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Spies in the Promised Land: Isser Harel and the Israeli Secret Service by Michael Bar-Zohar (87,000 words)

For 15 years the name of Isser Harel, the man in charge of all the intelligence branches of Israel, was top secret in Israel. Even when he resigned from office in March 1963 his name and picture remained undisclosed. Only in 1965, when he was appointed special adviser on intelligence and security to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, were his name and picture revealed. But most of his past feats were still kept secret, even when stories about underground activities, the capture of a spy, or a mission abroad were disclosed. Alan Dulles, head of the CIA, declared at the time, “the Israeli services are the best in the world”. For what operations did the Israeli services deserve such credit? What was their modus operandi? How had they been established and developed? How did they conceive rules of ethics and morality? These questions and many more are answered in this book, which reveals the life story and operations of Isser Harel, whom David Ben-Gurion called “the guardian of Israel’s secrets and honor”.