Zvi Zamir z"l
Zvi Zamir z"lYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Former Mossad agent Avner Avraham talks to Israel National News – Arutz Sheva about three episodes in the life of former Mossad head Zvi Zamir, who passed away at the age of 98, including the moment that Zamir defined as the most exciting in his life.

Avner Avraham says that the first episode is the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich. "Golda Meir sent him there immediately after the terrorists took the athletes hostage. He was there and personally saw how the terrorists led our people to the helicopters and how the Germans completely failed in their attempt to rescue them. In the end he called Golda Meir and said, 'We lost everyone'."

Following this, "Golda ordered him and he ordered Mike Harari, head of the 'Kidon' unit, to hunt down and eliminate those responsible for the massacre. They travelled through Europe and one by one eliminated those responsible for the Munich massacre," says Avraham, and we point out that he was nearby the Lillehammer site, where they killed the wrong person, instead of Ali Hassan Salama, one of the leaders of 'Black September'.

"Following the Lillehammer blunder, Mike Harari submitted a request to resign. Zvi Zamir rejected the resignation, and after a successful elimination of Hassan Salama in Lebanon, Mike retired in 1979," says Avraham, noting that that great operation, Operation Wrath of God, was the inspiration for establishing the Nili unit by the Shin Bet, whose goal is to eliminate the Nukhba terrorists who carried out the October 7th massacre in southern Israel.

The next significant chapter in Zamir's life was the warnings before the Yom Kippur War, when Zamir met the 'Angel,’ the Egyptian agent Ashraf Marwan, shortly before the war, from whom he received information about the impending war, “but the Israeli intelligence did not know how to decipher this news correctly. There was a misconception here and the rest is history," says Avraham. Here we also mention Dr. Milstein, who claimed that it may not have been necessary to travel all the way to London to meet him, because Zamir had already received this information on Wednesday and it was not passed on to the decision-makers, but only to Ze’ira. Avraham says that we can discuss this ad nauseum, but the bottom line is that the Mossad passed on the “information that was worth gold,” and it was not addressed by the intelligence, who was then solely responsible for assessing the possibility of an outbreak of war."

The third event that Avraham mentions is the many incidents when IDF soldiers knocked on the doors of houses in Be’eri and the kibbutz members were afraid to open the doors. “Zvi spoke about the exciting moment when he was on an IDF warship off the coast of Lebanon when the Mossad was smuggling Jews out of Lebanon and Syria, and the last person was an elderly woman who was afraid to get on the boat. Zvi went down to her, extended his hand, and said “Shema Yisrael.” She heard him, took his hand and he pulled her onto the ship. This is a point that he considered the most exciting in his life.”

"He said that there is nothing more Jewish than saying ‘Shema Yisrael.' Thanks to this, she understood that these are our forces, this is the State of Israel, these are the Israel Defense Forces, and she can trust them and get on the boat," says Avraham and emphasizes that despite all his actions throughout his life, Zamir defined this as one of the most exciting in his life. He mentioned this in a conversation he held when preparing for a large article that was to be published in the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC) journal, where he serves as a sub-editor, and this article mentioned 75 exciting moments of Mossad retirees. Zvi Zamir was one of them and this is the story he chose.