Sidechannel Interview with Ronen Bergman - Live Oct. 13, 1pm PT/4pm ET

Bergman is author of the book Rise and Kill First, about Israel's program of targeted killings, and a New York Times journalist.

Next Wednesday, October 13, I’ll be conducting a live interview with Ronen Bergman on our Sidechannel stage, for paid subscribers of Zero Day.

Bergman is a New York Times journalist and the author of the highly acclaimed book Rise and Kill First, which tells, in great detail, the story of Israel’s history of targeted assassinations. Bergman, who is Israeli, spent nearly a decade researching and writing the book and gained incredible access to people directly involved in the Mossad’s targeted killing division, known as Kidon (bayonet in Hebrew).

During our interview, we’ll be talking about the story Bergman recounted in his book for the first time about a proposal within Kidon to assassinate Yasser Arafat, former chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, by shooting down a commercial airplane (the operation was ultimately nixed). We’ll also talk about the targeted killings in recent years of nuclear scientists in Iran, and the botched murder of a Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai — the Mossad didn’t count on Dubai’s extensive network of surveillance cameras capturing all of the assassin team’s movements and activity before and after the killing. We’ll be talking about the challenges assassination teams face in the era of always-on surveillance.

We’ll also be addressing the legal and moral issues around extrajudicial killings, how the Israeli public views these killings (especially when the operations target the wrong person or kill innocent bystanders), and how the U.S. itself has become a leader in targeted killings in recent years, with little oversight or public debate around the issue. The recent missile attack in Kabul — that killed three adults and seven children and was the result of mistaken intelligence — is a good example of the lack of checks-and-balances around these deadly operations.

How can you join Sidechannel for the discussion? Anyone who is a paid subscriber to Zero Day can join us on the Sidechannel discord server to listen to the live interview. Toward the end of the interview, I’ll be opening up the stage to any attendees who have their own questions for Bergman. A recording of the interview will also be made available to paid subscribers who aren’t able to join us live.

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