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Hardcover Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad Book

ISBN: 031233771X

ISBN13: 9780312337711

Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

Israel's Mossad is thought by many to be one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world. In Man in the Shadows, Efraim Halevy--a Mossad officer since 1961 and its chief between 1998 and 2002--provides an unprecedented portrait of the Middle East crisis. Having served as the secret envoy of prime ministers Rabin, Shamir, Netanyahu, Barak, and Sharon, Halevy was privy to many of the top-level negotiations that determined the progress of...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An interesting book

This book consists of some interesting recollections from Efraim Halevy, who served as the director of Israel's Mossad. We readers see how the First Gulf War, in 1991, Israel fared poorly. Yes, the United States helped defend Israel from Iraqi missile attacks. However, Halevy makes the point that most knowledgeable Israelis "did not believe that the United States was doing its best to apprehend the missile launchers" and for that reason, many Israelis are very suspicious of how much help the United States will ever give Israel should its survival be at stake. Israel did indeed agree not to join in the attack on Iraq, which may have saved the coalition against Iraq but the author shows that this did Israel very little good. While Iraq, a serious enemy of Israel, was indeed weakened, Israel quickly came under severe pressure from its friends to appease its remaining enemies. Israel has always needed peace, and this has made it susceptible to bogus offers of peace. Halevy explains how this affected negotiations that involved covert channels. As he says, rather than being a way to discuss issues regarding Israel's future, keeping Israel's interests in mind, the covert talks "evolved into a strategy designed to enable the devoted negotiators to engage in dreams of peace rather than to confront the true facts of life and to grapple with them." There is a long and interesting section on how Israel and Jordan managed to sign a peace treaty. And we also see what Halevy thinks of several famous people of the region. One is the notorious Yassir Arafat, who Halevy mentions was a "compulsive liar" who "would never honor a commitment and rarely would have anything but contempt for his peers." I remember being flabbergasted by the fact that rather than arresting, trying, and executing this thug, leaders of Western nations often showed esteem for him. But Halevy says that Arafat did pay a political price in 2000 and 2001 for refusing to make a deal at Camp David and then for lying about the Karin A arms smuggling to the president of the United States. Once again, I'm shocked that it took all this to discredit such a horrible person. We also see Halevy's puzzlement at Israel's acceptance, even under pressure, of the infamous "road map" proposed by the quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. This document "was deemed a nonstarter and a real danger to Israel's interests for a variety of reasons." And these reasons included allowing the quartet to determine if the Arabs had fulfilled their obligations on issues such as ending terror. That would pretty much let the Arabs do what they pleased. In this book Halevy often makes the point that one ought to honor one's word and build up one's credibility. I agree. And I think that means needing to resist pressure to make agreements that one can not or will not fulfill. I enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it.

a bloody history in abloody regeion

i love this kind of books .as a person who is living in the middle east which lived a lot of wars and conflicts between the arabs and the israeles i alaways search on the books talk about such a topic . this man mr halevy because his possision as a post leader of mossad explains and clears every thing about the middle east crisis. in a good degree of objectivety in a way that gives the reader who does not no any thing about the middle east a good background he is simple , clear , no complcations as he is chating with you or as when our moms told us stories before sleeping when we were young . it is a book you can read in the week end , in the holiday , in the tunel before going to the work >

Excellent read

It is true that this book is not riddled with "cloak and dagger fireworks" but, it is not at al true that it is nothign more than a self-glorifying account of a man's own actions, as one reviewer has said. Halevy describes how events over the last 10-20 years have unfolded in the middle east, and in the process relates how the individual characteristics of the various leaders invovled helped to shape them. His accounts of the larger than life life people he describes are plain, to the point, and overall extremely insightful. He recounts, with much insight, the victories and successes of the last 2 decades. He furthermore, does not shy from describing, in detail, both his own failures and those of others. This book is an excellent read for those truly interested in the actuall manner and circumstance of the unfolding of history.

Intelligent writing/reading

Yes, it is true. There are no cloak-and-dagger fireworks. Go to the paperback section for that. Every few dozen pages there is some repetitive item. Never mind, skip it. Here and there you'll come across a sentence you just cannot parse, no meaning. Skip again. But in its totality it is a tremendous read! It conveys a vivid and clear picture how events get shaped. It is an extraodinarily low key and high quality education in appreciating that everyday history is crucially dependent on the character, qualities and frailties of the people participating in the events. So much, once more, for the marxist delusion of "historical necessity" and irrelevance of personalities. Perhaps this is the crux and lesson and even, chance for optimism, of this book. As much as many (most?) miseries and catastrophies came from the many and various follies of man, perhaps one could hope that wise conversation might avert some future catastrophies.

A loyal - civil servant and Intelligence expert shares his experience and wisdom with us

The first - review of this book is by Victor Ostrovsky who accuses Halevy of betraying the 'Mossad' by revealing its decision- making process. But Halevy is a long- term Israeli civil- servant who published only those stories which Israeli intelligence approved the publication of. He probably tells in this book only a small percentage of all that he really knows. He above all insists that he is now ' out of the loop' and really does not have up-to- date information on many of the current problems facing the Mossad. Ostrovsky on the other hand is considered by the Israeli public to be a ' deserter, opportunist and traitor' who sold ' secrets' he obtained in his low- level intelligence position. Halevy in an interview with David Horowitz editor of ' The Jerusalem Post' indicated that the major theme of this work is providing warning to the West about the danger of Islamic radical terrorism. Halevy believes that ' the worst is yet to come' and that Western governments are not really planning properly , not coordinating their efforts properly in facing the danger. He however quite surprisingly to me, downplays the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel, and believes that eventually the discontented, youthful population of Iran will overthrow the present regime of Mullahs. He believes that Israel has the means to prevent Iran from using its nuclear weapons and missiles against it. Here I believe he is far too optimistic, and too places too much trust in coordinated world - action against Iran. I do not believe he reads correctly the Iranian-Chinese- Russian connection and the danger it presents to the free world in the future. Despite this and overall, Halevy is a knowledgeable and insightful veteran Intelligence hand. He provides insights into the way situations are evaluated and decisions made at the highest level.
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