Operation Solomon: The Daring Rescue of the Ethiopian Jews

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.69
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $4.69   
  • New (5) from $57.72   
  • Used (12) from $4.69   


"Operation Solomon" was one of the most remarkable rescue efforts in modern history, in which more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in little more than a day. In this riveting volume, Stephen Spector offers the definitive account of this incredible story, based on over 200 interviews and exclusive access to confidential documents.
Written with the pace and immediacy of a novel, here is the dramatic story of the rescue of the dark-skinned Jews of Ethiopia. Spector recounts how 20,000 Jews were willingly lured from their ancestral villages to Addis Ababa, expecting to be taken quickly from there to the Holy Land. Instead, they became pawns in a struggle between the Israeli government and Ethiopia's repressive dictator, who tried to coerce Israel into selling him weapons he needed in a losing war against rebel armies. In the resulting stalemate, the Jewish community was forced to live for nearly a year in squalid hovels, vulnerable to the dangers of the city, including crime and HIV. Worse yet, the imminent collapse of Addis Ababa, with the rebels closing in on the capital, raised the threat of bloody street fighting or even a genocidal attack on the Jews, a small minority in a nation that is primarily Christian and Muslim. Spector describes the tense negotiations among Israelis, Ethiopians, and Americans, which became increasingly urgent as time ran low and the danger mounted. And he highlights the secret deals and sudden setbacks that nearly aborted the mission at the eleventh hour, even as Israeli jets sat on the runway in Ethiopia, waiting to take the Jews to the land for which they had yearned for generations.
Recounting the full story for the first time, Operation Solomon is a stirring account of a heroic rescue achieved in the face of daunting odds.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A meticulous, well-written account of the events leading up to and including the Israeli airlift of 14,310 Ethiopian Jews. The book has the ring of authority, and reads like a novelistic thriller. [Spector's] book is the most judicious and accurate record of Operation Solomon we are likely to get." —American Jewish History

"A meticulous, well-written account of the events leading up to and including the Israeli airlift of 14,310 Ethiopian Jews. The book has the ring of authority, and reads like a novelistic thriller. [Spector's] book is the most judicious and accurate record of Operation Solomon we are likely to get." —American Jewish History

"An impressive exercise in forensic documentary, with skeletons pulled out of unknown closets, X-rayed, dusted, and added to our collective knowledge.... The pace of the narrative is that of a fast-moving thriller.... After launching an eight-year, tri-continental archival odyssey, meticulously reconfirmed in 200 interviews, Spector leaves no question unasked, and almost none unanswered."—Amir Shaviv, The Forword

"Valuable...fascinating...crisply told.... Perhaps no story encapsulates both the promise and problems of Jewish migration to Israel better than the tale of the black Jews of Ethiopia."—Charles Lane, Washington Post Book World

"Stephen Spector tells the riveting story behind the story of how the United States joined with Israel in the humanitarian effort that resulted in Operation Solomon. Against the dramatic backdrop of the transition from despotism to democracy in Ethiopia, the Falashas were willing to risk everything in order to achieve their dream of living in Israel. Their story is an inspiration and a testament to the power of diplomacy, and of faith." —Brent Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor

"Finally the saga of Operation Solomon, the remarkable rescue of 14,000 Falashas, the Black Jews of Ethiopia, has been meticulously researched and accurately told. Stephen Spector tells the story in a manner so riveting that readers will find this book hard, indeed almost impossible to put down. It's a wonderful story and this book is a service to the history of the event." —Rudy Boschwitz, former U.S. Senator, Minnesota

"Spector describes the tense negotiations among Israelis, Ethiopians and Americans, which became increasingly urgent as time ran low and danger mounted. He highlights the secret deals and sudden setbacks that nearly aborted the mission at the eleventh hour."—Jerusalem Post

"In his extensively researched and engagingly written book, Stephen Spector uncovers the story of the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel—a story of intrigue, hardship, and amazing courage. An invaluable contribution to the study of modern Jewish history, Israel, and the Middle East." —Michael Oren, author of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

"Operation Solomon is the best and most insightful account of the evacuation of the Beta Israel from war-torn Ethiopia to 'the promised land.' With access to the confidential files of the organizations and personalities who made it happen, Spector guides the reader through a saga replete with intrigue, daring, and ultimate joy. The author does not resolve all the conflicting claims or assertions in this complex history, but lays out the facts with scrupulous scholarship, allowing the reader to draw his own conclusions. Operation Solomon, obviously, was a labor of love for Spector and it resonates in his artful and sensitive prose." —Robert Houdek, Chief of Mission, American Embassy in Ethiopia, 1988-1991

"Operation Solomon describes vividly and meticulously the 1991 rescue of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from the throes of civil war and misery in Addis Ababa. Fantastic by any standard, Operation Solomon is a shining beacon in the dramatic saga of Jewish ingathering, perhaps the most authentic realization of Zionism. The author has skillfully knitted together all aspects of this unique, complex venture. As one of the Operation's architects I can vouch for the accuracy of his description; by reviving the story Spector has indeed scored a major achievement." —Reuven Merhav, former Director General, Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs

"Spector recounts the events leading up to the operation and its aftermath with excitement and aplomb, and in exquisite detail." —Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195177824
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/15/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Spector is Professor of English at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Hebrew University, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center, and Senior Research Fellow at Wesleyan University.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)