Rise and Kill First: The Inside Story and Secret Operations of Israel's Assassination Program

Rise and Kill First: The Inside Story and Secret Operations of Israel's Assassination Program Review

The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, from the man hailed by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”

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.

Title:Rise and Kill First: The Inside Story and Secret Operations of Israel's Assassination Program
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Steven Z.

    When the state of Israel achieved nationhood in 1948 it was seen as an ethical and moral experiment because of the role the Holocaust played in its creation, along with its dominant Jewish culture. Re...

  • Gokulakrishnan Saravanan

    My feelings after reading this book is sense of despondency on the Israel’s political establishment. Title of the last chapter succinctly captures the result of Israel's targeted killings: ''Impress...

  • Vika Ryabova

    Впечатляющий труд, с массой подробностей о подготовке операций, вербовке агентов, методах убийств и пр. Отдав...

  • Samuel

    The Badass Israeli Assassin....this is an archetype that has glued itself to the public imagination. More cunning, more professional, more stylish than their bumbling goody two shoes gentile counterpa...

  • David Quinn

    This must have been an incredibly difficult book to write considering the extreme secrecy surrounding Israel's military and security forces. To his credit, Bergman cites many former sources within the...

  • Richard

    Four stars for a general reader, five for those of us really interested in Israel.The title is taken from a line in the Talmud, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first,” and is u...

  • Budd Margolis

    This book is one of the very best academic intense history of any national intelligence entity ever comprised. Throughout this book, we are faced with the many moralities of decisions to take life and...

  • Laura

    One of the surprises in this book was the number of times Israel's intelligence community (the Mossad, Shin Bet, et al) completely botched a job. Going into the book I had unconsciously imagined that ...

  • Vheissu

    ...the intelligence community's very success fostered the illusion among most of the nation's leaders that covert operations could be a strategic and not just a tactical tool--that they could be used ...

  • Michael

    Engaging history of Israel's use of targeted assassinations to combat its enemies from its early struggles for independence through its ongoing conflicts with Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Bergman...