Warriors

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“Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World’s Most Elite Counterterrorism Units”  by Aaron Cohen (Kindle Edition)

One of Israel’s most highly respected Special Forces Unit is called “Sayeret Duvdevan“. The name “Duvdevan” is something of an inside joke to Israelis; it literally means “cherry”. As most native-born Israelis know, “there is a species of cherry in the Holy Land that looks no different from the edible variety, but which packs a strong and often lethal poison.

As a Special Forces unit operating undercover disguised as Palestinian men and women, “Duvdevan” is the “cherry” that may look harmless but often proves deadly.”

Aaron Cohen was born in Canada and when his parents divorced moved with his Mother and sister to southern Florida. When Aaron was eight-years-old, as his mother was dropping him off at elementary school, she casually told him she was moving to Beverly Hills with his sister, but he couldn’t come with them. He would have to stay in south Florida with his Aunt. Aaron felt abandoned, as of course any young child would in the same situation. His mother was pursuing a career in writing in the entertainment industry. She wound up meeting an older writer and producer Abby Mann, who had won the 1961 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie “JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG”. A year or so later Aaron wound up moving to Beverly Hills where a normal week might include visits to the house by Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. His Little League team was coached by “Sonny Corleone” himself, James Caan. “Caan would show up on his Harley with some gorgeous young woman on the back, and there was always a different girl for every game. He obviously hadn’t slept and was still bombed from the night before. Caan would show up at the ballpark blasted out of his mind, and start yelling and flipping out at the umpires for making a bad call. I was still pretty new to L.A. and seeing such over-the-top movie star antics was a little scary.”

The author’s Mother and Step-Father were so caught up in their Hollywood lifestyle that he felt like a piece of furniture. When he was twelve-years-old he wanted to be Bar Mitzvah but his mother was tied up in one of her screen projects, so he asked if he could go back to Montreal to live with his Father, so his Father could fulfill his paternal obligation to help Aaron get Bar Mitzvah. During the year in Canada Aaron got into some trouble and was sent back to Beverly Hills where he got in more trouble and his Mother said: “Pack your bags, you’re going to Canada to Military School!” Aaron kept a poker face, “but for me it was actually a relief. Deep down I knew I needed some structure, some priorities, and most important, some discipline in my life.” It turned out to be “THE” positive turning point of his life.

The Robert Land Academy is located in the Niagara Peninsula south of Toronto. The headmaster of the school was an officer in the Royal Canadian Army, Colonel Scott Bowman. “He was a Canadian intelligence officer who had done a yearlong stint in Israel, working with an international peacekeeping delegation around the time of the Yom Kippur War in the 1970’s. During classes Colonel Bowman would talk about the Israeli Military. He told us that the Israelis were-bar-none-the most elite, cutting-edge military in the world.” Aaron became mesmerized by Colonel Bowman espousing over and over that the Israelis were the toughest, smartest, soldiers, and it was the greatest privilege of his military life to work with them. He admired their capabilities as soldiers, their values, and the totality of the commitment to self-defense that the State Of Israel represented.

Every waking hour Aaron spent in the library reading and studying everything available on the Israeli Military. When he was eighteen-years-old he decided to enlist in the Israeli Army, and when he went to Israel he set even higher goals. He wanted to be in the Israeli Special Forces, and he proceeds to lead the reader through the grueling, mind and body numbing training, that he had to “survive” in order to fulfill his dream.

The unit he is selected for is the one that sends operatives disguised as Arabs into the Palestinian-controlled West Bank. The reader is “the-fly-on-the-wall” (up to the point of being limited by classified information) as Aaron and his team take down the number three guy in Hamas, a money guy, a fund raiser, with Aaron undercover as a reporter interviewing the target. On another occasion the reader is taken along as they go after “the father of the Holy War”, the Hamas mastermind behind the Dizengoff Mall bombing that killed innocent Israeli civilians. Aaron was undercover as a Palestinian selling sweet-corn from a push cart, as the Israeli’s infiltrated a wedding, and nabbed their man in sixty seconds. Throughout this fast-paced story Aaron points out the differences between Israel’s counter-terrorism strategies as compared to the United States. One of the great quotes referred to throughout the book is from a defining speech by one of the greatest military hero’s in Israel’s history Moshe Dayan who said back in 1955:

“WE CANNOT PROTECT EVERY WATER PIPE FROM BEING BLOWN UP, NOR EVERY TREE FROM BEING UPROOTED. NOR CAN WE PREVENT THE MURDER OF THE WORKERS IN THE ORCHARDS, NOR OF FAMILIES IN THEIR BEDS, BUT WE CAN EXACT A HIGH PRICE FOR OUR BLOOD, A PRICE TOO HIGH FOR THE ARAB COMMUNITY, THE ARAB ARMY, THE ARAB GOVERNMENTS TO PAY.”

When Aaron comes back to the United States after serving in Israel 1996-1998 he has a rough time gearing down from what he was trained to be for the last three years of his life. As a Viet Nam era Veteran, I can vouch for the absolute validity, of even the most minute detail of his descriptions of his personal battle to return to the everyday role of an American civilian. Aaron now owns his own security business and since 9/11 his company has been besieged by American law enforcement to teach them the Israeli way of security. I wholeheartedly agree with the author’s warnings and suggestions for America in their fight against terrorism. This book may not describe the world the way you want it to be… but it describes it the way IT ACTUALLY IS!  (review by Rick Shaq Goldstein)

“Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World’s Most Elite Counterterrorism Units”  by Aaron Cohen is available for iPhone,  iPod Touch,  iPad with free Amazon app (download app – here), get Amazon app for BlackBerry – here,  for Android – here and for PC– here

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 900 KB
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
Price: $10.56 (Buy now)

Hardcover: $10.38 (Order now)

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