Vengeance is a book about the response of the Israelis to the killing of their athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics. (It supposedly inspired the movie Munich which was released in 2005.)

The book, by George Jonas, is written from the point of view of the head of a counter-terrorism team, Avner (a pseudonym), and is a gripping account of how the team set about its task of killing some of the people who were allegedly responsible for the Munich incident.

Jonas’ book is gripping and whether you agree with what the counter-terrorism team did or not, it is a fascinating book to read. The book is topical and you have to remind yourself that it was based on incidents in the 70s and 80s. Ultimately, the book raises a lot of questions and also reminds you that there are no simple answers to the terrorism question.

The edition that I read had a foreword by “Avner” in which, talking about terrorism, he writes:

What will stop it? Not asssassination teams or military incursions. In my view, terrorism will continue until the political and economic situations shifts sufficiently to bring equity and balance throughout all of the Middle East. “An eye for an eye” may seem an appropriate response, but it is not a solution. Unfortunately, until we find one, we must be prepared to deal with continuing terrorist attacks and the subsequent acts of revenge that will inevitably follow.

— Updated a couple of hours later —

The Spielberg massacre is George Jonas’ take on the movie version of his book and it makes for very interesting reading. Hat tip to Cliff Burns (see comments).


2 thoughts on “Vengeance

  1. Try to get hold of an article by Jonas in Canada’ MACLEAN’S magazine in which the author talks about how much he detests Spielberg’s adaptation of his book for the movie “Munich”. I, personally, thought “Munich” miles beyond Spielberg’s usual drivel but there is one bizarre scene near the end where Avner (played by Eric Bana) is making love to his wife and Spielberg juxtaposes Bana pumping away while the Israeli athletes are murdered by their Palestinian kidnappers. Mr. Spielberg’s entire oeuvre is based on tastelessness but that aesthetic decision bordered on the stupid and offensive.

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