While Mossad is known as one of the world's most successful terrorist-fighting organizations, the state of Israel has, more than once and on many levels, risked the lives of its agents and soldiers through unwise intelligence-based intervention. The elimination of Palestinian leaders and militants has not decreased the incidence of Palestinian terrorism, for example. In fact, these incidents have become more lethal than ever, and ample evidence suggests that the actions of Israeli intelligence have fueled terrorist activities across the globe.
An expert on terror and political extremism, Ami Pedahzur argues that Israel's strict reliance on the elite units of the intelligence community is fundamentally flawed. A unique synthesis of memoir, academic research, and information gathered from print and online sources, Pedahzur's complex study explores this issue through Israel's past encounters with terrorists, specifically hostage rescue missions, the first and second wars in Lebanon, the challenges of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups, and Hezbollah. He brings a rare transparency to Israel's counterterrorist activities, highlighting their successes and failures and the factors that have contributed to these results. From the foundations of this analysis, Pedahzur ultimately builds a strategy for future confrontation that will be relevant not only to Israel but also to other countries that have adopted Israel's intelligence-based model.
A succinct but thoroughly researched account of how Israel's security agencies have sought to defeat terrorist organizations from the pre-state Yishuv to events following the 2006 war with Hezbollah. After examining the historical record, Ami Pedahzur concludes that the application of defensive measures has proved more successful in deterring terrorist attacks than 'targeted killings' and other forms of warlike measures.
Leonard Weinberg, University of Nevada, Reno
Ami Pedahzur has written an astute, well-documented, and compelling analysis of Israel's reliance on the 'war model' to combat terrorism. Israel's political and military leaders were consistently unable to resist the temptation of dramatic and costly uses of force when modest defensive or conciliatory measures were preferable. This lesson should not be lost on any national policymaker confronted by terrorism.
Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University
[Pedahzur's] insights are so well reasoned and relevant that the pages almost turn themselves.
[A] superb examination of Israel's secret services.
More than entertaining spy stories... this book will be a great aid to other Western countries around the world struggling to confront terror.
[Pedahzur] offers a brilliant description of Israel's fight against terrorism from 1948 to the present.
Seth J. Frantzman
A fascinating history of counterterrorism by Israeli security agencies... Highly recommended.
"The Israeli Secret Services & the Struggles Against Terrorism" is a fine read and solidly recommended.
James A. Cox
the book sheds a great deal of light on the activities of counterterrorism organizations that mostly operate in the shadows and on the seemingly haphazard ways counterterrorism policy is formulated in times of crisis.
Aaron M. Hoffman
List of Figures
1. The Emergence of Israel's Counterterrorism Doctrine
2. The Path to the Defensive Model and Back
3. Rescuing Hostages
4. The Lebanese Puzzle
5. New Challenges from the West Bank and Gaza
6. The Global Challenge of Iran and Hezbollah
7. New Rivals, Old Responses
8. A War Against an Elusive Enemy
9. The Second Lebanon War and Beyond
10. Fighting the Terrorism Plague