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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Ami Pedahzur

Professor Ph.D., University of Haifa, Israel

Professor, Arnold Chaplik Professor in Israel and Diaspora Studies
Ami Pedahzur

Contact

Biography

I am the Arnold Chaplik Professor in Israel and Diaspora Studies and a professor at the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.

I first came to Texas as a Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow in 2004 and joined the faculty of the Department of Government a year later.

Since the early stages of my career I was interested in the Israeli radical right and in the State’s response to it. Later on I was drawn to studying the causes for terrorism in general and particularly in Israel.

At the same time I developed interest in the effectiveness of various counterterrorism policies and subsequentally in special operations forces.

I serve as an associate editor of the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism as well as member of the editorial boards of Armed Forces & Society, Terrorism and Political Violence and Civil Wars.

Interests

Terrorism, counterterrorism, political radicalism,special operations forces, Israeli politics.

GOV 390L • War, Technology, And Strategy

39110 • Fall 2014
Meets M 900am-1200pm BAT 5.102
(also listed as MES 384 )
show description

SUBJECT MATTER OF THE COURSE

In a survey conducted in the mid-1980s among scholars studying terrorism, Schmid et al. found that more than two-thirds of the respondents were of the view that theoretical progress in the field was very slow, and that existing theories suffered from a lack of applicability and a dearth of empirical support. These findings were an indication of the impression among scholars at that time, that after more than thirty years of research, the academic community was able to produce very few insights regarding terrorism and its features, causes and implications.

During the 1990s and especially since the beginning of the new millennium, a significant number of researchers from different disciplines have become more interested in terrorism. This increasing trend has been prompted by two main factors. First, in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack in New York, a dramatic increase in the amount of resources was set aside by governmental and other bodies in various countries for unraveling the phenomenon of terrorism. Second, the last decade has been witness to a notable increase in the amount of accessible databases and empirical findings on terrorist attacks worldwide, which has made it feasible to undertake solid, empirical-based research relying on innovative methods.

GOALS

The goal of the seminar is to assess the current state of the field. We will use an interdisciplinary perspective and put emphasis on developing critical and innovative perspectives.  

EVALUATION

The final grade will be based on:

1)     Attendance and active participations in class discussions (10%) Receiving full grade for active participation requires work. I exercise discretion when assigning grades for active participation. I usually consider the following elements: class attendance, active participation in class discussions and the display of extra interest in the class and the materials.

2)     Leading a full session in class (40%)

3)     Take home final exam (50%).

 

Abrahms, M. (2008). "What terrorists really want." International Security 32(4): 78-+.

Argo, N. (2009). "Why Fight?: Examining Self-Interested Versus Communally-Oriented Motivations in Palestinian Resistance and Rebellion." Security Studies 18(4): 651 - 680.

Ashworth, S., J. D. Clinton, et al. (2008). "Design, inference, and the strategic logic of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 102(2): 269-273.

Berrebi, C. and E. F. Klor (2008). "Are voters sensitive to terrorism? Direct evidence from the Israeli electorate." American Political Science Review 102(3): 279-301.

Bloom, M., B. A. Thayer, et al. (2010). "Life Sciences and Islamic Suicide Terrorism." International Security 35(3): 185-192.

Bloom, M. M. (2004). "Palestinian suicide bombing: public support, market share, and outbidding." Political Science Quarterly 119(1): 61-88.

Brym, R. J. and B. Araj (2008). "Palestinian suicide bombing revisited: A critique of the outbidding thesis." Political Science Quarterly 123(3): 485-500.

Chenoweth, E., N. Miller, et al. (2009). "What Makes Terrorists Tick." International Security 33(4): 180-186.

Goodwin, J. (2006). "A theory of categorical terrorism." Social Forces 84(4): 2027-2046.

Horowitz, M. C. (2010). "Nonstate Actors and the Diffusion of Innovations: The Case of Suicide Terrorism." International Organization 64(1): 33-64.

Jordan, J. (2009). "When Heads Roll: Assessing the Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation." Security Studies 18(4): 719 - 755.

