Friends Yesterday… Forgotten Today

Our Hebrew language press has given space to a very sad story…a story of decent humanity down-fallen.

It is a story of a cry for help. A Lebanese man who had worked undercover for our Mossad secret service is in grave danger of being sent back to Lebanon and to prison and torture by the Hezbollah terrorists for the activities which he had informed the Mossad.

Using a false name he has begged Israel to help him. “Save me”, he cried. “I have helped you for many years. Why can’t you help me now? Why have you turned your back on me?”

In a lengthy interview with TIMES OF ISRAEL journalist Judah Gross he shared his history of espionage over several years.

He made himself available to the Mossad for information about Hezbollah activities, names, dates and places. His information helped to save Israeli lives.

In earlier years he had been arrested by Hezbollah in Lebanon and served two years in prison. Now he fears imprisonment and torture if he is returned across the Lebanese border.

He has attempted to no avail to seek asylum in European countries but there too is the danger of being repatriated to Lebanon.

The unanswered question is why does the Mossad turn its back on a former agent on their behalf?

It seems like yesterday’s friend has become forgotten today.

Why can’t we grant him asylum and protection? Is it because he might reveal to the Israeli public information which Mossad would prefer to be kept unrevealed?

We have had, past and present, numerous spies of our own. Our most famous spy, Eli Cohen, our man in Damascus, had infiltrated Syrian officialdom and from 1961-1965 he transmitted vital information back to Israel.

He was discovered in 1965 and was publicly hanged in the main square of Damascus on 18 May 1965. His body was never returned from Syria.

Other Israeli spies have been caught, imprisoned, tortured and some killed. Their lives and their purposes was to save Israel from the danger of its enemies.

They were loyal Mossad men and women.

As we would have been grateful to any enemy individual who would have helped and protected one of our own, so too it seems to me that our Mossad has failed to reciprocate aid to an enemy agent in their service.

It brings back memories of a different Lebanon in past years. The southern areas of that country, mainly Christian, provided numerous soldiers who spied for Israel and whose brave work was an inspiration to us.

But when their work was finished, they too had become forgotten souls. Many of them and their families did receive asylum and aid from the Israeli government but eventually they too became forgotten souls.

Enemy agents do not serve our security forces out of pure and genuine love for Israel. They do so specifically for monetary rewards and for personal gain.
Nevertheless their efforts which put their lives in constant jeapordy have benefitted us and assured our security.

A Lebanese man, one who passed important information to our security services, is screaming for our help.

Why has his voice gone unheard? Why has our loyalty for his services been forgotten?

We are thought to be a warm-hearted people. If so, tell the Mossad to open up their hearts and to save the life of one man who has helped them over many years.

Sadly it appears that yesterday’s friend has been forgotten today. Shame on us.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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