Study Guide

Juval Aviv (Vengeance) in Olympics Books

By Various Authors

Juval Aviv (Vengeance)

The Real International Man of Mystery

If there ever were a real-life International Man of Mystery, Yuval Aviv would be that guy. He's like Bond + Bourne + Bauer…and he doesn't even need a name that begins with the somehow-mysterious letter B.

Whether we learn about his life from Vengeance or the magical interwebs, there's almost no way to know—for a fact—what the truth is.

The Man

According to the book, Yuval Aviv was an ordinary sabra Yekke (a native-born Jew living in Israel with Western European roots). He harbored grand dreams of travel and adventure while feeling leashed to his tiny corner of the world.

But then, after four years of service as a captain in the reserves, Yuval was suddenly and unexpectedly recruited to become the leader of an elite task force designed to clandestinely wipe out terror organizations across the world.

Instead of armies, which were largely ineffective combating terrorism, the Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, decided to create a secret task force to nip it in the bud/cut the head off the snake/put the kibosh on the groups like Black September, who existed to put Israeli lives at risk and living in constant fear.

The Mission

Yuval and his team of Mossad agents were given eleven names of guys to kill and two rules: 1) try to kill terrorists when it'll make a point to the other terrorists and 2), never harm anyone other than the target. The worst thing to do would be to become terrorists themselves by harming innocent bystanders.

So Yuval basically turns into the Jewish James Bond—he literally has a license to kill. His mission starts out tentatively; after all, it's not every day that you become an assassin.

Everyone on the team doubts the moral and ethical implications, but proceed as planned. Over time, however, after several successful hits, they start to question not only the motives, but their own roles in "terrorist" acts.

When the groups they're pursuing start to hit back, Yuval becomes paranoid—after realizing the different ways to kill people, he starts to fear things like sleeping in his bed (bomb), or the telephone ringing (bomb), or two men sitting in their car (hit men/bomb).

He relocates his beloved (and incredibly stoic) wife Shoshana and their infant daughter to Brooklyn in the hopes that they escape any retaliation. And then, his relationship with his source of information starts to sour as well…and things start unraveling even more quickly for Yuval.

Being An International Man of Mystery is For Chumps

He decides that he's going to quit. After all, he doesn't exist. He signed a contract saying he doesn't work for Mossad. He's a ghost—what could they do to him?

This turns out to be a bad move, because now he's scared of the bad guys and the guys that used to be on his side. The real cherry on top of this poo-sundae is that when he goes to pull the savings from the account that his boss promised him would continue to grow over the years, it's empty. They were so mad that he quit that they took back all the money he'd earned in the time he'd been killing men for his country.

In the epilogue, George Jonas admits that a lot of this story cannot be verified. After all, any time someone claims to work for a super-secret agency that won't verify that their employment is valid, it's easy to make things up. Jonas did his best to research everything Yuval told him and only write about the stuff he could at least believe were true, but even then people got really angry at this being presented as an accurate history.

Should We Believe Him?

Regardless of whether or not you believe Yuval's claims, he obviously has extensive experience in personal safety and terrorist actions. Today he runs a successful international investigative intelligence company called Interfor, and can occasionally be seen as a correspondent on Fox News (here's a notable post-9/11 appearance).

While people can't verify everything he claims to have done, it's obvious that guy did some serious stuff in his day.

So who knows? Is he a con artist with an elaborate money-making scheme? Or did he really lead a team of secret agents in an international counter-terrorist plot?