Krueger, A. B. and J. Maleckova (2003). "Education, poverty and terrorism: Is there a causal connection?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 17(4): 119-144.

O'Rourke, L. A. (2009). "What's Special about Female Suicide Terrorism?" Security Studies 18(4): 681 - 718.

Pape, R. A. (2003). "The strategic logic of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 97(3): 343-361.

Pape, R. A. (2008). "Methods and findings in the study of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 102(2): 275-277.

Thayer, B. A. and V. M. Hudson (2010). "Sex and the Shaheed Insights from the Life Sciences on Islamic Suicide Terrorism." International Security 34(4): 37-+.

Victoroff, J. (2005). "The mind of the terrorist - A review and critique of psychological approaches." Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(1): 3-42.

 

GOV 365N • Suicide Terrorism

39320 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 0.102
show description

 

Prerequisites:

None

 

Course Description:

Suicide terrorism in its modern form appeared in the early 1980s. The first organization to use this strategy was the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. Later, it was adopted by many organizations in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The fact that the majority of these organizations were either Arab or Muslim led many scholars emphasize the role of Islam in suicide terrorism's emergence and spread. The general purpose of the class is to reassess the root causes of suicide terrorism at elite, community and rank-and-file levels. It will juxtapose the role of religion, and specifically Islam, in generating suicide terrorism, which is represented by the cultural approach, with coercion theories, power struggle explanations and social networks approach. It will also address the perplexing question of whether suicide terrorism is an unbeatable weapon that will ultimately threaten the existence of all or most political regimes in the twenty-first century.

 

Grading Policy:

This course combines Quizzes, Exams, Participation, and Reading Questions to allow multiple opportunities to track your learning process. They are spread across the semester and the earlier assignment and test grades should be used as a guide—letting you know if you need to make adjustments in the amount of time you are dedicating to the class or if you need to explore different approaches to increase your performance.

The breakdown for the course is as follows:

 

I. Class attendance and active participation: 20%

Daily class attendance is mandatory and will be recorded, your attendance at, and participation in, lectures is crucial to the success of this course.

II. Weekly Reading and Questions: 20%

Course readings are a vital part of this class and should be completed prior to the class meeting listed on the syllabus. Each week you will be responsible for formulating an answer to a question based on that week’s readings. Your answer should be one to two double spaced pages and are due at the end of class every Thursday. I will grade your answers on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being excellent work and 0 being unacceptable. These are designed as engaging and thought provoking questions to help you navigate the course and the exams. Please note: We do not accept late work.

III. Quizzes: (10% each for 20% total)

There will be two quizzes given during the semester. These will cover some of the basic background and key foundational concepts that will be needed in order to proceed in the course. The format will be a combination of fill in the blank and multiple choice.

IV. Exams (20% each for 40% total):

There will be two exams given during the semester. These will cover the larger conceptual and topical aspects of the course. They will incorporate the ideas we have learned through the lectures and readings and ask you to comment on the contemporary debates and issues in the study of suicide terrorism. The format will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.

 

 

Texts:

No textbook. Readings will be posted on Blackboard.

GOV 365N • Suicide Terrorism

38949 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ B0.306
show description

Course Description

Suicide terrorism in its modern form appeared in the early 1980s. The first organization to use this strategy was the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. Later, it was adopted by many organizations in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The fact that the majority of these organizations were either Arab or Muslim led many scholars emphasize the role of Islam in suicide terrorism's emergence and spread. The general purpose of the class is to reassess the root causes of suicide terrorism at elite, community and rank-and-file levels. It will juxtapose the role of religion, and specifically Islam, in generating suicide terrorism, which is represented by the cultural approach, with coercion theories, power struggle explanations and social networks approach. It will also address the perplexing question of whether suicide terrorism is an unbeatable weapon that will ultimately threaten the existence of all or most political regimes in the twenty-first century.

