Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman 2019 Just finished this book and I have to say it opened my eyes. It is basically a history of Israel from before it became a country to the modern day. In fact you can't talk about Israel without considering the impact targeted killings have had on their history, both positively and negatively. Frankly I'm not sure what to think. On one hand the targeted killings started before it even a country. The Jewish underground was killing Arabs and British officers when it was Palestine. The leadership of Israel started out as terrorists. Of course after it became a country and all their Arab neighbors attacked them they fought back with any means possible including targeting the Arab's military leadership. After they beat back the Arab states, the terrorism against Israel started and was met with targeted assassinations of the leadership of the terrorist organizations. They killed hundreds but the terrorism didn't stop. They killed thousands but the terrorism didn't stop. In fact it escalated. By the time the PLO, HAMAS, and other similar organizations popped up Israel was targeting hundreds of terrorists a year including Arafat. Arafat was on their hit list for 30 years. They did kill his number two, who BTW was working with our CIA. Eventually Arafat was taken off the list because he had become a political leader and was supported by the US. However, when he finally died, allegedly from AIDS or some other mysterious illness that was never diagnosed. Some speculate that it was the Israelis who did it. The Israelis had a fairly advanced chemical and bio weapons program which they used to quietly kill terrorists who were too highly placed politically or were gov't officials. They developed IEDs and car bombs which the terrorists learned how to use. They also invented and developed smart bombs and UAVs/drones which the US eventually bought and used before developing our own. The Israelis killed a lot of terrorists but also made a lot of mistakes. Some of their operations were complete failures. Some of them head scratchingly inept. Sometimes they simply killed the wrong guy. In others their IEDs/car bombs and smart bombs killed thousands of innocent people when they bombed the wrong house. Killings innocent people just added to the recruiting of terrorists. But it's hard to judge them. The middle east is still completely and totally "effed" up. Israel was/is surrounded by hostile nations who have vowed to exterminate them and who sponsored terrorists groups for decades against them. They are in fight for survival but the cycle of violence in the middle east is astounding. Targeted state sponsored assassination is embedded in the history, culture and government of Israel. That's not going to change anytime soon. BTW, we have it good in the US.