Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel
The four spies at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewi ...more
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If you're spying for the CIA, you have Langley and the United States of America. You might not see them from your street corner or hotel room, but you know they exist, and their power is a comfort. These men had no such thing. They had no country – in early 1948, Israel was a wish, not a fact. If they disappeared, they'd be gone. No one might find them. No one might even look. The future was blank. And still they set out into those treacherous times, alone.
In 2011, journalist and author Matti ...more
Most importantly for the reader, Friedman shows us how their contr ...more
---Full disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---
So, here's the thing. I don't do spy stories, thrillers, or most political tales, nor do I gave a crap about Zionism. When this arrived I was somewhat trepidatious about what I had let myself in for by signing up for this book. I am happy to report that it all turned out well....quite well, in fact.
This book is really more about a handful of characters who happened to occupy a certain spot on the planet, at a very unique t...more
By : Matti Friedman
Pages : 245
March 5th 2019
This was sent to me unsolicited by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, which this will be ,
Four Arab Jews emigrate to Israel in 1948, at the birth of the new nation. Recruited almost immediately to spy for Israel, they are sent back to Lebanon and elsewhere to pose as Arabs (which they actually are) and collect intelligence. They operate out of a kiosk in Beirut. It ...more
Spies are always interesting to me, especially when they are able to ...more
The premise of Spies of No Country is a description of what it meant to be a spy for the Land of Israel while Palestine was still a British protectorate. With ...more
This book was a quick and easy read, but tells an important and oft overlooked throughline of Israel's War of Independence and beyond.
By explicitly skipping the meta-story of the war and focusing on four brave mostly untrained spies, Friedman dives into the lives of Jews raised in Arab cultures, as millions of Jews did at the time. These Jews are not the Israeli pioneers most people think of, and they managed to ...more
Friedman uses actual documentation f ...more
This is the story of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence told from the perspective of four spies from Israel’s “Arab Section” — a precursor of what would eventually become Mossad. Although the book includes a lot of background about the Middle East and the War itself, it is primarily a personal account of the exper ...more
This book recounts the way that young Jews who had grown up in Arab communities were recruited to act as spies in the "Arab Section," a small group that penetrated Lebanon, Jordan and Syria t ...more
Despite having never heard this story before and being a fan of historical nonfiction, this book just didn't grab me. I found myself interested enough each time I picked it up, but not interested enough to pick it up that often. I ...more
It was an interesting book describing the lives and events of 4 men who were considered spies for Israel. They started just before the British pulled out of Palestine and Israel was not yet an official country. They were from other countries in the region and were Jewish but could pass as Arab so they were sent into the Arab regions to gain intelligence to help Israel in its war for independence.
The author interviewed one of the men when he was ...more
Throughout the book I kept thinking about 1) the challenges (physical and per ...more
The Middle East—its history, tribal groups, and the divvying up of lands—fascinates me, so I enjoyed Spies of No Country. A series of interviews with Palmuch members form the foundation for the story. The author does a good job of weaving the birth of Isr ...more
Friedman was born in Canada and grew up in Toronto. In 1995, he made aliyah to Israel and now he lives in Jerusalem.
Between 2006 and the end of 2011, Friedman was a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press (AP) news agency. During his journalistic career, he also worked as a reporter in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, ...more