Format and Procedures

This class meets twice a week for 1½ hour each session. Please plan to arrive a few moments before class begins. Course lectures will build from the readings; they will not replace or reiterate them. Students can expect to spend 2-3 hours reading/writing for every hour of class. You are responsible for reading all of the assigned material.

We strongly believe every student is capable of learning the material presented in this course, but the responsibility to make the required effort rests on you. We want to reward hard work and dedication, not just an ability to take tests. Therefore, the course is structured so that regular attendance of lectures, thoughtful reading of the text, responses to posed questions, and assimilation of the concepts are a large part of what determines your grade.

 

 

Grading Policy

This course combines Quizzes, Exams, Participation, and Reading Questions to allow multiple opportunities to track your learning process. They are spread across the semester and the earlier assignment and test grades should be used as a guide—letting you know if you need to make adjustments in the amount of time you are dedicating to the class or if you need to explore different approaches to increase your performance. The breakdown for the course is as follows:

I. Class attendance and active participation: 20%

Daily class attendance is mandatory and will be recorded, your attendance at, and participation in, lectures is crucial to the success of this course.

II. Weekly Reading and Questions: 20%

Course readings are a vital part of this class and should be completed prior to the class meeting listed on the syllabus. Each week you will be responsible for formulating an answer to a question based on that week’s readings. Your answer should be one to two double spaced pages and are due at the end of class every Thursday. I will grade your answers on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being excellent work and 0 being unacceptable. These are designed as engaging and thought provoking questions to help you navigate the course and the exams. Please note: We do not accept late work.

III. Quizzes: (10% each for 20% total):

There will be two quizzes given during the semester. These will cover some of the basic background and key foundational concepts that will be needed in order to proceed in the course. The format will be a combination of fill in the blank and multiple choice.

IV. Exams (20% each for 40% total):

There will be two exams given during the semester. These will cover the larger conceptual and topical aspects of the course. They will incorporate the ideas we have learned through the lectures and readings and ask you to comment on the contemporary debates and issues in the study of suicide terrorism. The format will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.

 

Required Readings

All the readings for the course will be available on Blackboard under Course Documents. It is your responsibility to download and/or print them for your use.

GOV 390L • War, Technology, And Strategy

38973 • Fall 2012
Meets W 930am-1230pm BAT 1.104
show description

Course Description

 

The 20th century was tainted by two world wars and many other conflicts which varied by their degrees of intensity.That century also witnessed the rapid evolution of military technologies, the exponential growth of armed forces worldwide and the development of new doctrines and strategies. In this seminar we will explore the changes in the nature of conflicts and militaries over the last 120 years.We will utilize theories from the fields of international relations, public policy, political psychology, political geography and political economy to explain those changes. The seminar will focus mainly on the wars in the Middle East. However, we will also devote a significant degree of attention to the two world wars, the cold war, the war in Algeria, the Vietnam War, the Falkland war and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Goals:

The goal of the seminar is to assess the current state of the research in the field. We will assume an interdisciplinary perspective and put emphasis on developing critical and innovative perspectives. 

 

Grading Policy 

The final grade will be based on:

1) Attendance and active participations in class discussions (10%) Receiving full grade for active participation requires work. I exercise discretion when assigning grades for active participation. I usually consider the following elements: class attendance, active participation in discussions and the display of extra interest in the course.

2) Leading a full session in class (40%)

3) Take home final exam (50%).

 

Texts

No textbook. 

GOV F365N • Suicide Terrorism

85320 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 830am-1000am MEZ B0.306
show description

Course Description

Suicide terrorism in its modern form appeared in the early 1980s. The first organization to use this strategy was the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. Later, it was adopted by many organizations in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The fact that the majority of these organizations were either Arab or Muslim led many scholars emphasize the role of Islam in suicide terrorism's emergence and spread. The general purpose of the class is to reassess the root causes of suicide terrorism at elite, community and rank-and-file levels. It will juxtapose the role of religion, and specifically Islam, in generating suicide terrorism, which is represented by the cultural approach, with coercion theories, power struggle explanations and social networks approach. It will also address the perplexing question of whether suicide terrorism is an unbeatable weapon that will ultimately threaten the existence of all or most political regimes in the twenty-first century.

