A detailed report in the Washington Post last weekend revealed that, contrary to popular belief in the Middle East, the 2008 assassination of Hizbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh was largely carried out by the CIA, rather than Mossad.
During the autumn of 1962, a young South African schoolteacher called Sylvia Rafael was sitting in her apartment in Tel Aviv, relaxing after a hard day’s work. She happened to be reading The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius, when the phone rang unexpectedly.
Spy thrillers are always suspect, aren’t they? Either the writer is boasting about his or her expertise, or they tip over from the preposterous into parody. Not so with the thrillers of Mishka Ben-David, the first of which, Duet in Beirut, is published in English for the first time this month. For 12 years Ben-David was a Mossad operative — and it shows.
They have fought the Taliban, survived the killing fields of Afghanistan, and have been hailed as heroes.
Now battle-hardened British troops have swapped military patrols in Helmand province for keeping the peace at barmitzvahs, synagogues and a range of communal events — and it is all thanks to a couple of former Mossad agents.