#onthisday, 1965, Eli Cohen, a prominent Israeli spy with Syrian-Jewish roots in Egypt, was executed. Fluent in Arabic, English, and French, Cohen was perfect for Israeli Intelligence who recruited him in 1960.
Posing as a Syrian businessman in Buenos Aires, he built strong ties with Syrian communities and officials. Moving to Damascus in 1962, his connections led him to crucial Syrian military intelligence. He cleverly suggested planting Eucalyptus trees at military sites, feigning non-fortification and shade for soldiers. This intel proved crucial for Israel during the 6 Day War that we celebrate on this very day. Over the years, he rose prominently in the echelons of power within Syria.
Despite warnings, Cohen`s Morse Code transmissions were intercepted by Syrian counter-intelligence in 1965, leading to his arrest. Even under torture, he gave no evidence against Israel. His execution, laden with anti-Zionist and antisemitic signs, was broadcasted on Syrian television.
His last message to his wife emphasized forgiveness, strength, and hope for a better future. His body remains unrecovered.
The letter reads:
“My darling Nadia, and my dear family,
I am writing you these last words, minutes before my end, with the hope that you stay together forever.
I beg my wife to forgive me, to take care of herself and our children. Look after them, raise them up and educate them well, and don`t deprive them or yourself of anything…
Do what you must, don`t deprive the children of a father. I give you my blessing. I beg you my dear Nadia do not spend your life weeping for what has passed.
Concentrate on yourself; look forward to a better future!
I send you my last kisses to you and to the children: Sophie, Irit, and Shaoul and to the rest of my family, especially my mother…
Please pray for my soul.”
🕯️ May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration.
ה׳ יקום דמם
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