 

Grading Policy

This course combines Quizzes, Exams, Participation, and Reading Questions to allow multiple opportunities to track your learning process. They are spread across the semester and the earlier assignment and test grades should be used as a guide—letting you know if you need to make adjustments in the amount of time you are dedicating to the class or if you need to explore different approaches to increase your performance.

The breakdown for the course is as follows:

I. Class attendance and active participation: 20%

 

Daily class attendance is mandatory and will be recorded, your attendance at, and participation in, lectures is crucial to the success of this course.

II. Weekly Reading and Questions: 20% 

Course readings are a vital part of this class and should be completed prior to the class meeting listed on the syllabus. Each week you will be responsible for formulating an answer to a question based on that week’s readings. Your answer should be one to two double spaced pages and are due at the end of class every Thursday. I will grade your answers on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being excellent work and 0 being unacceptable. These are designed as engaging and thought provoking questions to help you navigate the course and the exams. Please note: We do not accept late work.

III. Quizzes: (10% each for 20% total) 

There will be two quizzes given during the semester. These will cover some of the basic background and key foundational concepts that will be needed in order to proceed in the course. The format will be a combination of fill in the blank and multiple choice.

IV. Exams (20% each for 40% total): 

There will be two exams given during the semester. These will cover the larger conceptual and topical aspects of the course. They will incorporate the ideas we have learned through the lectures and readings and ask you to comment on the contemporary debates and issues in the study of suicide terrorism. The format will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.

 

Texts

No textbook. Readings will be posted on Blackboard.

GOV 390L • Research Seminar On Terrorism

39000 • Spring 2012
Meets W 930am-1230pm BAT 1.104
show description

For Syllabus: Contact professor - he posted it online elsewhere.

 

In a survey conducted in the mid-1980s among scholars studying terrorism, Schmid et al. found that more than two-thirds of the respondents were of the view that theoretical progress in the field was very slow, and that existing theories suffered from a lack of applicability and a dearth of empirical support. These findings were an indication of the impression among scholars at that time, that after more than thirty years of research, the academic community was able to produce very few insights regarding terrorism and its features, causes and implications. During the 1990s and especially since the beginning of the new millennium, a significant number of researchers from different disciplines have become more interested in terrorism. This increasing trend has been prompted by two main factors. First, in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack in New York, a dramatic increase in the amount of resources was set aside by governmental and other bodies in various countries for unraveling the phenomenon of terrorism. Second, the last decade has been witness to a notable increase in the amount of accessible databases and empirical findings on terrorist attacks worldwide, which has made it feasible to undertake solid, empirical-based research relying on innovative methods.

EVALUATION

The final grade will be based on:

1)Attendance and active participations in class discussions (10%) Receiving full grade for active participation requires work. I exercise discretion when assigning grades for active participation. I usually consider the following elements: class attendance, active participation in class discussions and the display of extra interest in the class and the materials.

2)Leading a full session in class (40%)

3)Take home final exam (50%).

 

TEXTS

Abrahms, M. (2008). "What terrorists really want." International Security 32(4): 78-+.

Argo, N. (2009). "Why Fight?: Examining Self-Interested Versus Communally-Oriented Motivations in Palestinian Resistance and Rebellion." Security Studies 18(4): 651 - 680.

Ashworth, S., J. D. Clinton, et al. (2008). "Design, inference, and the strategic logic of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 102(2): 269-273.

Berrebi, C. and E. F. Klor (2008). "Are voters sensitive to terrorism? Direct evidence from the Israeli electorate." American Political Science Review 102(3): 279-301.

Bloom, M., B. A. Thayer, et al. (2010). "Life Sciences and Islamic Suicide Terrorism." International Security 35(3): 185-192.

Bloom, M. M. (2004). "Palestinian suicide bombing: public support, market share, and outbidding." Political Science Quarterly 119(1): 61-88.

