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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Striking Back

I'm still reading about some contemporary historical events (see my posts on Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War and Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History). The latest book I've checked out from the public library is Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response by Aaron J. Klein.

The non-fiction book is about the 1972 hostage taking and murder of eleven of the Israeli Olympic team by the terrorist group Black September (remember Steven Spielberg's movie, Munich?). It's pretty interesting so far, and especially so because I've been reading Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon mysteries, which have Gabriel involved in the Israeli mission to kill those who killed the hostages (Operation Wrath of God).

Here's a bit from Wikipedia about Klein and the book ...

Aaron J. Klein (1960-2016) was an Israeli author and journalist. He previously served since as Time magazine's military and intelligence affairs correspondent in the Jerusalem Bureau. The recipient of 2002 Henry Luce Award, Aaron J. Klein, an M.A. in history from Hebrew University, has taught journalism at the college and university level in Israel.

His book Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response (2005) was translated into a dozen languages and published in more than twenty countries. Among the exclusive information Klein presented was the successful Mossad plot to kill leading Palestinian militant Wadie Haddad in 1978 by poisoning him via a manipulated box of Belgian chocolates ...

And here is the beginning of a review of the book in The New York Times ...

A Massacre in Munich, and What Came After

According to a long-secret Israeli government document, the Kopel Report, which was made public this year, members of the Israeli Olympic delegation sent to Munich in 1972 talked among themselves about the obvious lack of security at the athletes' living quarters. They knew that ground-floor dormitory accommodations were dangerous. They worried about their proximity to the Sudanese team's dorms. They were wary of Palestinian workers employed throughout the Olympic Village.

The athletes also noticed a dearth of security personnel. But they convinced themselves that this posed no threat. Surely security officers were on the job, but would be hard to spot if they were working undercover.

One terrible day -- Sept. 5, 1972 -- and 11 dead athletes later, those assumptions were proved wrong ....

I think that next I'll try Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by journalist Mark Bowden.


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