This morning (Thursday), an event was held at the headquarters of the Mossad for Intelligence and Special Operations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. In the presence of the head of the Mossad, Dedi Barnea, a forum of senior command was held, with the participation of all the organization's employees and its commanders.
The emotional event began with a tribute to the memory of Shabtai Shavit, the seventh head of the Mossad, who passed away earlier this week. During the event, interviews conducted with Shavit were screened, providing a rare glimpse into the Mossad's contributions before and during the war from his personal perspective.
"Our strategic focus revolves around an existential threat"
Mossad Director David Barnea addressed in his speech the implications and lessons drawn from the war and how they remain relevant to our time. Additionally, Barnea emphasized the importance of dealing with the existential challenges facing the State of Israel:
Barnea began by saying, "We must never cease to address the existential threat to the State of Israel. The victory in 1967 seemingly removed all doubt about our ability to continue to exist forever. Today, we know our mission and our destiny. Our strategic focus revolves around the existential threat – against which we will contend and invest. We must not underestimate the enemy and its capabilities."
"Let us not forget that around us there are countries and organizations that continue to strengthen in order to threaten our peace here. Let us not shy away from the support of our allies in times of crisis – we will build our strength and capabilities. Let us not underestimate the importance of unity in order to survive. Our strength lies in our internal unity."
Barnea also addressed a concept which Israel and the intelligence and security community had during the war, and how the lessons of the war have influenced and continue to influence the intelligence and operational activities of the Mossad to this day: "Let us not succumb to the concept. Today, too, we feel the strength, the depth of intelligence, the powerful capabilities – the order of the day is intelligence humility and caution."
The new book about the activities of the Mossad and the newly revealed information
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war, the Mossad has decided to publish, for the first time, a unique historical research book. Its title is derived from the words of Golda Meir, may she rest in peace, to the head of the Mossad, Zvi Zamir: "Once it will be allowed to tell, you and your colleagues will receive a prize." This was after she was exposed to extensive intelligence the Mossad had regarding Sadat's strategy leading up to the war and the strengthening of Arab armies in preparation for the war with Israel.
The book reveals a wealth of information provided by various excellent intelligence sources that the Mossad operated with in the years leading up to the war, led by the strategic intelligence source known as "The Angel."
"The Angel" - The agent who provided information from the moment the war broke out, during it, and afterward
The head of the Mossad, Barnea, also addressed the allegations that the Angel was a double agent and said, "These allegations were examined thoroughly well before the war by a joint team of the IDF and the Mossad, as well as after the war. The conclusions remained the same – the Angel was an important and strategic agent. Those who do not understand the nuances find it difficult to comprehend the complexities of an agent and operator."
As known, 'the Angel' provided the early warning for the war. From the moment it broke out, during its course, and afterward, the head of the Mossad, Zamir, played a central role in presenting and analyzing the intelligence picture to the political leadership. Simultaneously, the Mossad continued to provide high-quality intelligence that deeply influenced the course of the war and the negotiations leading to its conclusion.
At the end of his speech, Barnea referred to the organization's strategy and its organizational focus, looking ahead in the operational, intelligence, technological, and human aspects.
Certificate of appreciation for the son of the former head of the Mossad
During the event, certificates of appreciation were awarded to former heads of the organization, Zvi Zamir and Efraim Halevy, as well as to the agency's members: Freddy Eini, the personal assistant to Zvi Zamir; Shmulik Goren, who served as the head of the Europe desk in the Intelligence Branch during the war; and Dubi, the handler of 'The Angel.' Zvi Zamir's certificate of appreciation was presented by the current head of the organization to his son, Prof. Danny Zamir, who received it on his behalf with great excitement.
Regarding Zamir, Barnea said: "Zamir led the organization as a strategic intelligence officer during that war. His role initiated a change that continued for years in the agency's position within the intelligence community: from being responsible for collection only, the organization became a central player responsible for the entire intelligence cycle."