Last week, Stand for Israel told you about the amazing story of aliyah (immigration to Israel that) is coming to Netflix this week. And now, we can tell you the story behind the story. Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer takes a close look at the “breathtaking” Israeli mission that saved the lives of thousands of Ethiopian Jews:
Tags: Allison Kaplan Sommer Dead Sea Diving Resort Ethiopia film Haaretz History Israel Jews Mossad Netflix Operation Brothers
It was one of the Mossad’s most daring, complex and longest-running operations. But only now, 37 years on, is the story of a Red Sea diving resort run by the agency getting its moment in the sun.
“Operation Brothers,” which ran for over three years in the early 1980s, was a breathtaking mission. At its heart was the Arous Holiday Village, a small beach resort billed as the “diving and desert recreation center of Sudan.”
According to a brochure distributed to European travel agencies, Arous offered a combination of desert vistas, sandy beaches and coral reefs, including real shipwrecks off the East African coast for diving enthusiasts to explore.
But here’s what the brochure didn’t say: It was all a front – devised and maintained by the Israeli intelligence agency, whose operatives would visit Sudanese refugee camps with trucks, load them up with Ethiopian Jews (also known as Beta Israel), embark on treacherous journeys across Sudan back to the resort, from where the Ethiopian Jews would be shipped or flown to Israel.
If this sounds like the stuff of a Hollywood movie … well, it now is…