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.

Read more at University Bookman

More about: Fiction, Israel & Zionism, Mossad


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria