Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy:
The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul
Thomas’ most recent bestseller is Gideon’s Spies: Mossad’s Secret Warriors. Published in 16 languages and 40 countries Gideon’s Spies is known throughout the world as the leading resource on Israeli intelligence. An updated edition will be published in 2012 by St. Martin’s Press. Gideon’s Spies was made into a major documentary for Channel Four in Britain, which Thomas wrote and narrated, called The Spy Machine. The Observer called The Spy Machine a “clear” picture of Israeli intelligence operations, and The Times called it “impressive,” and ”chilling.”
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (November 5, 2002)
From Publishers Weekly
In 1991, British media tycoon Robert Maxwell died in mysterious circumstances off his yacht in the Canary Islands. The official cause of death was drowning, but this intriguing, if somewhat overreaching, investigative work argues that Maxwell died at the hands of the spy agency he worked for, Israel’s Mossad. Thomas (Gideon’s Spies) and Dillon (Shankill Butchers) have little sympathy for Maxwell-they build an unflattering portrait of an overweight and vain man who rose from a pre-WWII Jewish childhood in Czechoslovakia and England to become one of the world’s most powerful media barons. Using a wealth of international sources-Israeli and British intelligence, for instance, both named and anonymous-the authors argue that Maxwell helped the Mossad steal intelligence-gathering software from the U.S. and then sold it around the world. They also depict Maxwell’s involvement in several other international intrigues, including an attempt to involve the Jewish state in the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Much of the book has a breathless tone, particularly when the authors describe, in detail, the night of Maxwell’s death. The Mossad “whacked” Maxwell, they say, because he tried to extort money from them to get out of debt. Some readers might find the depiction of the Mossad at times hard to believe, such as the suggestion that the spy agency was entangled in the death of Sen. John Tower. But those interested in the world of international intrigue will find themselves engrossed. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Here’s the latest revision of history by the wide-ranging and conspiracy-minded Thomas. This time Thomas and coauthor Dillon contend that Robert Maxwell, the media giant, did not drown in 1991 but was murdered by his former employer, the Israeli Mossad, after he tried to extort money from it. That Maxwell was a Mossad spy is not a new idea: Thomas himself floated it in Gideon’s Spies, his 1999 history of Mossad, and Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent, proposed it in his own memoir, The Other Side of Deception (1995). Thomas and Dillon interviewed Ostrovsky for their book; they also interviewed Efraim, a former Mossad assassin who claims to have been involved in the Maxwell murder; Maxwell’s widow and daughter; two former CIA directors; three former prime ministers of Israel; the former director-general of Mossad; and a host of related experts. They don’t prove their case beyond a shadow of doubt, but they do present a reasoned and well-supported argument. Whether it’s the startling truth or merely revisionist nonsense, it makes a thought-provoking and compelling book. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Through British citizen Robert Maxwell, vain, gross, brilliant and criminal, Thomas and Dillon paint a picture of corruption and decadence in the West, Eastern Europe and the Middle East today. Maxwell’s loyalties are to himself and to Israel; Senator John Tower is in his pocket; and so forth. The United States, apart from furnishing the likes of Tower, furnishes the intelligence stolen by Israel and the subsidies that keep that country in business stealing from its patron. Maxwell is a kind of super sayan (singular form of sayanim) and the book to some degree is an expose of the extent to which these volunteers-for-Israel around the world do damage to their host countries.
The Maxwell-Mossad team steals spy software PROMIS from the United States, Mossad puts an undetectable trap door in it so Mossad can track the activities of anyone using it, then Maxwell sells it around the world (including back to the U.S. — with the trap door). When Maxwell finally goes bankrupt, the losses are passed on to “the little people,” while Israel and Maxwell’s protected heirs remain in the black, at least materially. Thomas/Dillon present, in thrilling mystery adventure mode, the theory that Maxwell became a loose canon to his beloved Israel, among other things hitting on Mossad for a bigger pay-off, and its agents assassinated him.
The authors, both top-notch investigative journalists, base their study on official documents and on interviews — what they uncover is bound to shock and put on the alert anyone who loves his country, respects honesty, good will and just about any other virtue within its borders.
Complicity of the media and the Mossad
This was an amazingly revealing book as to the extent and power of the Mossad. Makes one wonder if they did not have a hand — with the CIA — in the assassination of JFK, since Kennedy was beginning to insist on a full inspection of the Dimona facility which Israel was claiming was for peaceful purpose — also he was showing some sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Israel has never hesitated to assassinate anyone who threatened its expansionist policies; e.g., Count Bernadotte, Lord Moyne, the USS Liberty, …