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Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team

The book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team was made into the movie Munich.

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Book details for Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team

Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team was written by George Jonas. The book was published in 1984 by Simon & Schuster. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

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Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy -- their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israel... Read More
Vengeance is a true story that reads like a novel. It is the account of five ordinary Israelis, selected to vanish into "the cold" of espionage secrecy -- their mission to hunt down and kill the PLO terrorists responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

This is the account of that secret mission, as related by the leader of the group -- the first Mossad agent to come out of "deep cover" and tell the story of a heroic endeavor that was shrouded in silence and speculation for years. He reveals the long and dangerous operation whose success was bought at a terrible cost to the idealistic volunteer agents themselves.

"Avner" was the leader of that team, handpicked by Golda Meir to avenge the monstrous crime of Munich. He and his young companions, cut off from any direct contact with Israel, set out systematically to find and kill the central figures of the PLO's Munich operation, tracking them down wherever they lived.

The mechanics, the horror, the day-by-day suspense of what they did surpass by far anything John le Carré or Robert Ludlum could imagine, as they themselves were tracked in turn (and some killed) by PLO assassins, changing identities constantly, moving from country to country, devoting their young lives to the brutal task of vengeance.

Vengeance is a profoundly human document, a real-life espionage classic that plunges the reader into the shadow world of terrorism and political murder. But it goes far beyond that, to explore firsthand the feelings of disgust and doubt that gradually came to torment each member of the Israeli team, and that in the end inexorably changed their view of the mission -- and themselves.

Vengeance opens a window onto a secret world, a book that at the same time inspires and horrifies. For its subject is an act of revenge that goes to the very heart of the ancient biblical questions of good and evil.

Movie details for Munich

The movie was released in 2005 and directed by Steven Spielberg, who also directed The Color Purple (1985), Schindler's List (1993), War of the Buttons (1994), Minority Report (2002) and War of the Worlds (2005). Munich was produced by Universal Studios. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciarán Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush, Gila Almagor, Michael Lonsdale, Mathieu Amalric, Moritz Bleibtreu, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Meret Becker, Marie-Josée Croze, Yvan Attal, Ami Weinberg, Lynn Cohen, Amos Lavi, Moshe Ivgy and Michael Warshaviak.

 

Read More About This Movie

At its core, Munich is a straightforward thriller. Based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas, it's built on a relatively stock movie premise, the revenge plot: innocent people are killed, the bad guys... Read More
At its core, Munich is a straightforward thriller. Based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas, it's built on a relatively stock movie premise, the revenge plot: innocent people are killed, the bad guys got away with it, and someone has to make them pay. But director Steven Spielberg uses that as a starting point to delve into complex ethical questions about the cyclic nature of revenge and the moral price of violence. The movie starts with a rush. The opening portrays the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes by PLO terrorists at the 1972 Olympics with scenes as heart-stopping and terrifying as the best of any horror movie. After the tragic incident is over and several of the terrorists have gone free, the Israeli government of Golda Meir recruits Avner (Eric Bana) to lead a team of paid-off-the-book agents to hunt down those responsible throughout Europe, and eliminate them one-by-one (in reality, there were several teams). It's physically and emotionally messy work, and conflicts between Avner and his team's handler, Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush), over information Avner doesn't want to provide only make things harder. Soon the work starts to take its toll on Avner, and the deeper moral questions of right and wrong come into play, especially as it becomes clear that Avner is being hunted in return, and that his family's safety may be in jeopardy.

By all rights, Munich should be an unqualified success--it has gripping subject matter relevant to current events; it was co-written by one of America's greatest living playwrights (Tony Kushner, Angels in America) and an accomplished screenwriter (Eric Roth); it stars an appealing and likeable actor in Eric Bana; and it was helmed by Steven Spielberg, of all people. While it certainly is a great movie, it falls just short of the immense heights such talent should propel it to. This is due more to some questionable plot devices than anything else (such as the contrived use of a family of French informants to locate the terrorists). But while certain aspects ring hollow, the movie as a whole is a profound accomplishment, despite being only "inspired by true events," and not factually based on them. From the ferocious beginning to the unforgettable closing shot, Munich works on a visceral level while making a poignant plea for peace, and issuing an unmistakable warning about the destructive cycle of terror and revenge. As one of the characters intones, "There is no peace at the end of this." --Daniel Vancini