There are many in the defense and intelligence communities in Israel, a country abundant with covert operations, who are exposed to top secrets, but only one who is privy to all secrets – the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary. He is the one who receives reports from all intelligence, military and operational branches and decides what information to report to the prime minister and how.
Out of all of the officers who served in this role there is one who served for over 11 years and under no less than four prime ministers – Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.
Brig.-Gen. Azriel Nevo witnessed, and participated, in the most tumultuous of discussions in a series of affairs and dramatic events that shaped the history of the Middle East: The decision to attack the nuclear reactor in Baghdad, the Pollard affair, Defense Minister Sharon’s deception of the government so he could lead the invasion to Lebanon as he saw fit, Begin’s descent into depression following the war, the Iran-Contra affair, the killing of the captured terrorists on Bus 300 and the Shin Bet’s efforts to hide it, the decision to assassinate Arafat’s deputy Abu Jihad, and many more.
He has never spoken about any of this. Until now.
Nevo, to the left in uniform, looks on as Rabin enters office as Shamir leave; Netanyahu smiles behind
In recent months, ahead of the release of Nevo’s book, we had a series of conversations, the summary of which appears in the following story: