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The Book of the Week is “By Way of Deception, The Making and Unmaking of A Mossad Officer” by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, published in 1990. The former’s slightly sloppily edited, detailed account asserted that the Mossad (a spying agency in Israel that acted like a self-regulatory organization– that conducted operations with neither the government’s permission nor knowledge, so that leaders would have plausible deniability) had become too big for its britches. By the mid-1980’s, the Mossad had about twelve hundred true insiders and an unknown number of agents or contacts worldwide.
The author was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada in November 1949. He grew up in Canada and Israel, and began his Mossad training in the early 1970’s. At that time, the Mossad pretended to recruit women, but never actually hired any to be insiders; for, women were harder to protect, and even though women were used as enchantresses and seductresses (and were killed when necessary) no Arab men (Mossad’s main target) would accept them as their bosses.
For starters, the author passed months and months of numerous, rigorous hiring tests that required him to be dishonest yet naturally creative and charismatic– getting strangers to do his bidding. During his two years’ training to be a spy, the author was brainwashed into living a lie without a second thought. In his business, one also needed to be paranoid.
There were no second chances for the inexperienced. In June 1973, a PLO terrorist thought he was careful in checking his car for explosives (under the hood, underneath, in the trunk, and in the exhaust pipe) on every occasion prior to driving. However, he was killed by a pressure mine under his car seat.
In the 1970’s, France possessed the Exocet, a missile with cutting-edge technology– it could walk on water, undetected by radar. Israel wanted this weaponry, but its reputation in the world was tarnished, so France and the countries that bought it wouldn’t sell to Israel. In 1976, the Mossad stepped in and brokered a secret deal among Chile’s number two man under Pinochet, and Panama’s number two man under Noriega. The agency successfully paid a million American dollars for the head of the missile, which was all Israel needed to reverse-engineer it and manufacture it.
In the eventful year of 1981, the Mossad didn’t want to see peace in the Middle East. It launched a complicated operation involving missiles, raisins and hash that put millions and millions of dollars in its coffers (the revenue was a happy side effect) “… with the ever-treacherous PLO… the key was to ensure that everything was synchronized in Vienna, Hamburg and Frankfurt…” It wrapped up in July, when the said cities’ local police arrested tens of spies, and at least one person was killed.
Read the book to learn of additional ways the Mossad’s sociopathic operatives disregarded rule-of-law in order to achieve their missions in mostly playing adolescent-boy spy games, but occasionally orchestrating international incidents in which the course of history was significantly changed, and in which innocent people died.