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The Zionist James Bond

Michael Harari, the Zionist James Bond (Photo: youtube)

Many daring men and women have served the state of Israel and her people through the years. But only one of them has been nicknamed the "Zionist James Bond."

Born 89 years ago today in what was then British-mandate Palestine, Michael "Mike" Harari grew up in Tel Aviv. At only 13, Harari joined the Haganah, the precursor to today's Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In the Haganah, he first served as a courier, but joined the elite Palmach unit at the age of 16, with which he fought until going to Europe at the end of World War II to help Jewish refugees make aliyah (immigrate) to the Holy Land.

After Israel's War of Independence, Harari served in the IDF and the Shin Bet before being recruited into the Mossad. With the Mossad, he became the head of operations, and helped lead the response to the terrorist massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972. A few years later, Harari also helped with Operation Thunderbolt, the daring Israeli operation to release hostages held at the Entebbe Airport (the same operation during which PM Netanyahu's brother Yoni lost his life). Before the Israeli special forces landed at Entebbe, Harari had disguised himself as an Italian businessman and done reconnaissance of the airport that was needed for the raid to succeed.

After serving the Jewish state his whole life, Mike Harari passed away in Tel Aviv at the age of 87.

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