Broth­er­hood of Warriors

Aaron Cohen; Dou­glas Century
  • Review
By – January 27, 2012

Aaron Cohen’s mem­oir tells how he came to immi­grate to Israel from Bev­er­ly Hills as a teenag­er and com­plete the gru­el­ing train­ing required to join one of Israel’s elite army com­man­do units. Cohen describes his priv­i­leged Cal­i­for­nia child­hood and his stint at a mil­i­tary acad­e­my in Cana­da, which he cred­its with trans­form­ing him from a lack­lus­ter stu­dent into a high­ly moti­vat­ed and dis­ci­plined one. Cohen became fas­ci­nat­ed by Israel after hear­ing sto­ries about the Israel Defense Force from the head­mas­ter, and decid­ed he want­ed to make a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to Israel’s well being by join­ing an elite army unit. 

The book focus­es on the train­ing Cohen received in order to join the IDF’s Say­eret Duvde­van, which oper­ates main­ly in under­cov­er roles in Pales­tin­ian-con­trolled areas. Cohen also describes a cou­ple of actu­al under­cov­er oper­a­tions in which he par­tic­i­pat­ed, includ­ing one in which his unit is tasked with kid­nap­ping a Hamas financier from a wed­ding in the West Bank. 

A word of warn­ing: do not rely on this book for the his­to­ry, as there are errors. For exam­ple, the author describes Shi­mon Peres as a leg­endary com­man­der” of the IDF, and tells how Israel cap­tured the Golan Heights in the 1973 Yom Kip­pur War. In fact Shi­mon Peres nev­er served in the IDF, and Israel cap­tured the Golan Heights in the Six Day War in 1967

But as an inside peek into the life of an Israeli com­man­do, the book does not disappoint.

Gil Ehrenkranz is a lawyer in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia spe­cial­iz­ing in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions law and inter­na­tion­al trans­ac­tions. He has been pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished in MID­STREAM Mag­a­zine includ­ing an arti­cle con­cern­ing Israeli mil­i­tary options regard­ing Iran’s nuclear weapons pro­gram., as well as in the Mid­dle East Review of Inter­na­tion­al Affairs

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