Rivlin and Cohen light Hanukkah candles
Rivlin and Cohen light Hanukkah candles Haim Zach/GPO

As he does every year at Hanukkah, and for the last time in his term of office, President Reuven Rivlin together with the Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen awarded certificates of outstanding achievement to 12 men and women of the Mossad. The traditional ceremony was held on Wednesday evening and included lighting the candles for the seventh night of Hanukkah.

One of the certificates was awarded to an officer in the foreign relations division, a key member of the relationship between the Mossad and the Gulf states. The citation notes her ability to lead strategic processes and manage complex and sensitive relations that helped bring about significant projects, with determination and sensitivity.

A certificate was also awarded to a collections officer, who has contributed to Israel’s national security for nearly 30 years. The outstanding officer completed a series of groundbreaking and significant operations this year that led to Israel gaining a comparative advantage.

Another outstanding officer is a combatant who learned the technological-operational sphere and quickly became a significant professional figure and source of knowledge. Through commendably patient and methodical work, she led the technological-operation sphere and read significant technological achievements. Over the last year, she has been a key partner in building a unique team and is a role model for young combatants.

At the beginning of his remarks, the President said, “The Mossad has become a byword for one of the best intelligence organizations in the world. Sophisticated, creative, high-quality, daring, beyond imagination. Both our friends and our enemies know the phrase ‘Israel’s long arm’ is no cliché. The Mossad is a smart organization today. It uses ground-breaking technological means, the most advanced in the world. You also have the best arms and intelligence. And yet, even in today’s world, the Mossad was and remains a unique covert organization, not thanks to the innovations and technology, but because of you. Because of your endless commitment to protect ourselves by ourselves. Because of the special covenant you sign with the State of Israel and the people of Israel. Your contribution to the Jewish people, to the national security of the State of Israel and its existence is priceless. Because of your ground-breaking thinking and your extraordinary performance. But, mostly, because of your values, the sense of mission, commitment and dedication to Israel’s national security.”

“As we do every year, we are presenting certificates of outstanding service to the men and women of the Mossad – the best of the best. The outstanding men and women of an outstanding intelligence organization. Selecting you is a mark of honor for us, selecting you is a mark of honor for the State of Israel. An entire people owes you its security, its peace of mind, its liberty and its might. Personally, and on behalf of all Israelis – thank you,” said the president, who has thoroughly reviewed each one of the recipients’ achievements from across the spectrum of the Mossad’s activities.”

The President congratulated the incoming head of the Mossad, saying, “Today is a celebration for the Mossad, particularly for you outstanding officers. But it is also a celebration for you, incoming head of the Mossad, whose full name I cannot yet say. We spoke yesterday, and I congratulated you on behalf of all Israelis on your nomination as the next head of the Mossad. I know that we are lucky to have you. You are a leader from within the service, and we all have full faith that you will know how to protect us, as the Head of the Mossad of us all, working for the country and its people. Here today, I would like to thank you and congratulate you and your family, whose support over many years have facilitated your appointment on behalf of us all.”

Addressing the outgoing head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, the President said, “Dear Yossi, I am not ready to take leave of you yet. I will only say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to you, for your capability and confidence to pave a path for new and professional leadership that you have wisely prepared for the people and the country.”

“We live in a complex reality that changes rapidly. The Mossad is always one step, and fortunately for us many times many steps and many kilometers, ahead of our enemies. Your ears and eyes are open to see the dangers and threats in our path now and in the future. And yet, we must never disrespect our enemy. We, like you, must maintain a sense of modesty, quietness and statesmanship. Don’t talk – do!” said the president at the end of his remarks, thanking the families of the Mossad as an inseparable part of the operation, and wishing everyone Chag Hanukkah Sameach.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “You, the men and women of the Mossad, are the new Maccabees. Like the men and women of the IDF and of our other security organizations, you are the Maccabees when, in our times too, there are those who rise up to seek our destruction.”

“You outstanding officers, along with your comrades, deal on a daily, hourly basis with foiling a very wide range of threats. Each one of you makes a contribution in their own way to reinforcing the strength of the Mossad. The Mossad has become a very important body and its importance is constantly rising. By strengthening the Mossad, you are not just strengthening the State of Israel, you are also making a very valuable contribution to widening the circle of peace between us and our neighbors, and those who are not our immediate neighbors. Israel’s growing strength is key to widening the circle of peace, and we have extended that circle by four additional countries in four months and you played a key role in creating the covert and ongoing relations with each one of those countries, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen said, “Facing the challenges and providing security for the State of Israel and its people, over the last few months we have seen breakthroughs in peace and normalization across the region. I am proud to say that the Mossad played a significant role in the developments that came to fruition recently. The peace and normalization accords reached recently are a vital component of our national security. Just as the Mossad works to foil the plans of Israel’s enemies, it constantly seeks opportunities for peace and cooperation and when it finds them, it works methodically and patiently to turn them into real and stable assets. You, who have been selected as recipients of the awards for outstanding service, are the best of us. You lead us all, inspiring and showing the way. Even an outstanding organization needs those who are especially outstanding and tonight you are here so that we can express our appreciation and recognition. I want to thank you, outstanding officers, and thank your families as well. Your support and solidarity are essential. Your strength, tolerance, support on the long path – all these and more give us the ability to focus, to commit and to give our all to the Mossad and to the State of Israel.”

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us