By Way of Deception: An Insider's Devastating Expose of the MOSSAD
By Claire Hoy and Victor Ostrovsky
Arrow Books Ltd, London. 1991. $12.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Mark Delmege
This is a book I would recommend to anyone interested in the Middle East and the Mossad and Israel in particular. No doubt it caused much heartburn within Mossad and many other intelligence agencies and governments around the world.
Victor Ostrovsky, one time Mossad spy, and Claire Hoy, a Canadian journalist, have put together an account of the operations of Mossad as no other book has done before.
The first part of the book is a riveting account of how Ostrovsky was recruited and then trained as a Katsa or Mossad spy in the period 1982-86. The second part reveals details of a number of Mossad operations which Ostrovsky learned of during his intensive three-year training program.
The detailed description of the training process is an eye-opener. The selectivity, illegality and brutality of the process would probably surprise even the SAS.
Along the way Ostrovsky ruffles a few feathers as he speaks out against what he sees as immorality and corruption. But he is good at his job and is finally elevated to a Katsa — but not for long.
After a botched mission to down a Libyan aircraft, he sees that he is being set up as the scapegoat. He is forced to resign and exit the country with some haste.
The book is written with wit and candour. Obviously, Ostrovsky's intentions are similar to those of Philip Agee, the former CIA operative who also went public after years on the inside, and Ari Ben-Menashe, who is now telling all who will listen of his experiences in Israeli-US operations.
All worked inside the system on covert operations. All three discovered how duplicity and unlimited power under the guise of national security worked against the very interests they had sought to protect.
In the case of Israel, Mossad worked against the peace process and thwarted the just demands of the Palestinians for a homeland. For monetary or some other perceived gain, it also worked both sides of the political fence in distant conflicts.
For example, Mossad trained the Sinhalese Sri Lankan government in anti-terrorist methods while also training the opposing Tamils in commando tactics. Mossad agents were active participants in the corruption surrounding Noriega's Panama.
The authors of this book have laid the groundwork. It is up to us to complete the job. If, for example, Ben-Menashe's well-publicised
claims — secret arms shipments through WA and bribes to top government official(s) — are even half true, then public inquiries are ust be laid.
By Way Of Deception is a clear illustration of why this must be done.