Historical Dictionary of Israeli Intelligence

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Editor’s Foreword


Israel’s intelligence community is probably the most intriguing one
around and also one of the hardest to get much information on. Starting
almost from scratch at the time the State of Israel was created, it quickly
grew, developed new branches, and launched numerous operations. For
Israel, whose establishment is among the largest and most proficient in
the world, this was hardly just a luxury. In the past, and even today, it
was more a matter of life and death, initially not just the life or death of
some of its citizens, but that of the very nation. Over the past half cen-
tury or so, Israeli Intelligence has scored an amazing number of suc-
cesses, including support in a series of wars, infiltration of enemy Arab
states and even of secretive terrorist organizations, and the escape to Is-
rael of whole communities of Jews. But it has also recorded some dis-
mal failures, none of which it could afford. Consequently, like others,
Israel has had to adapt to new times and occasionally reform its system.
Historical Dictionary of Israeli Intelligenceis thus one of the most
interesting volumes in this new series, dealing as it does with one of the
most secretive intelligence organizations in the world. Yet, there is a
wealth of details in the dictionary section, including entries on the var-
ious agencies, their top leadership and outstanding operatives, rare but
very damaging cases of outside penetration of Israel, various aspects of
tradecraft, and above all descriptions of major operations over the years,
both the successes and the failures. They are imbedded in an introduc-
tion, which covers the whole field over the half century or so and looks
into the future. The chronology helps follow this amazing trajectory.
And the bibliography is a precious key to finding more information in
written literature or on the Web.
This volume was written by Ephraim Kahana, who is an academic
with a strong specialization in national security and intelligence studies,
which he teaches at Western Galilee College, the University of Haifa,

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