The True Story of An Israeli Counter-terrorist Team

Book - 2005 | 1st Simon & Schuster paperback ed.
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Baker & Taylor
Discloses the Israeli plan to assassinate the known terrorist leaders responsible for the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes and chronicles the story of the hit-squad's leader, a Mossad assassin morally destroyed by his mission. Reprint. 175,000 first printing. (Tie-in to the Universal Pictures, DreamWorks film, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, releasing Winter 2005, starring Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, & Geoffrey Rush) (History - General)

& Taylor

Discloses the Israeli plan to assassinate the known terrorist leaders responsible for the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes and chronicles the story of the hit-squad's leader, a man morally destroyed by his mission.

Simon and Schuster
Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy -- their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group -- the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was shrouded in silence and speculation for years. He reveals the long and dangerous operation whose success was bought at a terrible cost to the idealistic volunteer agents themselves.

"Avner" was the leader of that team, handpicked by Golda Meir to avenge the monstrous crime of Munich. He and his young companions, cut off from any direct contact with Israel, set out systematically to find and kill the central figures of the PLO's Munich operation, tracking them down wherever they lived.

The mechanics, the horror, the day-by-day suspense of what they did surpass by far anything John le Carré or Robert Ludlum could imagine, as they themselves were tracked in turn (and some killed) by PLO assassins, changing identities constantly, moving from country to country, devoting their young lives to the brutal task of vengeance.

Vengeance is a profoundly human document, a real-life espionage classic that plunges the reader into the shadow world of terrorism and political murder. But it goes far beyond that, to explore firsthand the feelings of disgust and doubt that gradually came to torment each member of the Israeli team, and that in the end inexorably changed their view of the mission -- and themselves.

Vengeance opens a window onto a secret world, a book that at the same time inspires and horrifies. For its subject is an act of revenge that goes to the very heart of the ancient biblical questions of good and evil.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2005,c1984.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster paperback ed.
ISBN: 9780743291644
Characteristics: xxiii, 388 p. ; 23 cm.


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Aug 29, 2017

A true account? I wonder what was the reaction of retired Mossad agents would have been when this book was published. I would imagine that Spielberg's movie, based on this book, was heavily fictionalized.

Nov 27, 2013

I've just finished the book. I was interested to read it after watching "Munich" based on the book. The book's tone is quite different from the Spilbergian movie. It is much less about heroism and much more about the bureaucratic system and the treatment of its foot soldiers, and the indoctrination of those soldiers centered on the siege mentality. Considering the permanent state of war with the neighbouring states and the constant terrorist attacks, Israeli siege mentality is quite understandable. The ending leaves many unanswered questions. It also leaves unanswered the main question Avner grapples with - considering that his vengeful actions hurt him, his family, his friends and their families in the process, were they worth it?

Jul 14, 2012

Vengeance --- by George Jonas. This is a real page turner, hard to put down. Five newly minted agents are unleashed by Israel’s Mosad with a shopping list of twelve Arab terrorists to be eliminated. Sounds like the recipe for great fiction, right? Well yes, except that this book isn’t fiction; it’s a story of what really happened. Sounds like great material for a movie and according to the front cover blurb this book was the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s “Munich”. Add this one to you “must read” list.

Mar 14, 2010

I read this after watching Spielberg's Munich and was very impressed. The amount of research done by Jones to verify the accuracy of the account made to him by "Avner" is remarkable. This book helped me see the complexity and history of modern espionage, terrorism, Israel, and the horror of unintentional consequences. A fascinating read.


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