By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider's Portrait of the Mossad


371 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7737-2460-5
DDC 327.1'25694





Reviewed by James Peters

James Peters was a professor of Languages at the Ryerson Polytechnical


The educated mind can make sound 180-degree turns in its judgment. In
this book, Ostrovsky manifests his radical change of attitude regarding
the Mossad. His courageous reversal was inspired by the greed, lust,
twisted ideals, and total lack of respect for human life that he found

Ostrovsky reveals the secret methods of this undercover institution
answerable only to the president. Using Hoy’s writing skills, he takes
us through all the stages in the recruiting and training of Mossad
agents, known as katsas. Instead of thousands of officers in the cia and
the kgb, there are only 35 katsa; no more are needed, because outside
Israel Jews in all fields (known as “sayanim”) co-operate readily
with the Mossad.

The text is so rich that the reader can begin on any page and be caught
up. Ostrovsky reveals the secrets behind many of Israeli international
coups, such as the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear research centre and the
smuggling of Ethiopian Falashas into Israel. The most horrendous
revelation concerns Mossad’s indifference to the fate of 241 U.S.
Marines, who were killed during a suicide bombing mission by Lebanese
freedom fighters. Although, in the summer of 1983, the Mossad had
information on the mission, they deliberately failed to warn the U.S.
Military—their allies and benefactors.

In recent years, the Mossad was accused of executing Dr. Gerald Bull,
the Canadian ballistics genius who allegedly worked for the Iraqis.
After reading this work, the charge seems very plausible.

Arab states were known as “target” countries, and recruiting Arab
operatives by means of money and sex played a big role in the activities
of the katsas. In the Occupied Zones, since the beginning of the
Intifada in December 1989, Palestinians have killed hundreds of other
Palestinians whom they accused of being Israeli agents. Ostrovsky’s
book lends a great deal of plausibility to the charges of Palestinian

Not since Igor Gouzenko’s book on ussr secret agents and their
activities have the clandestine operations of seemingly respectable
governments been so shockingly uncovered. Putting this book down is not


Hoy, Claire., “By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insider's Portrait of the Mossad,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024,