Soldier from Unit 8200 (archive image)
Soldier from Unit 8200 (archive image)צילום: דובר צה"ל

An Iranian Jewish immigrant to Israel has joined the IDF's elite intelligence team, Unit 8200, Israel Hayom reported, detailing the story of "B.", the immigrant soldier who is set to receive an award from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Very few people know the story of "B." – which has been kept a secret for years and can only be revealed now using fake names and blurring certain details, due to real concerns that he could be recognized by people and friends who knew him as a child in Iran.

Those same friends could never have imagined that he would one day serve in Israeli intelligence, certainly not in Unit 8200.

B. was born in Iran and, in his own words, had a completely normal childhood. "As a kid, you grow up in a certain environment and get used to it – even if it isn't natural. I grew up with Jewish and Muslim friends. Jewish identity and prayers were important to me." Those close to him knew he was Jewish. "I wouldn't announce being a Jew, but those who knew – knew."

In high school, he says, he encountered antisemitism from a teacher. "During one of the tests, my teacher said something racist toward me – he tried impeding my ability to take the test, shortened my time and was disturbing me. I remember complaining and was surprised when he was reprimanded."