What Daniel Silva’s Israeli-Themed Tales of Espionage Can Teach the West

Sept. 27 2021

In over twenty novels, the American author Daniel Silva has related the adventures of a dashing Mossad operative named Gabriel Allon. While these books are action-packed page-turners—and best sellers—they also offer something more than the typical thriller, argues Henry George:

Allon is . . . afflicted by history. He and his comrades bear the scars on their souls of their own sorrow, reflecting on an individual level the scars on the soul of the Jewish people. This is directly addressed in the early books—The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, and A Death in Vienna—all of which deal with aspects of the Shoah and attacks on Israel during the second intifada. . . . The clarity of Silva’s prose in its description of the horror allows it to sink into one’s bones. The book reminds the reader that this rupture in history is still with us in the survivors who remain, having done their best to piece together their shattered lives and spirits.

[An] attachment to family and faith is why even though the weight of the past presses down on Allon and his family, his team, and his people, it does not crush them. These novels are a restatement of the sanctity of the individual, and our capacity to act on the stage of world affairs and drive the chariot of history one way or another through our own efforts. Allon and his friends and comrades are far from powerless pawns in a deterministic universe devoid of agency. Nor are they simply victims who face the world with their manifest pain as their only calling card to membership of the human community.

Allon and his fellows are willing to kill and die for their country and its people. . . . In this way, Israel reminds those of us in the safe, prosperous, and senescent West what it means to be a nation in history. This arguably explains a good deal of the resentment many Europeans feel towards the Jewish state. Those they tried to kill not only survived, but are a living, national refutation of the supposed one-way march towards a comfortable end of history.

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Read more at University Bookman

More about: Fiction, Israel & Zionism, Mossad

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela