NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD IN HISTORY

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JENNIFER SZALAI, THE NEW YORK TIMES 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist • The New York Times Book Review • BBC History Magazine • Mother Jones • Kirkus Reviews

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—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—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.

“A remarkable feat of fearless and responsible reporting . . . important, timely, and informative.”—John le Carré
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD IN HISTORY

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JENNIFER SZALAI, THE NEW YORK TIMES 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist • The New York Times Book Review • BBC History Magazine • Mother Jones • Kirkus Reviews

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—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—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.

“A remarkable feat of fearless and responsible reporting . . . important, timely, and informative.”—John le Carré
In the years since 9/11, the U.S. war on terror has focused on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Coverage of Iran has been devoted almost exclusively to its nuclear ambitions. Yet, as Ronen Bergman's groundbreaking reporting in this vital investigative history reveals, for thirty years, Iran has been the world's leading sponsor of global terror and stands as the most formidable sponsor of terror in the world today. Bergman, one of Israel's top investigative reporters, gained unprecedented access to extraordinary sources from top to bottom in the Mossad and intelligence agencies around the world. Based on over ten years of research and more than 300 exclusive interviews with key intelligence figures, he reveals that Iranian terrorist masterminds have crisscrossed the globe, conducting bombings and assassinations with impunity-even renting apartments and planning bombing attacks in New York City. Iran's proxy, Hizballah, has virtually taken over southern Lebanon and threatens Israel with high-powered weaponry supplied by Iran. Iran and Hizballah worked closely with al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist groups in developing their terrorist operations, and Iranian commandos trained Iraqi insurgents in the crafts of suicide bombing and the building of the roadside bombs that have killed so many U.S. troops in Iraq. In response, and largely beneath the public's radar, a vast clandestine war has been fought with Iran and Hizballah on one side and the CIA, Israel's Mossad, and their European counterparts on the other. The full story of that secret war, told for the first time here, will fundamentally change the debate about U.S. national security priorities. A new axis of evil is emerging from Iran and spreading around the world, and Bergman shows that the CIA and the Mossad have so far been unable to thwart it. The Secret War with Iran is riveting and urgent.
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