The motto of the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) consists of three short words which translate as "The unseen shield," three words that to a great extent sum up the mission and operations of the organization to which we all owe so much.
Almost every one of us knows someone serving in the Shabak, but it is probably accurate to assume that very few of us know just what it is he is doing. Their names are not public knowledge, their activities known only after the fact, once the results are in, and even then, not all the time.
The headlines make it seem simple, an attack thwarted here, a terrorist arrested there, but every successful mission of the Shabak, every arrest, every foiled attack, saves the lives of so many Jews, so many that it is somewhat frightening to realize just how many.
Allow me to list some recent headlines I have compiled, all dealing with foiled attacks and terrorist arrests that involved the Shabak:
-The newly-exposed terror tunnels endangering Jewish communities near Gaza were revealed by a recently apprehended Gaza terrorist who, during his interrogation, disclosed valuable information concerning the Hamas tunnels
-The terrorists who shot a Jewish couple in 2010 at the Rimonim Junction, moderately wounding one and lightly wounding the other, have been arrested after being freed from prison by the Palestinian police.
-Samaria-based terrorist squad arrested on its way to attack Jews in Jerusalem during the Passover holiday
-Terrorist squad that carried out an attack near Har Bracha and intended to kidnap an Israeli arrested in Samaria
-Terrorist ring preparing to carry out a shooting attack near the Jerusalem Malcha Mall exposed and apprehended
-Terrorist ring from Samaria, all members of the same family, arrested for planning series of shooting attacks on Samaria roads and purchasing weapons and ammunition for that purpose
All these, and many more operations, took place just recently. You probably didn't notice most of them, because they didn't make the top headlines, appeared as one-liners on a news broadcast or a short internet news brief, but every one of them means Jewish lives were saved, plain and simple.
And we also have to thank the Shabak for exposing the Jewish terror ring. These were Jews who did not intend to harm Jews, and may not have intended to murder at all, but whoever arrests and brings to justice someone who burned three members of a family to death while they were asleep deserves our praise.
He who prevents further incidents of this type deserves admiration, not criticism. He who prevents another "Duma incident" by arresting the members of another group who allegedly intended to repeat that activity, should be supported and encouraged by all of us.
For the past five years the Israel Security Agency has been headed by Yoram Cohen. He is the man who led the organization, directed its operations and brought about all the above achievements. His is the only face we are allowed to see, and all of us owe him and each and every one of his good men our heartfelt gratitude.