Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations by Ronan Bergman; Pub: Random House, New York, 2018, 784 pages. Price: $16.35 Hbk.
The Zionist entity squatting in Colonized Palestine is, in essence, a terrorist enterprise. Its goal has always been to massacre, terrorize, and expel the native population to make room for invading squatters (a good historical overview of Zionist terrorism is Thomas Suarez’s State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, which I reviewed in an earlier issue of CI).
In response to the genocidal Zionist terror campaign against Palestine, militant counterterrorism movements have arisen among Palestinians and their supporters. Military resistance to occupation, after all, is a right guaranteed by international law. It is also a moral right, even a duty, “To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to fight] for they have been oppressed, and verily Allah is well able to assist them” (22:39).
The long war against Zionist terrorism has been ongoing for a century and will undoubtedly continue until Palestine is free, “from the river to the sea.” Among the most righteous struggles in human history, the fight for Palestine will ultimately triumph in sha’ allah thanks to the courage and dedication of the countless heroes willing to face martyrdom in service to a just and necessary cause.
The history of Palestinian martyrdom, when it is finally written, will fill hundreds or thousands of volumes. A small part of that history, viewed through the eyes of the murderous oppressor, is grippingly told in Israeli journalist Ronan Bergman’s Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.
Bergman, one of the Zionist entity’s top journalists, spent almost a decade gaining unprecedented access to the professional murderers of the Israeli intelligence services. The result is 784 pages of detailed mayhem. Bergman begins by noting that “Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world.” That is an impressive feat, given its relatively minuscule population. Israel is also a world champion in its reckless willingness to slaughter innocent civilians while hitting a target; commit innumerable crimes in supposedly friendly and neutral as well as hostile countries; and generally flout international law and common decency.
What rationale could elicit and excuse such behavior? Zionist Jews are clearly in the grip of a mass psychosis that combines belligerent paranoia with delusions of grandeur. The Zionists imbibe, along with their mothers’ milk, two closely related obsessions: that they are God’s chosen, and that the subhuman goyim (non-Jews) are out to kill them. Therefore, they must, as the Babylonian Talmud insists, “rise and kill first.”
Even belligerent homicidal paranoiacs with delusions of grandeur sometimes do have real enemies. After all, who would want to be their friends? Through his own atrocious behavior, the Zionist elicits opposition that he imagines as “eternal irrational terroristic anti-Semitic Jew hatred” or some such nonsense. The notion that everyone is out to get him becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By committing genocide against Palestine, the Zionist ensures that not only Palestinians, but decent people everywhere, will seek his demise.
Bergman explains it in slightly gentler terms, “The lessons that the new Jews of Palestine learned from the Holocaust were that the Jewish people would always be under the threat of destruction… A people living with this sense of perpetual danger of annihilation is going to take any and all measures, however extreme, to obtain security, and will relate to international laws and norms in a marginal manner, if at all” (p.17). The ongoing “extreme measures” — including the epidemic of assassinations of Palestinian and Lebanese resistance fighters chronicled in Rise and Kill First — ensured that survivors of such atrocities would emerge even more dedicated to the struggle against Zionism. Over and over, Bergman notes the same pattern: the Zionists succeed in killing a “dangerous enemy” only to discover that an even more dangerous enemy has taken his place. He concludes that the whole assassination program can be summarized as “tactical success, strategic failure.”
This view is also the view of Bergman’s single most important source, ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who locked horns with Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011 over what he saw as Netanyahu’s politically-motivated strategic idiocy, starting with attempts to launch a war on Iran code-named “Operation Deep Waters.”
Dagan and other Zionist military and intelligence commanders stymied Netanyahu’s orders to bomb Iranian nuclear installations, arguing that while it might deliver votes to Likud, such a war would be disastrous in the long term. Despite his pride in the targeted killing operations he directed, including the murder of several Iranian nuclear scientists, Dagan saw that the ongoing pattern of “tactical success, strategic failure” would inevitably delegitimize the Zionist project and lead to its eventual destruction.
Though Dagan and most of the other professional murderers represented in Rise and Kill First came to identify with what passes for the Israeli moderate left, their dream of a two-state solution is now dead in the water. What Bergman terms the Likudnik-leaning “new elites,” supported by “the majority of the people of Israel,” is now locked on course for ever-greater strategic failure leading ultimately to the termination of Zionism.
To hasten that process, the anti-Zionist resistance can learn and apply some important lessons from Bergman’s book. The first and most obvious is that the entity’s new Likudnik elites, more rabid and less sophisticated than the previous generation of generals, will undoubtedly continue to inadvertently delegitimize “Israel” in the eyes of international public opinion in general, and American and European Jews in particular. This process can and must be helped along. The majority of Western Jews, unlike the majority of Israelis, espouses relatively humane, universal values. The truth about Israel’s accelerating criminality under the Likudnik heirs of Jabotinsky (and the messianic heirs of Abarbanel) is guaranteed to horrify and alienate them.
