Saturday, October 30, 2010
Vengeance by George Jonas
Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, by George Jonas, is a historical fiction novel set during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation, the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack. Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. The Prime Minister says to his advisers, "An eye for an eye leads to a world of blind people, however not believing in revenge results in a world full of blind righteous people" (Jonas 94). The Prime Minister thinks that something must be done to make Black September pay for their doings or else massacres will continue to occur. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It's an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts -- with retribution following retribution -- so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. With every death that they cause, situations and goals continue to become more complicated and the mission seems to be nearing a point where it will be impossible to complete. However, the team never loses hope and always continues on their journey with full confidence that they will complete their final goal. Avner says to his team, "Though vengeance is often an eye for an eye, I fully intend to keep both of mine" (193).
1. Do you think that revenge on your enemy is, in some cases, justifiable or is revenge only a means of causing more disruption in society?
2. Do you think that the Israeli government made a good decision to hunt the members of Black September?