Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team

Overview

Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy — their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group — the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was ...

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Overview

Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy — their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group — the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was shrouded in silence and speculation for years. He reveals the long and dangerous operation whose success was bought at a terrible cost to the idealistic volunteer agents themselves.

"Avner" was the leader of that team, handpicked by Golda Meir to avenge the monstrous crime of Munich. He and his young companions, cut off from any direct contact with Israel, set out systematically to find and kill the central figures of the PLO's Munich operation, tracking them down wherever they lived.

The mechanics, the horror, the day-by-day suspense of what they did surpass by far anything John le Carré or Robert Ludlum could imagine, as they themselves were tracked in turn (and some killed) by PLO assassins, changing identities constantly, moving from country to country, devoting their young lives to the brutal task of vengeance.

Vengeance is a profoundly human document, a real-life espionage classic that plunges the reader into the shadow world of terrorism and political murder. But it goes far beyond that, to explore firsthand the feelings of disgust and doubt that gradually came to torment each member of the Israeli team, and that in the end inexorably changed their view of the mission — and themselves.

Vengeance opens a window onto a secret world, a book that at the same time inspires and horrifies. For its subject is an act of revenge that goes to the very heart of the ancient biblical questions of good and evil.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743291644
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 12/2/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 128,746
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

George Jonas was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1935. Following the Hungarian uprising of 1956, he emigrated to Canada. In addition to fourteen books, three of which have become national and international bestsellers, Jonas has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and other publications. In 1978, he won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best True Crime.

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2010

    Do the dead deserve revenge?

    George Jonas' Vengeance is a thrilling tale of one country's revenge in response to the slaughter of their Olympic athletes in the 1972 games in Munich for no other apparent reason other than that the competitors were Israeli. This book gives a great inside view on what you may have thought was only in the movies making it an exciting and historical read. Once you meet the characters and the task they are assigned you begin to see what Israel is willing to do for its fallen, and the strong message it sends to any and all who engage in acts of terror against Israel and abroad. I enjoyed this book greatly because it raised the question are the wrongfully killed entitled to revenge, after reading this book my answer is yes they most certainly are entitled. I would say my favorite part of this book is the very real, very elaborate action that is almost a constant in the story which is why I would have to give this book an eight out of ten.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The movie weakened the contents

    This is a book interesting to read especially by those who lived and followed up the events, through the then available media coverage, as occured. <BR/><BR/>However, it omitted to mention this fact: <BR/>The Arab capitals were on the brink of mental and emotional state of panic and anxiety largely because nobody really had been anticipating anything to happen in Munich. <BR/><BR/>From the personal memoirs of Abou Daoud (the cammando leader), which he recounted live at Al Jazeera, we learned that he did not expect that fighting would erupt at the Airport and the drama would end in bloodshed. He said he'd hoped that the issue would peacefully terminate within a few days, though in fact this likelihood was remote. <BR/><BR/>Anyone could see the politicians were preparing to negotiate but it was difficult to draw conclusions that the 'militarists' would bolt - without adequate preparations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    Brilliant work of semi-non-fiction!

    While it has been revealed and interpreted that the man known as 'Avner' may or may not exist, and that some facts are flawed, Mr. Jonas has managed to write an absolutely stunning story of how after the 1972 Olympic Massacre, Israel struck back. Even though it is technically classified as a history book (closest accurate descriptor), it reads more like a suspense novel, and I admire Mr. Jonas's ability to write a suspenseful history that serves both purposes. Absolutely well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    Better Than LeCarre

    Thrilling, absorbing. You can't put it down. The book's account is different from the movie's and also better. Jonas paints a murky, scary world where good and evil are in the eye of the beholder and often ambiguous. The identity and purpose of Le Group, for example, is fascinating and perplexing. I love espionage novels but this is even better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006

    Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team

    Truly an amazing story and one of the best books I have read all year. I was gripped from beginning to end. I do not agree with some of the controversy surrounding this book for many reasons, namely due to the significant research the author apparently conducted in order to write the story. He explains it all in the Introduction and Forward. He also took great pains to discuss his sources and research when appropriate. It is clear that the controversy only adds to the story because it provides a perspective into the real world of espionage. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2006

    High Drama of Terror and Passion

    After reading 'Vengeance,' I felt drawn and yet uplifted by the man who lead a team of five into a behind-the-scenes battle with evil that is still being fought in the 21st Century. What makes this novel relevent is that these men fought fire with fire, employing the same tools used by terrorists and assassins, forty years later. Unfortunately, that vengeance wasn't fought on a larger scale and without international support or sanction, for the threat of these maniacs and their tactics still lingers over us all. It wasn't a crusade against all Islamic peoples, but one against those who committed the heinous crime of going into an Olympic compound in 1972, where men and women from all over the world were assembled in the name of peace, and killing Israeli athletes, while the world just watched -- and did nothing. On a small scale, it tells a larger story -- of one man battling with himself, and eventually with those who had assigned him an impossible task. Is it a true story? Take it a step further, as to whether President Bush lied, alone, when American troops and a coalition of other nations went to war on the controversial question of weapons of mass destruction being concealed in Iraq. In the next few weeks of this writing, tapes proving otherwise will reportedly surface to show indeed, that Saddam Hussein was planning to unleash these weapons on the world. Are we a better world without Saddam Hussein? In 'Vengeance,' five men sacrificed their lives and their consciences to tell the world that terrorism will not be tolerated. It is the prime message in 'Vengeance.' Let us hope it is the message of the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team

    This was a stunning, fast-paced book that engaged me from beginning to end. The author has obviously taken great care in discussing his sources and the methods in which he verified the information contained within. The preface and forward were enough to convince me, in addition to all the end notes and countless details. I have read much about the controversy, however, all of us that do not have access to so-called contradictory top secret evidence will find this book to be thrilling and well worth the time. Most importantly, this is a great story that has been told in an amazing fashion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2006

    Heart stopping story

    This was the best book I have read all year. It was absolutely thrilling. I do not believe all the controversy surrounding this story because the author apparently took such great pains to discuss his sources and research. In my opinion, the controversy adds to the story by immersing you into a world of intrigue and espionage. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fast-paced real life thrillers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Good Pipedream

    If anybody cares to read about the real deal this is NOT something you should waste your time or your money on. The author that claims to be an ex Mossad agent, was everything but that. Unfortunately Steven Spielberg, didn´t care much about it either and decided to base his movie on a private investigators pipedreams. This book has nothing to do with the truth. The author mentioned wannabe facts for example, the killing of three agents in the library of a church in Switzerland, well that particular church never had a library and no killings either. He mentioned a path that they escaped from after the killings, well again bad research, that path is a dead end and was closed during that certain time. There are so many contradictions and plain out lies in this book, that i could probably write a new one by just counting the authors closet dreams. I find Tom Clancy´s fiction more to be true than somebody that claims to be in ex counter intelligence. This book is a shame on the real drama that happened in Munich and the months that followed. The truth has yet to be written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2008

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    Posted January 5, 2009

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    Posted July 12, 2010

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted July 25, 2009

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