Since its inception, Israel has faced a conflict of interest in its approach to counterterrorism: On the one hand it must rebuke security threats and appease its population. At the same time, heavy-handed counterterrorism tactics can be costly and provocative, resulting in what historian Richard A. Clarke terms a "Pyrrhic victory". In a style he's described as "non-complicated", performer Luke Truan provides a straightforward but eloquent voice for this even-handed account of Israel's war on terror. A High Price offers meticulous analyses of counterterrorism measures which have in turn been described as omnipotent and inadequate, ruthless but essential. Along the way, author Daniel Byman surveys the heavy toll on civilian populations - both Israeli and Palestinian - and explores repercussions for other western democracies in their own counterterrorism efforts.
The product of painstaking research and countless interviews, A High Price offers a nuanced, definitive historical account of Israel's bold but often failed efforts to fight terrorist groups. Beginning with the violent border disputes that emerged after Israel's founding in 1948, Daniel Byman charts the rise of Yasser Arafat's Fatah and leftist groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine--organizations that ushered in the era of international terrorism epitomized by the 1972 hostage-taking at the Munich Olympics. Byman reveals how Israel fought these groups and others, such as Hamas, in the decades that follow, with particular attention to the grinding and painful struggle during the second intifada. Israel's debacles in Lebanon against groups like the Lebanese Hizballah are examined in-depth, as is the country's problematic response to Jewish terrorist groups that have struck at Arabs and Israelis seeking peace. In surveying Israel's response to terror, the author points to the coups of shadowy Israeli intelligence services, the much-emulated use of defensive measures such as sky marshals on airplanes, and the role of controversial techniques such as targeted killings and the security barrier that separates Israel from Palestinian areas. Equally instructive are the shortcomings that have undermined Israel's counterterrorism goals, including a disregard for long-term planning and a failure to recognize the long-term political repercussions of counterterrorism tactics.
©2011 Daniel Byman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Though I usually enjoy audio books. A High Price was excellent despite being marred by a dull reader.
The Looming Tower also deals with US efforts to prevent the horrific attack on the World Trade Center and how, despite good intentions, intelligence failed.
The reader's voice was flat, like a high school student forced to read a history book. Audible should find better readers to do books like this justice. .
Byman describes a strike that had gone wrong because of faulty intelligence. Despite efforts to eliminate civilian deaths, innocent people were killed. A heartbreaking event.
A High Price is a carefully balanced study of counterterrorism in Israel--what worked and what did not. The book begins with a harrowing story of a bus bombing and the extraordinary efforts that Israelis undertook to prevent future attacks. Some measures worked well and became legendary, Entebbe, for example. Others failed and the author does not spare the details. The lessons learned from this carefully nuanced study are important for democracies fighting their own terrorist threat--the US after The World Trade Center bombing and more recently, Copley Square.
Unfortunately, the reader selected to narrate this book detracts from the pleasure of listening.
This might have been a intriguing and informative listen, except I -personally- could not get past the narration, and subsequently not past the first chapter.
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