A History of Israel

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Palgrave Macmillan, Jan 18, 2003 - History - 320 pages
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A History of Israel examines Israel's turbulent history from the first Zionist Congress in 1897 to the present day. The driving themes of this masterly account are Jewish immigration, war, and attempts to forge peace between Israelis, Arabs and Palestines. Bregman also uses his experience as a journalist to expose secrets never previously published to support his compelling narrative. There is a rare extract from a radio exchange between air control and Israeli pilots on the fourth day of the Six Day War, showing that the Israelis did realize that the ship they were bombing was the American USS Liberty, but still went on to attack it. Also included is the never-before-published protocol of the secret meeting between Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and President Sadat's emissary Hassan el-Tohami, in Morocco in 1977, which shows that contrary to common belief, no promise was made a priori to President Sadat that he would get the Sinai back before his arrival in Israel. Bregman had access to The Syrian Declaration of Principles of 1992 - the basis for talks between Israel and Syria - and this appears in this book in its entirety for the first time ever. But perhaps the biggest coup is the exclusive revelations on the work of the most senior spy Mossad ever had in Egypt, and possibly in the Arab world. Bregman tells of how the spy turned his back on Mossad at the eleventh hour and betrayed and misled the Israelis to become the jewel in the crown of the Egyptian deception plan for the October 1973 war.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the last 100 years of Israel. It is very political, and focused a lot of time talking about different elections and political parties, but it is well written and surprisingly a very entertaining read once you get into it.  

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About the author (2003)

AHRON BREGMAN is a Lecturer in History at Webster University, London and also a journalist for the Daily Telegraph and other national newspapers in the UK and the US.