Monday, 5 August 2013

Michael Bar-Zohar – Mossad expert

On July 23, 2011, at 4.30pm, two gunmen on motorcycles emerged on Bani Hashem Street in South Tehran, drew automatic weapons out of their leather  jackets, and shot a man who was about to enter his home. They vanished after the killing, long before the arrival of the police. The victim was Darioush Rezaei Najad, a 35 year-old physics professor and a major figure in Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program...

On November 29, 2010, at 7.45am, in North Tehran, a motorcycle emerged from behind the car of Dr Majif Shahriyari, the scientific head of Iran’s nuclear program. As he passed the car, the helmeted motorcyclist attached a device to the car’s windshield. Seconds later, the device exploded, killing the 45 year-old physicist... Simultaneously, in Atashi Street in South Tehran, another motorcyclist did the same to the Peugeot 206 of Dr Fereydoun Abassi-Davani, another major nuclear scientist.

These are but two examples of the – alleged – shadow war Mossad is waging against Iran’s nuclear weapons program described by Michael Bar-Zohar in his latest book Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service. Whether Mossad is really behind these and other attacks and acts of sabotage against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the mere suspicion that Mossad is involved strengthens the image of the organisation as formidable, fearless and far-reaching – which is exactly what it wants.

Michael Bar-Zohar is an Israeli historian and the author of more than 35 books of fiction and non-fiction which have been translated into 18 languages. He was a member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), an envoy to the Council of Europe, a former advisor to General Moshe Dayan, a Professor at Haifa University in Israel and Emory University in Atlanta, and was knighted as a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur.

He is Israeli’s foremost expert in espionage and has won numerous awards, including the the Sokolov Prize (the Israeli Pulitzer). Bar-Zohar is the official biographer of David-Ben Gurion, Shimon Peres, and Isser Harel – the legendary Director of the Mossad. His novel Enigma was made into a Hollywood feature film starring Sam Neill .

His latest book is Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service, coauthored by renowned Israeli journalist Nissim Mishal. It is full of great stories of subterfuge, camouflage, courage and daring. It is poignant and nail-biting. It tracks some of the most dangerous missions – from the capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina to the elimination of the Black September terrorists, to the campaign against key Iranian nuclear scientists.

Buy the book from Booktopia -

Michael Bar-Zohar will be presenting two sessions at our Festival on Sunday 1 September.

At 1:00-2:00pm, Bar-Zohar and John M Green, author of the eco-cyber thriller The Trusted, will be reflecting with with Deena Shiff on some of the darkest moments in history and what nightmarish scenarios may still lie ahead at the session Terrorism: real and imagined -

At 4:45-5:45pm, Bar-Zohar will be revealing behind-the-scenes details of Israel’s formidable hidden force and grapples with some of the dilemmas of modern warfare. He talks to Michaela Kalowski at the session Inside Mossad: In Conversation with Michael Bar-Zohar -

Click to book for those sessions or the full day and check out our full program for this year’s Sydney Jewish Writer’s Festival. Be inspired, entertained by and challenged by the best of contemporary Jewish writers from around the world and from Australia.

Read more about Bar Zohar’s amazing life story - and read reviews of his latest book by the community of readers on goodreads


There are two SJWF events taking place this year:
In Conversation with Laurent Binet on Thursday 29 August at 8.00pm. 
A Day at the Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival on Sunday 1 September, from 1.00-7.00pm.
Location of Festival: Eric Caspary Learning Centre, Shalom College (enter from Barker Street, opposite McDonalds)

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