Brym, R. J. and B. Araj (2008). "Palestinian suicide bombing revisited: A critique of the outbidding thesis." Political Science Quarterly 123(3): 485-500.

Chenoweth, E., N. Miller, et al. (2009). "What Makes Terrorists Tick." International Security 33(4): 180-186.

Goodwin, J. (2006). "A theory of categorical terrorism." Social Forces 84(4): 2027-2046.

Horowitz, M. C. (2010). "Nonstate Actors and the Diffusion of Innovations: The Case of Suicide Terrorism."International Organization 64(1): 33-64.

Jordan, J. (2009). "When Heads Roll: Assessing the Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation." Security Studies 18(4): 719 - 755.

Krueger, A. B. and J. Maleckova (2003). "Education, poverty and terrorism: Is there a causal connection?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 17(4): 119-144.

O'Rourke, L. A. (2009). "What's Special about Female Suicide Terrorism?" Security Studies 18(4): 681 - 718.

Pape, R. A. (2003). "The strategic logic of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 97(3): 343-361.

Pape, R. A. (2008). "Methods and findings in the study of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review 102(2): 275-277.

Thayer, B. A. and V. M. Hudson (2010). "Sex and the Shaheed Insights from the Life Sciences on Islamic Suicide Terrorism." International Security 34(4): 37-+.

Victoroff, J. (2005). "The mind of the terrorist - A review and critique of psychological approaches." Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(1): 3-42.

GOV 365N • Israel: Society And Politics

38799 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 800am-930am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as J S 365 )
show description

In recent years, the State of Israel has experienced a series of severe political crises which have left their mark on the ability of the Israeli government to continue to function efficiently. There are a number of salient reasons for this. For example, the lack of a constitution, the absence of a democratic tradition among the adult population and the lack of an ethical and normative consensus regarding the state's character. Temporary factors may professionalism of some of the current policy makers. The course will investigate these issues with emphasis on the behavior of principal actors in Israeli society and politics. We will discuss the reciprocal relations between the three main governmental authorities in Israel and their influence on the electoral system as well as the public's involvement in politics. We will then analyze the main political divisions in Israel and inter-party politics, the formation of governmental coalitions and how these are maintained, and implementation of public policy. The way these topics are integrated and formulate modern Israeli politics will be discussed, and the representative character and stability of Israeli democracy will be evaluated.

GOV 390L • Research Seminar On Terrorism

39230 • Spring 2011
Meets W 930am-1230pm BAT 1.104
show description

See syllabus

GOV 365N • Suicide Terrorism

38657 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 224
show description

Course Description:
Suicide terrorism in its modern form appeared in the early 1980s. The first organization to use this strategy was the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. Later, it was adopted by many organizations in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. The fact that the majority of these organizations were either Arab or Muslim led many scholars emphasize the role of Islam in suicide terrorism's emergence and spread. The general purpose of the class is to reassess the root causes of suicide terrorism at elite, community, and rank-and-file levels. It will juxtapose the role of religion, and specifically Islam, in generating suicide terrorism, which is represented by the cultural approach, with coercion theories, power struggle explanations, and social networks approach. It will also address the perplexing question of whether suicide terrorism is an unbeatable weapon that will ultimately threaten the existence of all or most political regimes in the twenty-first century.

Recent Publications


The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right. New York: Oxford University Press (2012).

 Two decades ago, the idea that a "radical right" could capture and drive Israeli politics seemed improbable. While it was a boisterous faction and received heavy media coverage, it constituted a fringe element. Yet by 2009, Israel's radical right had not only entrenched itself in mainstream Israeli politics, it was dictating policy in a wide range of areas.  Quite simply, if we want to understand the seemingly intractable situation in Israel today, we need a comprehensive account of the radical right. In The Triumph of Israel's Radical Right, acclaimed scholar Ami Pedahzur provides an invaluable and authoritative analysis of its ascendance to the heights of Israeli politics. After analyzing what, exactly they believe in, he explains how mainstream Israeli policies like "the law of return" have nurtued their nativism and authoritarian tendencies. He then traces the right's steady expansion and mutation, from the early days of the stateto these days. Throughout, he focuses on the radical right's institutional networks and how the movement has been able to expand its influence over policy making process. His closing chapter is grim yet realistic: he contends that a two state solution is no longer viable and that the vision of the radical rabbi Meir Kahane, who was a fringe figure while alive, has triumphed.
 

