Nadia Cohen
Nadia CohenFlash 90

Nadia Cohen, widow of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, launched a fierce attack on senior Mossad officials whom she says continue to bear responsibility for her husband's death 54 years ago in Syria.

In an interview with Chanan Greenwood in the Shishabbat supplement of Israel Hayom that will be published this Friday, Cohen claims they gave inaccurate information to the creators of The Spy series that this month went streaming on Netflix.

"A very senior man in the Mossad admitted that Eli was used like they squeeze a lemon. He told me there was no intelligence body in the country - military, civilian, Mossad, GSS, Air Force, Navy - who didn't want information from him. They exposed him too much."

She says the head of the Mossad at the time, Meir Amit, sent him back to Syria one last time, even though it was real life-threatening danger, and contrary to Cohen's own judgement.

"They told him he was in no danger, that they were behind him, and Eli went back to Syria certain that they had betrayed him. The Syrians did the work, but Eli was murdered here in Israel; here they sentenced him to death."

In 2015, then-head of the Mossad Tamir Pardo admitted that it was a mistake to send Cohen to his last assignment, saying: "To this day, officials at the Mossad continue to lead the line that Eli himself was to blame for being caught, not the fact that serious mistakes were made in the organization's understanding of the realities on the ground. They've betrayed us and lied to us."

Since Cohen's public hanging, she has been fighting for the return of his body to Israel, when, among other things, last year she addressed Syrian President Assad with a public request for mercy. Asked if she believes they will return him, she says: "I want to believe. I think the State isn't doing enough to bring him back."

Asked if they had forgotten the bereaved family, she replied: "We haven't got blue eyes. We've got no elites behind us. We asked dozens of times the defense ministers, prime ministers and presidents to mention Eli when talking about the prisoners and the missing. But we never heard it."

Cohen is working to perpetuate his legacy, but says the education system could be doing more: "We try to pass on his legacy. Religious Zionists learn about him, but in the general education system it isn't enough. There are so many figures in the country that you can admire and grow up on, and Eli is among them."

Cohen also fiercely attacks the new series created by Gidi Raf ("Abducted" and "Homeland") for Netflix, in which Sasha Baron Cohen plays the character of Eli Cohen. She says they should have acted in a more educational way.

About the "twisted" way in which the character was portrayed in the series, she said "The last two weeks have brought me back decades, to Eli's capture, to his hanging. It brings me back to the darkness."

The full interview with Chanan Greenwood will be published in Hebrew tomorrow in the Shishabat supplement of Israel Hayom.