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JIHAD IN TEL AVIV
a novel by Ariel Lilli Cohen
Copyright © 2017 by Ariel Lilli Cohen
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be re-produced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior written permission.
Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
Printed in Israel –Tel Aviv 330033 - December 2017
Israel Jihad in Tel Aviv
Israel Jihad in Tel Aviv based on the Israeli series
a novel by Ariel Lilli Cohen
Prologue – Noora
Chapter 1 – Yael
Chapter 2 – Muhammad
Chapter 3 – Yossi Kadosh
Chapter 4 – Yael – Avner
Chapter 5 – Taqwa
Chapter 6 – Avner
Chapter 7 – Happy birthday
Chapter 8 – Resilience
Chapter 9 – Sweet like salt
Chapter 10 – My love
Chapter 11 – Peace breaks out
Chapter 12 – A rare pearl
Chapter 13 – Mainstream
Chapter 14 – We are all americans
Chapter 15 – The setting sun
Chapter 16 – My first day
Chapter 17 – Hadas – Aisha
Chapter 18 – Let’s play
Chapter 19 – He who is without sin
Chapter 20 – Like a sheep amongst wolves
Chapter 21 – Smell of freshness
Chapter 22 – The end of the beginning
Chapter 23 – Generation of phenomenon
Chapter 24 – The dawn of a new day
Chapter 25 – We are all european
Chapter 26 – The good muslim
Chapter 27 – Nice to meet you, I am Monique
Chapter 28 – I love you
Chapter 29 – The judas kiss
Chapter 30 – The favourite son
Chapter 31 – The invisibles
Chapter 32 – The smell of sex
Chapter 33 – Yael-Youssef
Chapter 34 – Black gold
Chapter 35 – Until There’s War There’s Hope
Chapter 36 – My friend is pakistani
Chapter 37 – Two good girls
Chapter 38 – American embassy
Chapter 39 – Yamas
Chapter 40 – Immunodeficiency
Chapter 41 – Tel Aviv
Chapter 42 – Old friends
Chapter 43 – Epilogue
In Israel, no one really dies.
In Israel no one really lives in.
Ariel Lilli Cohen
This novel is dedicated to…
(Or Yehuda 1997 – Jerusalem 2016)
(Ashdod 1994 – Jerusalem 2017)
(Be’er Yaakov 1997 – Har Adar 2017)
May our deceased and wounded heroes who sacrificed themselves to defend our freedom and security know the deepness of our gratitude.
Your sacrifice is to be remembered.
“Jewish people have outlived through the centuries, Jewish people have suffered for all these centuries, but that made them stronger.” Anne Frank
How I miss the bitter cold wind of Haifa in the first morning hours, how I miss Haifa! To own a 164 IQ was a curse. My intelligence stole my youth. I could have done so many things: playing volleyball, the piano, or being a model… Instead, here I am, in one of the most prestigious operational teams of the National Security Service.
Writing in black and white and expressing all my feelings wasn’t easy. I have lived many lives in one. To avoid going mad and find myself again, to tell all my experiences, fears, hopes, loves, and untold truths, I decided to write this book. To live undercover for months, sometimes years, without a break, cutting off relationships with my real life, lying to my friends, family and sometimes to myself, created a conflicting relationship with the identities I have in turn covered. This lifestyle changes the way you perceive real life.
One day, while I was playing pool in a club here in Montreal, a gentleman remarked how well I was playing for one so young. But age is not to be measured in years, but in mileage. I have travelled many miles and am tired now. Tired to have always to play hard. Tired to lie. Tired to feel frightened. In a mission you never know what may happen. Two months ago Shani and I risked to be killed. We were violently beaten up. With the taste of sweat and blood in my throat I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and, in my mind, I went through the reasons for joining the Israeli Secret Services. The terror I felt is still with me every time I note a stranger’s look resting on me. Why am I sacrificing my life? I recalled an episode of a few years ago when we were told that a Hamas terrorist cell had entered Israel and was about to target the Dizingoff Center with a bacteriologic attack. That time we managed to neutralise them just on time. A few hours later I went back to the shopping mall to get an ice cream with my friends, Shani, Shlomit, Zoe and Aviv. All those families and children would have died without our intervention. This is why I do this job, to defend my people and, ambitious as that may sound, to defend the world democracy. Right now, as I allow my pen to put in writing my thoughts, I am sitting in a café in Richardson Street in Montreal, where I am due to meet a source. I hope everything will be fine also this time. When will all this come to an end? So much work has been done and so much still to do! I remember Milan six months ago, San Diego and Buffalo, Tel Aviv and Madrid three months ago and last month in the record shop between Pitt Street and Circular Quay in Sydney.
