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).

Discussion Questions:

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?

8 comments:

russell F 11-12 said...

Revenge is necessary in some cases, if someone attacks you and you don't retaliate you look like a nancy boy. Which opens the gates for more attacks. if you don't retaliate more innocent lives will be lost. I think the government made the right choice. If someone was to steal our Olympic athletes minus LeBron I'd hunt them down and kill them.

David G. 13-14 said...

I agree that revenge is necessary in a lot of situations but sometimes revenge only leads to more trouble. Oh and by the way, the LeBron comment was spot on.

tyler k 13-14 said...

I feel that revenge is never intentionally justifiable, only when it naturally happens through bettering yourself over your enemies.

David G. 13-14 said...

I like it. That's a very deep outlook on revenge that a lot of people wouldn't think about. You're the man.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

Revenge is a waste of time but people do it because it makes them feel good (which is the goal of a lot of things that humans do) I also don't really see how revenge can cause more disruption then a normal murder in society so I don't think that's really in issue.

As to whether the government made a good decision. Well they definitely made the israeli decision. Israel is a small country and all of it's neighbors hate it. Therefore, they have developed one of the best militaries in the world to remain safe. This has built a culture in Israel of not letting people harass the small but powerful country. This was famously shown in their invasion of the gaza strip last year. I think that this culture is part of what led to the decision to hunt down the members of the PLO that killed their athletes. If they didn't they would look weak to their public and possibly the rest of the world, which is not good if you are a small country who is surrounded by people that hate you.

Eric M. 11-12 said...

Revenge is definitely justified this time because unless black September was eliminated they would have continued launching terrorist attacks against Israel. So in this case, they made the right decision.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

Revenge is only a last resort method but alot of the times it will lead to more harm done to the people around you.The israelo government made the right decision for it was a horrible crime and justice needed to be enacted.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

I think revenge is ok in some cases, but a lot of times people do it just so they don't look like a whimp. If it's something serious i do believe something should get done to help the situation.