A retired Israeli spy has published a memoir on his role in rescuing Ethiopian Jewish refugees.
Gad Shimron’s “Mossad Exodus,” just out in English, tells of how thousands of Jews who had fled their native Ethiopia to neighboring Sudan were secretly spirited to Israel by sea and air between 1982 and 1984.
The mission, codenamed Brothers, would be followed by Operation Moses and Operation Solomon, in which some 22,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to their ancestral homeland.
In his memoir Shimron describes how as a young Mossad field operative he traveled to Sudan – a Muslim state deeply hostile to Israel – posing as a European tourism entrepreneur. He and his team refurbished a diving resort, using it as a beachhead from which to transport Ethiopian Jews from their Sudanese refugee camps to Israeli naval craft.
“The feeling is that Sudan was one of our finest hours, the enlistment of an entire defense establishment for a truly altruistic purpose,” Shimron, now 57, told Reuters. “We’re the only Westernized country to have brought out Africans in order to liberate rather than enslave them.”