I remember all the attacks I contributed to neutralise with my team. I think of all those nameless and faceless stars, who only live in the indelible memory of those who met them, at the entrance of the agency headquarters in Tel Aviv. I think of all those agents who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to also save your life.
Please make sure their deaths weren’t in vain. I wish for a world where my job would be unnecessary, a world without conflicts due to religious extremisms.
As I write, my thought goes to my colleagues in Jerusalem who are the last bastion of democracy, to the lions and lionesses of Magav, to Shira fighting every day, to Heli who left her operative service at the Damascus Gate after three long years. Thanks for the great privilege of protecting the people of Israel in the most sacred place of the world.
I think of Hadar and Hadas who sacrificed their lives for Jerusalem and to Solomon who died in Har Adar. I think of his girlfriend, Betty, and relatives. How many more people, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, boyfriends and girlfriends will have to be deprived of their dearest and left alone due to terrorist actions? I don’t feel like condemning just the perpetrator’s hands for these crimes.
My wrath, rage and contempt are turned to those who arm those hands with their ideologies. Their speeches, bursting of hatred and resentment, fill like water in the desert the empty life of people brainwashed by an absurd extremist ideology. Now, those have blood on their hands. While they stay safe and warm in their houses, they send young men to die after having raised them to bread and blind hatred.
I feel I will end up, sooner or later, on that wall, a little star amongst many others. I will finally join my comrades, young guys in love with a life they could not live. At times,
I really wish to be amongst them.
This job consumes your consciousness – you have to see and do things nobody would even dream of doing. Sooner or later I will also commit some imprudence, an error of judgment, a mistake that will costs me life – a life I feel empty.
I hope this book will be enjoyable and good food for thought. I had to change a few names and camouflage some situations, which would otherwise threaten the State of Israel’s safety. My experiences have been translated in the form of a novel. I hope you’ll be able to read my message of hope and love between the lines.
This is a journey to the outer fringes of the law, which started in 2014, before the war in Gaza. It’s the work of a group of friends, who became, in the space of a few months, one of Mossad’s best operative teams.
Prologue – Noora
January 2014 - Hotel Kempinski, Geneva
Noora is sitting in the hotel bar. It may be due to the purple colour that seems to envelop everything around her, from the bar to the ceiling and chairs, or the light at dusk that gives the large lake in front of her an even more melancholy air, but Noora's mind is lost in memories of what once was.
She feels something stirring in her stomach as she thinks of the wonderful years spent at Eton with people from all over the world and kids from the richest families, who were no better than she was, as she soon realised... Still they were beautiful years. She even feels nostalgic about her teachers, most of whom she thought she hated at the time. And then her Master in Social Sciences at NYU... how she misses New York City... especially the windy days when the air used to swirl in the avenues making it hard just to keep clothes on. She reminisces about the cold weather, that same cold making the air in Geneva so clear and the lake reflecting Quai de Mont Blanc’s thousands of lights. Almost everyone who was born in the Middle East hates that cold; they see it as wrong, unnatural. But Noora liked it: it made her want to be cuddled by someone who could warm her up.
How long has it been? Fifteen? Yes, it has been almost fifteen months since she left Qatar. This trip to Geneva is her first escape after staying for so long in a place that she doesn’t feel is home anymore. After all, that's what she should have expected when she agreed to become the third wife of the Emir of Qatar. Initially, she was flattered and figured out how many good things she could do with organisations such as UNICEF to put what she studied into practice and help all those orphaned and disadvantaged children, but the day-to-day reality turned out to be much different – lots of worldly events, parties, dinners, but very little of a concrete nature. She became a UNICEF ambassador, but she knew quite well that it was the royal family's immense wealth that made it possible and not her skills. The other two wives were much more comfortable in their role, but they were the Emir's cousins and belonged to the same family. She, on the other hand, was not. She was born in the UAE as the daughter of an ambassador and now she was a Sheika, so why did she want to run away so badly?