The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right is a bold and personable book that establishes Ami Pedahzur as the late Ehud Sprinzak’s successor as the premier scholar of political extremism in Israel.” —Cas Mudde, University of Georgia, author of Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe

“Settlers, yes, but Ami Pedahzur brilliantly portrays the increasingly powerful radical right in Israel as much more than the settlers in the occupied territories.  The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right portrays the evolution of the right from a group preoccupied with preventing the creation of a Palestinian state to an anti-democratic, nativist force that has made deep inroads into defining the character of the Israeli state.” —Joel Migdal, University of Washington, co-author of The Palestinian People: A History 

“If Israel’s purposes are to serve as a ‘light unto the nations’ and to share with others the task of healing and repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), this book does a compelling job of explaining why these purposes are not being met. Ami Pedahzur does an estimable job of tracing the Israeli radical right from a marginal force to the dominant one in Israeli political life.” —Leonard Weinberg, University of Nevada, Reno, author of Global Terrorism


 Jewish Terrorism in Israel. New York: Columbia University Press. (Paperback, 2011).

 

Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, world experts on the study of terror and security, propose a theory of violence that contextualizes not only recent acts of terror but also instances of terrorism that stretch back centuries. Beginning with ancient Palestine and its encounters with Jewish terrorism, the authors analyze the social, political, and cultural factors that sponsor extreme violence, proving religious terrorism is not the fault of one faith, but flourishes within any counterculture that adheres to a totalistic ideology.

When a totalistic community perceives an external threat, the connectivity of the group and the rhetoric of its leaders bolster the collective mindset of members, who respond with violence. In ancient times, the Jewish sicarii of Judea carried out stealth assassinations against their Roman occupiers. In the mid-twentieth century, to facilitate their independence, Jewish groups committed acts of terror against British soldiers and the Arab population in Palestine. More recently, Yigal Amir, a member of a Jewish terrorist cell, assassinated Yitzhak Rabin to express his opposition to the Oslo Peace Accords. 

Conducting interviews with former Jewish terrorists, political and spiritual leaders, and law-enforcement officials, and culling information from rare documents and surveys of terrorist networks, Pedahzur and Perliger construct an extensive portrait of terrorist aggression, while also describing the conditions behind the modern rise of zealotry.

"Jewish Terrorism in Israel addresses a huge lacuna in the field by providing the first systematic, in-depth treatment of Jewish terrorism from ancient times to today. It concludes with vitally important developments in Jewish extremism over the past nine years, making a signal contribution at a moment when interest in terrorism and counterterrorism is high, when more attention than ever is being focused on terrorism motivated by religion, and when we most need insight into the nature of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process." — Bruce Hoffman, author ofInside Terrorism

"Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger provide us with an intelligent, sensible, and compelling story of terrorism among a people more famously known as historical victims rather than perpetrators. Their use of multiple research methods—including first-hand observations and interviews—is admirable; their insight into the interaction among religious, political, social, and psychological forces is convincing; and their accounts of informal networks and ideological socialization are especially revealing. This book is a model of scholarship on a topic most resistant to dispassionate analysis." — Neil J. Smelser, University of California, Berkeley

"This engaging book documents the dark side of Jewish political activism in Israel from ancient times to the present. These gripping accounts, which describe the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the anti-Arab vitriol of Meir Kahane, and the strident opposition of the settler movement, show that terrorism has been in the shadows of Jewish politics in Israel, just as it has been in every other religious tradition around the world. Jewish Terrorism in Israel should be required reading for anyone concerned about the moral dilemmas of Jewish activism, peace in the Middle East, and the rise of religious violence everywhere." — Mark Juergensmeyer, author ofTerror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence

