Uri Lubrani, former Israeli ambassador to Iran, dead at 91

Veteran Israeli diplomat helped coordinate 'Operation Solomon' which brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1990, advised Defense Ministry.

David Rosenberg,

Uri Lubrani
Uri Lubrani
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Veteran Israeli diplomat and security adviser Uriel Lubrani passed away Monday at the age of 91.

The son of Aaron and Rose Lubrani, Uriel Lubrani was born in Haifa in 1926, during the British Mandate for Palestine, more than two decades before the establishment of the State of Israel.

At age 18, Lubrani joined the Haganah pre-state defense group and helped organize foreign volunteers to fight on Israel’s behalf during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.

Lubrani later joined the new Israeli Foreign Ministry, before becoming an aide to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. During the 1960s and 1970s, Lubrani headed several different Israeli missions abroad.

From 1964 to 1967, Lubrani served as Ambassador to Uganda. Lubrani was then transferred to Ethiopia, where he served as Ambassador until 1971. From 1973 to 1978, Lubrani served as Israel’s top diplomat to Iran, before being replaced by Yosef Harmelin, just months before the Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah and ended Iranian relations with Israel.

During the Shamir government, Lubrani helped organize a series of airlifts bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The operation, codenamed “Operation Solomon”, rescued nearly 15,000 Jews from an ongoing civil war in Ethiopia.

Below: Lubrani speaks with Arutz Sheva in 2010 about the threat posed by Iran, and the Obama administration's efforts to placate Tehran.