Rise and Kill First

Rise and Kill First

The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations

Book - 2018
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"The Talmud says: "If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first." This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel's DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively. In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs--their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions. Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country's military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world's most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a "Mossad within the Mossad" that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism). Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel's most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel's targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781400069712
Branch Call Number: 327.125694 BER 2018
Characteristics: xxiv, 753 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), portraits ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Hope, Ronnie

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MichelleinBallard
Oct 14, 2018

Click on the BiblioCommons' Quotes tab for a key background assertion from the book's preface. The author, Ronen Bergman, a New York Times Magazine staff writer, is no enemy of Israel. In a recent profile ("Israeli reporter for ‘New York Times’ praises AIPAC at closed event: ‘You’ve got our backs’ ") Philip Weiss quotes him as follows: "You know, I've been all over the U.S. with AIPAC and it’s always a great pleasure, as an Israeli. I always tell AIPAC, you do so much in the U.S., and I know that Israel is not the spirit of where you work, but you need to do a little more to explain to Israelis how much they owe AIPAC. Israelis are not aware. I am aware… I know that you’ve got our backs. It's such a great feeling." Weiss has written a number of interesting posts on *Rise and Kill First* on *Mondoweiss*.

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MichelleinBallard
Oct 14, 2018

"Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world. On innumerable occasions, its leaders have weighed what would be the best way to defend its national security and, out of all the options, have time and again decided on clandestine operations, with assassination the method of choice ... In many cases, Israel's leaders have even determined that in order to kill the designated target, it is moral and legal to endanger the lives of innocent civilians who may happen to find themselves in the line of fire." p. xxii.

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