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The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism


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Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgments 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 Notes Glossary Index

Promotional Information

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. An expert on terror and political extremism, Ami Pedahzur argues that Israel's strict reliance on the elite units of its 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 has relevance not only for Israel but also for other countries that have adopted Israel's intelligence-based model.

List of FiguresAcknowledgments 1. The Emergence of Israel's Counterterrorism Doctrine2. The Path to the Defensive Model and Back3. Rescuing Hostages4. The Lebanese Puzzle5. New Challenges from the West Bank and Gaza6. The Global Challenge of Iran and Hezbollah7. New Rivals, Old Responses8. A War Against an Elusive Enemy9. The Second Lebanon War and Beyond10. Fighting the Terrorism Plague NotesGlossaryIndex

About the Author

Ami Pedahzur is professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include Jewish Terrorism in Israel (with Arie Perliger), Suicide Terrorism, and The Israeli Response to Jewish Extremism and Violence: Defending Democracy.


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. Publishers Weekly (starred review) [A] superb examination of Israel's secret services. -- Daniel Byman New York Post More than entertaining spy stories... this book will be a great aid to other Western countries around the world struggling to confront terror. Jewish Book World [Pedahzur] offers a brilliant description of Israel's fight against terrorism from 1948 to the present. -- Seth J. Frantzman The Jerusalem Post A fascinating history of counterterrorism by Israeli security agencies... Highly recommended. Choice "The Israeli Secret Services & the Struggles Against Terrorism" is a fine read and solidly recommended. -- James A. Cox Midwest Book Review 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 Shofar

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