Former Mossad agent turned spy novelist opens up about past

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After 12 years working as a spy for the Israeli Intelligence Agency Mossad, Mishka Ben-David quit his secret job and turned into a bestselling thriller novelist, reported The Guardian.

Having had one of his five spy thrillers translated into English, Ben-David will travel to the UK next week to promote his new book, Duet in Beirut.

Ben-David participated in secret operations across the Middle East and Europe during the time he served as an agent with Mossad, added the The Guardian.

He was involved in a number of highly sensitive operations due to his senior position. These included a high-profile Hamas leader assassination attempt in the 1990s during which Mossad poisoned Hamas’ Khaled Mashaal in the Jordanian capital, Amman. The two Mossad agents who performed the operation were arrested and Jordan’s King Hussein demanded that Israel save Mashaal’s life to avoid serious consequences, Ben-David recalled the story during an interview with The Guardian.

At the time, Ben-David was in an Amman hotel and proceeded to hand over an antidote to a representative of the Jordanian security services, he added.

“Assassinations did not and cannot solve the conflict; that can only be done by negotiations and concessions on both sides,” Ben-David explained to the newspaper, after defending the act of assassination as “a way of reducing the number or scale of attacks.”

Due to the nature of the job, Ben-David was required to manipulate and deceive those around him to a point where he was the only person who knew his true identity, reported the news website.

Ben-David joined Mossad after seeing an advertisement in an Israeli newspaper. The interviewers did not reveal their real identity as Mossad agents. At the time, Ben-David was doing his PhD in Hebrew literature, “but I was looking for something more intriguing and meaningful,” he told The Guardian.

“All the time you are being challenged, stretched to the very end of your capacity,” he added describing the interviews and tests he was undergoing.

After spending 12 years as an agent, Ben-David decided to return to normal life. He went back to writing and started spending time with his family. “Ninety-nine per cent of what I did were things that would not raise any moral dilemmas. The few times that I raised issues, we found solutions. Nothing troubles my conscience,” he told The Guardian.

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