reviewer, who calls the book an "outstanding story of the development of the intelligence and security services of Israel," seems on the mark. "Detailed and well-written and researched," Israel's Secret Wars is the "best treatment of this topic to have appeared in print to-date," partly because the authors had "considerable access to official source materials."
Perlmutter, NYTBR, 30 Jun. 1991, holds a similar view, stating that the authors "tell their story of the three intelligence services objectively.... The tone of their book is measured, with no villains (and no heroes, either)." Beckman, America, 19 Sep. 1992, sees the work as "a solid, comprehensive history." This is "a sensible book in an area given to extreme judgments." Dunn, Middle East Journal 46.1, emphasizes that this "is not a book for conspiracy buffs or those who seek swashbuckling yarns."
According to Freedman, AHR, Apr. 1993, Israel's Secret Wars is a "'warts and all' ... comprehensive history of Israel's security services." The authors "basically present a negative view of the security services, particularly of their activities in the 1970s and 1980s.... [S]ome of the central sources cited in describing key political events have a clearly anti-Israel bias, and this raises questions about the objectivity of the book.... [T]here are a number of factual errors that mar the book.... In sum, there is a great deal of useful material in this book, but readers should examine it critically, especially the latter sections of the book, which reflect an anti-Israeli left-of-center bias on the part of the authors."
NameBase counters that "[j]ournalist Ian Black and historian Benny Morris both have strong sympathies for Israel.... It reads like a sober academic tome, perhaps designed as a counterweight to the sensational book by Israeli intelligence ex-patriot [expatriate?] Victor Ostrovsky. The authors are strong on episodes of early historical interest, for which declassified primary sources are available, and extremely weak or absent on essential contemporary issues."
Seeming to agree with the latter judgment, Lucas, I&NS 7.2, notes that as "the book moves into the 1980s,... it dissolves into a series of short tales rather than the examination of Israeli policy which could look into the 1990s." Nonetheless, the book is "a relatively easy read," with "a refreshing sense of balance."
Blumberg, Stanley A., and Gwinn Owens. The Survival Factor: Israeli Intelligence from World War I to the Present. New York: Putnam's, 1981.
Byman, Daniel. A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Freedman, FA 90.5 (Sep.-Oct. 2011), sees this as a "comprehensive, balanced, and sharply written history." For Sinai, Washington Times, 18 Oct. 2011, "[t]his book is enriched by [the author's] research visits to Israel and meetings with leading Israeli security officials cited throughout the volume."
Cohen, Hillel. Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2010.
According to Peake, Studies 55.1 (Mar. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), the author documents and describes "in detail specific objectives, individual recruitments, and agent-informer handling methods" in the use of informers to monitor the Arab population in Israel.
Cohen, Raymond. "Israeli Military Intelligence before the 1956 Sinai Campaign." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 1 (Jan. 1988): 100-140.
Until 1956, confidence in the work of Israeli military intelligence "was as yet far from unshakable. A number of intelligence failures in 1953 and 1954 affected the morale and credibility of the service.... The new chief of military intelligence, Colonel Yehoshafat Harkabi, who took over in May 1955, faced the task of rehabilitating the service at the very time that relations between Israel and Egypt began a seemingly inexorable slide into war."
Deacon, Richard [Donald McCormick]. The Israeli Secret Service. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1977.
Chambers comments that this book "sounds like a PR release from Mossad"; there are "lots of stories, [but] very few details." Constantinides notes that Deacon's work "depends upon newspaper accounts and a few published memoirs plus some books by persons no more privy to Israel secrets ... than the author himself."
Derogy, Jacques, and Hesi Carmel. The Untold History of Israel. New York: Random House, 1979.
1. "Israeli Intelligence: Tactics, Strategy, and Prediction." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2, no. 3 (Fall 1988): 305-319.
2. "The Vagaries of Intelligence Sharing: The Political Imbalance." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 6, no. 2 (Summer 1993): 135-146.
3. and Gad Barzilai. "The Middle East Power Balance: Israel's Attempts to Understand Changes in Soviet-Arab Relations." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 5, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 35-47.
4. and Reuven Pedatzur. "Israeli Intelligence: Utility and Cost-Effectiveness in Policy Formation." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 3, no. 3 (1989): 347-361.
5. and Boaz Shapira. "Accountability for Secret Operations in Israel." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 371-382.
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