Abu-Sharif and Mahnaimi: Giving Up on Guns

A Palestinian terrorist and an Israeli intelligence officer– good people, doing good things? Yes, when the two renounced violence and wrote a vivid book about their experiences working against each other.  Today both continue to advocate for peace in Palestine.

Mahnaimi was an Israeli intelligence officer who recruited Arab agents; after his resignation from the Israeli Army in 1984, he became a left-wing journalist. Abu-Sharif helped mastermind terrorist spectaculars during the 1970s and 80s. Later, as Yasir Arafat’s closest adviser (he has been mentioned as the PLO leader’s possible successor), he supplied Mahnaimi with inside information about Arafat’s growing willingness to renounce violence and recognize the state of Israel. This daring arrangement grew out of their mutual conviction that an historic compromise between Israelis and Palestinians was imperative. These exceptional men movingly reveal in these pages how they shed ingrained patterns of thought and came to appreciate the viewpoint of the “other side.”

• Read excerpts from their book, Best of Enemies.

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