No Mis­sion Is Impos­si­ble: The Death-Defy­ing Mis­sions of the Israeli Spe­cial Forces

Michael Bar-Zohar and Nis­sim Mishal; Michael Bar-Zohar, Michael and Nathan Burstein, trans.
  • Review
By – February 5, 2016

The coau­thors bring impres­sive cre­den­tials in the fields of his­to­ry, mil­i­tary strat­e­gy, intel­li­gence, lit­er­a­ture, pol­i­tics, and media to this work. Events chron­i­cled date from 1948 to the near present. Sub­jects include the strug­gle to break the siege of Jew­ish Jerusalem dur­ing the War for Inde­pen­dence; the Sinai Cam­paign; the Six Day War; Entebbe; engage­ments in Lebanon; Israeli attempts to deny nuclear weapons to its ene­mies; Iron Dome, and the grow­ing men­ace of Iran.

A somber seg­ment is enti­tled The Nev­er-End­ing Sto­ry in Gaza-2008, 2012, 2014.” The epi­logue fea­tures a ful­fill­ment of the Zion­ist dream-the mis­sions to bring most of Ethiopi­an Jew­ry home” in Oper­a­tions Moses and Solomon. Israeli tech­nol­o­gy, cre­ative plan­ning, intel­li­gence savvy receive cred­it for such achieve­ments. The hero­ism of indi­vid­u­als, some already well-known, is her­ald­ed. Ben Guri­on, Begin, Shamir, Eshkol,Barak, Sharon, and the Netanyahus, Yoni and Bibi, light up the nar­ra­tive. This vol­ume offers infor­ma­tion which will be new to some read­ers. Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Barak, dis­guised as an Arab woman, led a raid into Beirut to elim­i­nate a leader of Black Sep­tem­ber, the ter­ror­ist group respon­si­ble for the mas­sacre of Israeli ath­letes at the Munich Olympics. Astro­naut Ilan Ramon, who died in the Colum­bia shut­tle dis­as­ter, was one of the pilots who destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reac­tor in 1981. A promi­nent mil­i­tary offi­cer, Raful Eitan, was a descen­dant of the Sub­ot­niks, a non-Jew­ish Russ­ian sect whose mem­bers con­vert­ed and immi­grat­ed to Pales­tine in the late nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. The first Pres­i­dent Bush, nev­er regard­ed as a strong sup­port­er of Israel, played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the res­cue of Ethiopi­an Jew­ry. This is an excit­ing and worth­while ren­der­ing of respons­es to threats to Israel’s sur­vival. The style of writ­ing is pop­u­lar. How­ev­er, the orga­ni­za­tion in eight parts and 27 chap­ters does not make for easy reading.

Acknowl­edge­ments, bib­li­og­ra­phy, glos­sary, index, pho­tographs, source notes.

Relat­ed Content:

Lib­by K. White is direc­tor of the Joseph Mey­er­hoff Library of Bal­ti­more Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty in Bal­ti­more, MD and gen­er­al edi­tor of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries Newsletter.

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