Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad’s Fake Diving Resort

Icon. Apr. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781785786006. $27. CRIME
For centuries, the highlands of Ethiopia were home to a small community of Jews who maintained that Israel was their ancestral land. In the late 1970s, Israel recognized their right to settle there, but moving the community was no simple undertaking. Berg, the Middle East editor for the BBC News website, details the daring operation to bring the Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Israel tasked the Mossad with creating an evacuation plan. But owing to conflicts in Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan, the Ethiopian Jews had to escape in secret. As the number of people wanting to flee grew, the Mossad rented a seaside holiday village from the Sudanese government and set it up as a base for smuggling small groups by sea, hiding escapees right under the noses of vacationers and the government. Drawing from extensive interviews with the leaders of the operation, Berg provides firsthand details, which results in a riveting narrative, reminiscent of a spy novel.
VERDICT The coordination that went into this operation is nothing short of incredible. Berg’s captivating writing and in-depth research make this a must-have for fans of espionage tales.
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