When you start reading a memoir by a former spy, you always hope for descriptions of bloody assassinations, break-ins into banks and embassies, and heart-pounding high-speed chases.
The Israeli politician Ami Ayalon has been head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, as well as commander-in-chief of the Navy and a Member of Knesset for the Labor Party. Just two years after the conclusion of his Shin Bet service, he played a prominent role in the 2012 film The Gatekeepers, in which six former Israeli security chiefs argued that coming to some accommodation with the Palestinians was an imperative for Israeli security. In this memoir, Ayalon, now 75, looks back on his personal and political journey while stressing the importance of listening and absorbing the way the different sides have experienced recent history. He spoke with Dan Raviv for Moment.
Reading Beirut Rules takes us back to the unhappy 1980s when American diplomats, spies, and the military would be assigned to the Middle East—a complex and dangerous region that very few of them understood—and became sitting ducks for increasingly sophisticated terrorists who were financed and directed by Iran.
Chanoch Levin spearheaded the development of Israel’s famed defensive shield against short-range rockets. For the first time, he shares some of the previously undisclosed details of how a concept more likely to be found in a science fiction thriller became a reality.
Nine years have passed since the mysterious death of Ashraf Marwan, the senior Egyptian government official who volunteered to spy for Israel’s Mossad. Marwan remains at the center of a bitter controversy over why the October 1973 attack that launched the Yom Kippur War took Israel by surprise.