Another important inference that can be drawn from Rise and Kill First is that the grotesque ethnocentric racism of the Zionist chosenness complex represents a strategic vulnerability at two levels. First, such racism is abhorrent to most people. The reader of Rise and Kill First will be repeatedly shocked by examples of histrionic handwringing over the spilling of “Jewish blood” combined with callous disregard for the value of non-Jewish life, especially Arab and Muslim life. Bergman notes that “more than a few (assassination plans in Europe) were dropped” due to concerns about killing white civilians, perhaps even Jewish ones; whereas in Lebanon the more civilians killed the better: “Raful’s attitude was that it made no difference which Palestinians we killed in Lebanon — they either were terrorists or would become terrorists or they gave birth to terrorists,” David Shiek, a commander of the assassination program Flotilla 13, told the author (pp. 230–231). A Mossad officer, speaking of Sharon’s mayhem in Lebanon, admitted that “terrible things were done… since when do we send donkeys carrying bombs to blow up in marketplaces?” (p. 243). The double standard of worthless non-Jewish life vs. sacred Jewish life is displayed repeatedly throughout Rise and Kill First, “I am ready to shed countless tears on the grave of a Lebanese who was killed on a mission for us, as long as no Jew’s life is endangered” (Meir Dagan, p. 243); “I prefer to see them (non-Jewish proxies) dead than my [Israeli-Jewish] operatives dead” (Dagan, p. 582). Ronan Bergman himself condemns the King David Hotel bombing of July 22, 1946 not so much because it killed 91 innocent people, but because, “Most damningly, many Jews were among the casualties” (p. 19).
Clearly the Zionists are prepared to kill thousands or even millions of non-Jews, especially Arabs and Muslims, without much regret. But they are intensely, religiously averse to “the spilling of Jewish blood.” This reluctance to take casualties, which could be uncharitably described as cowardice, points the way to a possible solution: the anti-Zionist resistance, to the extent that it develops the means to inflict unacceptable casualties on the Zionists, will win, preferably Sun Tzu style, that is, without having to actually fire that “unacceptable” shot.
Another insight gleamed from Rise and Kill First is the power of Islamic resistance. Prior to the rise of Hamas and especially Hizbullah, the secular Palestinian resistance was a relatively easy target for infiltration, subversion, and assassination. Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin explained how in the 1990s Islamic passivity…
gave way to activism and preaching for struggle, for jihad. From humble doormats, they turned into very energetic activists. It happened here in Gaza as well as across the entire Middle East and Africa. They were on a higher personal level and were more ideologically dedicated than the PLO folks, and their need-to-know compartmentalization capability was infinitely better than anything we’d seen.
By murdering much of the PLO leadership, the Zionists inadvertently cleared the way for the rise of the vastly more formidable Islamic resistance — a prime example of the theme of “tactical success, strategic failure” that runs throughout Rise and Kill First.
Though Bergman’s book offers useful insights, its detailed accounts of many dozens of Zionist murders, and the political and military events surrounding them, may not be entirely accurate. That is not surprising, since his sources are professional liars and murderers. What’s more, Bergman himself admits that he cannot tell the truth about some things (such as the poisoning of Yasir ‘Arafat) due to Israeli military censorship. Two important topics he cannot approach honestly, but drops hints about, concern outrageous Israeli attacks on America: the attempted assassination of US Ambassador to Lebanon John Gunther Dean in 1980, and the false flag attack of 9/11/2001.
John Gunther Dean has always insisted that Israel was behind the August 28, 1980 attempt on his life. And without directly saying so, Ronan Bergman offers evidence that Dean is right: the group that claimed credit for the attack, the FLLE, was indeed an Israeli front.
As for 9/11, it is the barely-mentioned elephant in the living room of Rise and Kill First. Bergman quotes ex-Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, “The attacks on 9/11 gave our own war absolute international legitimacy. We were able to completely untie the ropes that had bound us” (p. 515). Given the abundance of evidence that Israel and its American partisans orchestrated the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine that Meir Dagan’s contempt for Benjamin Netanyahu stemmed in part from Netanyahu’s alleged direct personal involvement in the murderous 9/11 operation — a “tactical success” that is engendering long-term strategic failure as awareness of Israel’s orchestration of the massacre gradually spreads.
As Bergman and his sources unhappily recognize, increasing consolidation of power in the hands of such reckless and strategically incompetent leaders as Netanyahu offers the Islamic resistance unprecedented opportunities to finally achieve a world free from Zionism. As for how many more martyrs it will take, that is a question whose answer only Allah (swt) knows.