Man in the Shadows Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad

Efraim Halevy

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

320 Pages



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Israel's Mossad is thought by many to be one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world. In Man in the Shadows, Efraim Halevy—a Mossad officer since 1961 and its chief between 1998 and 2002—provides an unprecidented portrait of the Middle East crisis. Having served as the secret envoy of prime ministers Rabin, Shamir, Netanyahu, Barak, and Sharon, Halevy was privy to many of the top-level negotiations that determined the progress of the region's struggle for peace during the years when the threat of Islamic terror became increasingly powerful. Informed by his extraordinary access, he writes candidly about the workings of the Mossad, the prime ministers he served under, and other major players on the international stage: Yasir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Hafiz al-Assad, Mu'amar Gadhafi, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

From the vantage point of a chief in charge of a large organization, Halevy frankly describes the difficulty of running an intelligence agency during a time when heads of state are immersed, as never before, in using intelligence to protect their nations while, at the same time, acting to protect themselves politically. Most important, he writes without hesitation about how the world might achieve peace in the face of the growing threat from Islamic terrorist organizations.

In this inside look, Halevy opens his private dossier on events past and present: the assassination attempt by the Mossad on the life of Khaled Mashal, now the leader of Khammas; the negotiations surrounding the Israel-Jordan Peace Accord and its importance for the stability of the region; figures in the CIA, like George Tenet and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton, with whom he worked. He tells the truth about what the Mossad really knew before 9/11. He writes about assessing the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region and beyond, and what this spells for the future of international stability and survival. He touches on the increasing visibility of the CIA in the Middle East and shares his personal misgivings about both the report of the 9/11 Commission and the Middle East road map to peace that was pressed on all sides of the conflict by the U.S. government. He looks at the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London and their far-reaching effects and shares his conclusion: he believes the world has yet to see the worst of radical Islamic terrorism.


Praise for Man in the Shadows

"Efraim Halevy's memoir makes for fascinating reading. This is a book about the Middle East and much more. Halevy sees the world through the prism of intelligence. At a time when we face unprecedented demands on intelligence, his insights and suggestions on what is required for fighting terror are important and should be required reading for policy makers. His observations on the complicated relationship of intelligence to policy making in today's world are also important and worth pondering. And his blunt impressions of Israeli leaders, heavily colored by their readiness to use professionals in the policy-making process, including peace-related issues, are provocactive and bound to be controversial."—Dennis Ross, former American envoy to the Middle East, counselor of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and author of The Missing Peace

"Efraim Halevy, the legendary director of the Mossad, has written a highly readable, gripping, insightful, and essential book for anyone who wants to understand the critical role of intelligence in making political and military decisions that affect our whole world. He has moved from being a 'man in the shadows' to clearly illuminating in bright daylight the new challenges of what he calls World War III, all the while giving us insights into the key players in Israel and the United States who are combating this double threat."—Stuart E. Eizenstat, former U.S. ambassador to the European Union, senior international official in the Clinton Administration, and chief domestic policy adviser to President Carter

"This is an important and timely book that should be read by all who have an interest in the serious challenges we are now facing and by all who seek a strategy and a plan of action to overcome them. During Halevy's long service with the Mossad, he was not only involved in intelligence operations, but witnessed and took an active part in Middle East crisis negotiations. He writes from experience with authority and does not shrink from recording what, at times, went wrong. Some of what he says makes for uncomfortable reading, but we need to understand what we are up against and, as he advocates, to take the initiative."—Charles Guthrie, General Lord Guthrie, former chief of Defense Staff, United Kingdom

"Born in London in 1934, Halevy joined the Mossad in 1961 and quickly moved up to become a deputy division chief. His book opens in 1988-89, when the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait suddenly changed the terms of Mideastern politics. The U.S. increased pressure on Israel to settle its Palestinian problem, and the first intifada heated up. Diplomatic progress was glacial; most of it involved careful political negotiations, dully detailed. The text perks up when Halevy becomes head of Mossad in 1998 and al-Qaeda enters the world stage by blowing up two U.S. embassies in Africa. Halevy delivers insightful and often acerbic portraits of world leaders and shows a surprising sympathy toward the Arab point of view. He also describes several operational fiascoes that made the news, but he writes as a loyal Israeli bureaucrat, so secrets stay put."—Publishers Weekly

"Halevy spent 40 years inside Israel's Mossad intelligence service. His memoir covers 1989 to 2003, with much on world leaders he met and peace talks he participated in—many of which the United States was not a party to. An informed reader will appreciate this insider's view."—Library Journal

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  • Efraim Halevy

  • Efraim Halevy, the former head of the Mossad, is now the head of the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also served as Israel's ambassador to the European Union between 1996 and 1998.

  • Efraim Halevy © Israel Haramati