ISRAEL

Overviews

Q - Z

Raviv, Dan, and Yossi Melman. Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. 1991. [pb] Melman, Yossi, and Dan Raviv. The Imperfect Spies: The History of Israeli Intelligence. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989.

Raviv, Dan, and Yossi Melman. Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars. Sea Cliff, NY: Levant Books, 2012.

Clark comment: Although this is a new book, it also can be viewed as an update of the authors' Every Spy a Prince (1990). From "Prologue": "The original mission of [Israeli] intelligence in the Middle East's eternal, complex chess game focused on preparing for the next war. Now, Israel's spymasters continually wage war by stealth, sabotage, disinformation, and killing." Peake, Studies 57.1 (Mar. 2013), and Intelligencer 20.1 (Spring-Summer 2013), finds that "[r]elying mainly on interviews, many unattributed, the authors present a balanced, often exciting, view of Israeli intelligence."

Richelson, Jeffrey T.

1. Foreign Intelligence Organizations. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1988.

2. "The Mossad Imagined: The Israeli Secret Service in Film and Fiction." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 136-166.

One of the masters of writing about technical intelligence matters turns his attention to the role of Mossad in English-language film and fiction. Light but well researched and interesting reading.

Robarge, David S. "Getting It Right: CIA Analysis of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War " Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 1 (2005): 1-7.

Sometimes the intelligence process works "almost perfectly. On those occasions, most of the right information was collected in a timely fashion, analyzed with appropriate methodologies, and punctually disseminated in finished form to policymakers who were willing to read and heed it. Throughout those situations, the intelligence bureaucracies were responsive and cooperative," and the DCI "had access and influence downtown. One such example that can be publicly acknowledged" is the Six-Day War in 1967.

Ross, Michael, with Jonathan Kay. The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists. New York: Skyhorse, 2007.

Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), notes that this "is the story of Canadian Michael Ross, who ... was recruited by the Mossad in 1988 where he served until 2001." It is "a well written story book that asks the reader to 'trust me,' but provides little reason to do so."

Seliktar, Ofira. Doomed to Failure? The Politics and Intelligence of the Oslo Peace Process. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International, 2009.

Skelly, IJI&C 23.3 (Fall 2010), calls this a "pathbreaking volume" and places it within "a genre that takes a more critical approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."

Shpiro, Shlomo.

1. "KGB Human Intelligence Operations in Israel 1948-73." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 6 (Dec. 2011): 864-885.

"Operating out of the Soviet Embassy in Tel-Aviv, a large contingent of KGB case officers ran a string of agents deep inside Israel's security and diplomatic establishments.... Once diplomatic relations were severed, in 1967, the KGB lost much of its local capabilities and had to rely on 'illegal' case officers to run its agents in Israel, whose effectiveness was often compromised by Shabak double agent penetrations."

2. "Know Your Enemy: West German-Israeli Intelligence Evaluation of Soviet Weapon Systems." Journal of Intelligence History 4, no. 1 (Summer 2004). [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/journal.html]

From abstract: "In the various Middle East wars, Israeli intelligence captured large quantities of the most modern Soviet weapon systems. Close cooperation developed between the Israeli Mossad and the West German BND over testing and evaluation of captured Soviet weapons." This article includes an analysis of the effects of this cooperation "on major German armaments projects.... It also explores German deliveries of former NVA weapon systems to Israel after the German Unification, deliveries which culminated in the seizure of a large shipment in Hamburg and an ensuing political scandal."

3. "The Media Strategies of Intelligence Services." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 14, no. 4 (Winter 2001-2002): 485-502.

The author looks at two models of structured intelligence service strategies for dealing with the media: One, the "defensive openness" model, is represented by the German intelligence services; the other, the "controlled exclusion" model, is represented by Israel.

Steven, Stewart. The Spymasters of Israel. New York: Macmillan, 1980. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1981. New York: Ballantine Books,1982. [pb]

Constantinides finds "good recaps of the Lavon affair, Operation Susannah, and the essence of the Lotz and Cohen operations in Egypt and Syria respectively." The intelligence failure of the 1973 war "is well described." However, "it is nonsense to say virtually all CIA men in the Middle East were working at second hand for the Israelis." For NameBase, this book "reads more like a mass-market thriller than a scholarly effort." Steven "is hampered ... by his need to protect his sources and his tendency to glorify the exploits of Mossad agents.... In the end he manages to spin a good story, but fails to contribute to the international debate on the ethics of Israeli policy."

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. New York: Macmillan, 1969. [Chambers]

Thomas, Gordon. Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad. New York: St. Martin's, 1999. London: Macmillan, 1999.

Travis, New York Post, 4 Mar. 1999, reports that this work charges that "Israel blackmailed President Clinton with phone-tapped tapes of his steamy sex talks with Monica Lewinsky.... The price Clinton paid for the silence of the Mossad spy agency was calling off an FBI hunt for a top-level Israeli mole ["Mega"] ... who was, and could still be, deep within the White House." Gurdon and Davies, Telegraph (London), 4 Mar. 1999, and Sammon and Gertz, Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 8-14 Mar. 1999, also report this aspect of Thomas' book.

The reviewer for Publisher's Weekly, 22 Feb. 99, believes that "[a]stute readers ... will question whether" the author's "unnamed informants have given the straight scoop.... Thomas writes with the pulpy charm familiar to readers of Englsh tabloids; however, his use of unnamed sources and his reliance on conjecture will leave readers intrigued but determined to reserve judgment."

Foster, Contemporary Review, Nov. 1999, comments that "[d]espite its pace and sensational Sunday-paper readability, [Thomas'] book covers the ground thoroughly and generally accurately." However, the author "[o]ccasionally ... gives way to temptations which he should have resisted," as in speculating about Mossad's role in the death of the Princess of Wales. Commenting on the 6th edition, Peake, Studies 57.1 (Mar. 2013), says that the "trademark" of the author's books is that "they are well written, badly documented, and packed with errors." This one is no different. "The work is entertaining but not reliable."

Thomas, Gordon, and Martin Dillon. The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Superspy. London: Robson, 2002. Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Master Spy:  The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. New York:  Carroll and Graf, 2002. 

Peake, Studies 47.3, comments: "That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable.  But Thomas and Dillon have not established the relationship with high confidence, nor the corollary that he was murdered."

West, Nigel. [Rupert Allason] Games of Intelligence: The Classified Conflict of International Espionage Revealed. London: Crown, 1989. New York: Crown, 1990.

Surveillant 1.1 notes that the U.S. edition has been updated. "West, as provocative as he is prolific, asks and answers ... questions about the workings of intelligence organizations in both East and West." A NameBase review calls the book "a broad, name-intensive survey of British, French, U.S., and Soviet intelligence." The author "prefers attention to detail and the occasional anecdote to make his points.... This makes the book a good read as well as a good reference to some of the available literature."

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