The following are quotes from the book: By way of deception by Victor Ostrovsky.

In general, the book shows you how the mossad works, and accounts of some missions they did against Iraq, Lebanon, PLO and many others, a must read if you are interested in the middle east conflict.

The director of Mossad talking to new cadets:

Welcome to the Mossad. Its full name is Ha Mossad, le Modiyn ye le Talkidim Mayuhadim [the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations]. Our motto is: ‘By way of deception, thou shalt do war.”

Teaching cadets how to think and proper reflex:

At the beginning of the second month, we cadets were given our own personal weapon, a .22 caliber Beretta, the official weapon of Mossad katsas, although few actually carry it in the field because it can create serious problems. In Great Britain, for example, it’s illegal to carry a weapon, so it’s not worth the risk of getting caught. If you do your work properly, you don’t need a weapon. If you can run away or talk yourself out of something, so much the better.

However, you were taught that if your brain does signal your hand to draw the weapon, you go to kill. Your head has to say the guy in front of you is dead. It’s him or you

Description of a lab inside the Mossad:

Its shelves contained passport paper for most nations. Another part of this operation was the manufacture of Jordanian dinars. These have been used successfully to trade for real dollars and also to flood Jordan with currency, exacerbating that country’s inflation problems.

Perception of other nations with regards to anti semitism:

You know what Israelis say: “If they weren’t burning us in World War II, they were helping, or if they weren’t helping, they were ignoring it.”

Undercover agent teaching a cadet about undercover work:

“When I am sitting with my friend, he’s not sitting with his friend.”

Perception of Arabs:

The prejudice in Israel is that Arabs don’t understand technical things. It shows itself in jokes, like the one about the man selling Arab brains for $150 a pound and Jewish brains for $2 a pound. Asked why the Arab brain was so expensive, he says, “Because it’s hardly been used.” A widely held perception of Arabs in Israel.

Recruiting and payment methods:

Everybody understands you don’t give money for nothing, and nobody expects to get money unless he’s expected to give something back.

“And then there’s sex. Useful, but it is not regarded as a method of payment, because most people we recruit are men. There is a saying that ‘Women give and forgive, men get and forget.’ That’s why sex is not a method of payment. Money, people don’t forget.”

Talking about Sri-Lankan group coming to be trained by Mossad:

“Well, these guys are monkeylike. They come from a place that’s not developed. They’re not long out of the trees. So don’t expect much.”

Anti semitism and terrorism

because if you look into Israel’s own backyard, you’ll see anti-Palestinian groups. Did this mean we thought the Palestinians therefore had the right to store weapons and organize vigilante groups? Or would we call them terrorists?

Failed recruitment attempt:

A story was told of one senior Saudi Arabian official who was photographed in bed with a hooker who had been given instructions to situate herself and her bedmate in such a way that the camera recorded both his face and the actual penetration. Later, the Mossad confronted him with the evidence of his sexual escapades, spreading the photos on a table and saying, “You might want to cooperate with us.” But instead of recoiling in shock and horror, the Saudi was thrilled with the photos. “This is wonderful,” he said. “I’ll take two of those, three of that,” adding he wanted to show them to all his friends. Needless to say, that particular recruiting effort failed.

Dimona nuclear plant:

After its secret got out in 1960, David Ben-Gurion formally announced Israel’s “peaceful” atomic project, though much of it remains anything but peaceful.

Dimona security:

While security at Dimona was extremely tight, it was also ringed with Hawk and Chapparal surface-to-air missiles. The joke when we visited the Hawk sites was that the missiles were just rotting away. They wouldn’t have protected anything. Yet they were sold to Iran later. We laughed about that a lot.

The junior katsas also learned about an international communications system, particularly the Mediterranean cable that emerged at Palermo, Sicily, where it tied into satellites transmitting most of the Arab communications. Israel was linked into that through Unit 8200 and got access to almost everything the Arabs sent.

Perception of Palestinians inside the government:

But the way they looked at the Palestinians was completely different. Dayan, as did most Labor people from his generation, looked at them as an adversary, but as people. Begin and his party, when looking at the Palestinians, didn’t see people; they saw a problem. Dayan would say, “I’d rather be at peace with these people and I remember times when we were.” Begin would say, “I wish they weren’t here, but there’s not much I can do about.


Israel had never feared Lebanon. The joke was that if the two countries went to war, Israel would send its military orchestra to defeat the Lebanese.

Law and punishment:

Justice Heim Cohen, a retired judge of Israel’s supreme court, said, “The way the situation is going now, I would be afraid to say where we are going. I never heard of anybody who was tried for negligence after shooting somebody in cold blood. I’m probably getting old.”

I regret not bookmarking more stuff, it was a page turner.