“Citizen C” is a fascinating, pragmatic and thoughtful autobiographical
document, penned by the man who was revealed to be “C’, Head of the
Shabak” (the Israeli Security Agency) nearly twenty years ago, who presently
observes events unfolding in the country he never stopped serving with the
concerned gaze of an involved citizen.
Carmi Gilon, who exposed the Jewish Underground movement as a senior Shabak official,
draws a straight line in his book between it and the greatest of all dangers - the threat
of the bombing of the mosques on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. He critically analyzes
the Israeli reality, and he intertwines in his piercing analyses both a thread of irony and
entertaining stories based on the professional and personal stations throughout his life.
His courageous voice, direct and attentive to his surroundings, is the voice of a public
servant, one who was raised in a long-standing Jerusalem family of honest and humble
public servants. He served in numerous senior roles in the Shabak over the course of 25
years, culminating in his final role as the head of the agency; he spent countless hours
alongside Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin and President Shimon Peres as an active partner
in prominent policy decisions; he took overall responsibility for the agency’s failure to
protect the life of Prime Minister Rabin; and following his resignation from the position of
head of the agency, he went on to serve the public in the civilian sector. He studied the
business field as CEO and Director of the Peres Center for Peace; became acquainted
with Israeli foreign relations as Israel’s ambassador to Denmark; studied educational,
welfare and political issues as head of the Mevasseret Zion Council; and plunged into the
realm of Israeli innovation as Vice President of the Hebrew University and as the head of
a start-up company focused on cyber defense.
While his first book, Shabak Between the Schisms (Yediot Aharonot, 2000) was written in
the shadow of Rabin’s assassination, this book examines Israel in its current state from
a mature and sober perspective, and in reference to current events, which have been
updated within it up to its printing in March 2018.
Here the readers are exposed to details from the Shabak’s investigations; are acquainted
with the complexities of the relationships with Antoine Lahad and Marwan Barghouti;
are informed about the founding of the Yesh Atid political movement on the balcony of a
house in Mevasseret Zion as an initiative for political change in Israel; are surprised by
the ties developed between the star of the movie “The Gatekeepers” and the Hollywood
star Ben Affleck on the red carpet; and are warned of the violence that continues to serve
as a means of settling political disputes and the dangers of Netanyahu’s proclamation
that “We shall forever live by our sword.”
Carmi Gilon, married, father of three and grandfather to seven, is dedicating all revenues
from his book to the establishment of a public foundation to counter corruption. The
foundation will grant an award to an investigative journalist who exposes proven corruption
of public servants in Israel.