Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Character: Udi Zahavi

The first of an occasional series of blogs, from the point of view of characters in the work in progress:


There's a passage from Proverbs that defines my purpose: "Without guidance do a people fall, and deliverance is in a multitude of counsellors." You might be thinking that makes me a man of the faith, but that's not the case. That passage is the mission statement of my agency. I'm the director of Mossad.

I was born in Israel to a life of duty. My father's father came here when our people were marginalized, when we had no country of our own. My mother came after the War. After the Shoah. Her entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust, one small fragment of so many others killed at the whim of the Nazis. She survived only because she was hidden. I've lived all my life with the stories of what happens when we become a target of those who hate us. I've grown up with the sensation of living under siege.

For most of my life, my country has had to deal with tense relations with its neighbors. At one point or another, we've fought them, and fought them well. We've dealt with violence in our own borders, from people who'd like nothing more then to see us wiped off the face of the earth. We've lived with being threatened since we founded the nation. Since long before that.

My faith, whatever it might be, is in my duty to my country. I've risen through the ranks of the Mossad to the top. It's meant doing whatever it takes to protect my country, my people. That's my calling. If that means a certain ruthlessness, so be it. Living with suicide bombers and mullahs who'd like to annihilate us sometimes requires a degree of ruthlessness.

Which is why it's a strange thing for a man like me to trust a Palestinian president. The old fool who once ran the PLO could only be trusted to be a source of constant trouble. Even towards the end of his life, he was still at it. Yousuf Touqan is another matter altogether. He wanted peace. He wanted us all to live as neighbors, in peace and prosperity. A two state solution. He could have made it work.

Now he's dead.

He was gunned down while in England last night. A terrorist group I know of all too well has claimed responsibility. They call themselves the Covenant. For eight years, they've been causing no end of trouble for my agency, for my country. And for people beyond our borders. They strike at Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs alike. They're like ghosts, hitting us from the shadows and slipping back into the darkness.

I can feel the unrest building up already. Plenty of people in the West Bank will be blaming us for the assassination. There'll be hell to pay... that's certain. I'm sending one of my agents to England to coordinate with the investigation there. I can only hope they find a lead. These bastards have to be stopped. God knows what they have in mind next....


  1. This is VERY well done! Spectacular job of character development, William!

  2. Hi William. Came by to join your blog and say a big hello. Hello. Hope you're warm and eating yummy things. Catch you next post - Whisk.

  3. Very absorbing character! You've sucked the reader right into the story!

  4. My Israeli agents were only supposed to be a one time set of characters, but I'm really enjoying writing them.

  5. I agree with does sort of suck you into the story...Great blog!

  6. I third sucked right in. Excellent.
    I read a nonfiction book about the Mossad...and one about the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and about a million on the Middle East and on the I'm really interested in what you're working on. Must've been fun research. Have you read any Robert Baer or Antonio Mendez?

  7. I've read a couple of Baer's books, but not Antonio Mendez. I'll have to look him up.

  8. You have to read Spydust that he co-wrote w/his wife and Master of Disguise that he wrote by himself. Great books!


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