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From the Shadow of the Holocaust to the Top of the Mossad

Former Mossad chief and Israeli war hero Meir Dagan, who passed away on March 17, 2016 (Photo: ASHERNET)

Israel lost a hero yesterday. The Jerusalem Post's Yossi Melman writes of Meir Dagan, who was born at the end of the Holocaust to survivor parents, who made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with his family after the war, who bravely served and led with the IDF, and who headed Mossad:

While Dagan headed the Mossad, a number of operations were attributed to the organization, including the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists, sabotage of equipment in Iran's nuclear facilities, and the implanting of viruses into the computers that operated the centrifuges to enrich uranium at the Natanz facility in Iran.

Another important intelligence feat that is attributed to the Mossad under Dagan was the information obtained by its agents from a computer owned by the chairman of Syria's Atomic Energy Commission. That intelligence was the smoking gun which shaped the decision by then-prime minster Ehud Olmert, with the tacit approval of US President George W. Bush, to bomb the Syrian nuclear reactor in December 2007.

Dagan enjoyed the privilege which has been very rare among Mossad chiefs, and other heads of world intelligence agencies, of befriending Bush, who liked him and his creative mind very much...

Dagan was born in the Soviet Union in 1945 to parents who were Holocaust survivors that moved to Israel after the founding of the state. He lived in Bat Yam and enlisted to the Paratroopers Brigade, becoming the commander of the Rimon Reconnaissance Unit which operated in the Gaza Strip during the height of the Palestinian terror wave in the early 1970s. Afterward, he was promoted to fill a number of roles in the IDF command, reaching the rank of Major General.

Among other things, he is considered one of the developers of guerrilla warfare doctrine in the IDF, based on his military experience fighting Palestinian terrorism in Gaza and later in south Lebanon. These operations cemented his image as a daring combatant who was ready to sanction any means to achieve his aim or target, including the assassination of terrorists.

During his time in the IDF, and especially during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Dagan was considered a confidant of Ariel Sharon...

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