"[Pedahzur and Perliger] provide excellent insight into a little reported and even lesser understood reality." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This work is timely, objective, and bold. . . highly recommended. " — Choice

"Sets a high bar for subsequent works." — L. Carl Brown, Foreign Affairs

"[Jewish Terrorism in Israel] provides rich, detailed exploration of a form of terrorism often little noted within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." — Rebecca L. Torstrick, H-Levant

"Most, perhaps all, religious traditions have produced their own long intermittent and unique histories of terrorism. Yet this remarkable, engrossing study is the first to put the story of one religion together. It will surely stimulate studies of other religious traditions, a subject everyone needs to know more about." — David Rapoport, author of Inside Terrorist Organizations


The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press. (Paperback, 2010).

While Mossad is known as one of the world's most successful terrorist-fighting organizations, the state of Israel has, more than once and on many levels, risked the lives of its agents and soldiers through unwise intelligence-based intervention. The elimination of Palestinian leaders and militants has not decreased the incidence of Palestinian terrorism, for example. In fact, these incidents have become more lethal than ever, and ample evidence suggests that the actions of Israeli intelligence have fueled terrorist activities across the globe.

An expert on terror and political extremism, Ami Pedahzur argues that Israel's strict reliance on the elite units of the intelligence community is fundamentally flawed. A unique synthesis of memoir, academic research, and information gathered from print and online sources, Pedahzur's complex study explores this issue through Israel's past encounters with terrorists, specifically hostage rescue missions, the first and second wars in Lebanon, the challenges of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups, and Hezbollah. He brings a rare transparency to Israel's counterterrorist activities, highlighting their successes and failures and the factors that have contributed to these results. From the foundations of this analysis, Pedahzur ultimately builds a strategy for future confrontation that will be relevant not only to Israel but also to other countries that have adopted Israel's intelligence-based model.

"A succinct but thoroughly researched account of how Israel's security agencies have sought to defeat terrorist organizations from the pre-state Yishuv to events following the 2006 war with Hezbollah. After examining the historical record, Ami Pedahzur concludes that the application of defensive measures has proved more successful in deterring terrorist attacks than 'targeted killings' and other forms of warlike measures." — Leonard Weinberg, University of Nevada, Reno 

"Ami Pedahzur has written an astute, well-documented, and compelling analysis of Israel's reliance on the 'war model' to combat terrorism. Israel's political and military leaders were consistently unable to resist the temptation of dramatic and costly uses of force when modest defensive or conciliatory measures were preferable. This lesson should not be lost on any national policymaker confronted by terrorism." — Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University

"[Pedahzur's] insights are so well reasoned and relevant that the pages almost turn themselves." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[A] superb examination of Israel's secret services." — Daniel Byman, New York Post

"More than entertaining spy stories . . . this book will be a great aid to other Western countries around the world struggling to confront terror." — Jewish Book World

"[Pedahzur] offers a brilliant description of Israel’s fight against terrorism from 1948 to the present." — Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

"A fascinating history of counterterrorism by Israeli security agencies . . . Highly recommended." — Choice

"“The Israeli Secret Services & the Struggles Against Terrorism” is a fine read and solidly recommended. " — James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"Replete with detail, vignettes, and insights, this book provides a unique inside account of the Israeli intelligence and security services' sixty-year-long struggle against terrorism. It is the most comprehensive and authoritative depiction and analysis of this struggle currently available in the English language." — Bruce Hoffman, author of Inside Terrorism

"A most valuable addition to the growing literature on the quest for a proper response to contemporary terrorism. Ami Pedahzur's analysis is responsible, balanced, and sober. It assesses the successes and failures of Israel against the background of manifold practical constraints and limitations, while anchoring the assessment in the most up-to-date contemporary social science theories. The result is a very fine book, which in fact goes beyond the existing parameters of antiterrorism as understood in Israel and also many other democracies." — Gabriel Ben-Dor, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa.

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