While the identity of the director of the Mossad is known to the public, the
names and faces of its agents remain shrouded in anonymity.
agents who have distinguished themselves above and beyond the call of duty are
honored at a ceremony at the President’s Residence with the participation of the
prime minister and the Mossad director.
Twelve agents, four of them
women, were honored at this year’s ceremony, which took place on Thursday
The names of the honorees cannot be revealed, though if one of
them should rise sufficiently high in the ranks to one day become Mossad
director, the accompanying thumbnail biography at the time of the appointment
might list the citation that the agent received on Thursday.
this year were given to agents who stood in the front line of efforts to
eliminate the threat of nonconventional weapons, the struggle against terror and
the prevention of other threats against Israel.
Peres saluted the
outstanding agents, and told them that the award they were receiving came from
the deepest feelings from which the nation can show its appreciation for its
sons and daughters. He was particularly proud to see four women among the
recipients, he said, women who are not only mothers who are defending their own
children, but who are defending the children of the nation.
The Mossad is
one of the most vital components in Israel’s existential battle, and both Peres
and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed pride and admiration for what it
“You are a wonderful organization whose people are both courageous
and clever, and whose sole motive in endangering their lives is to serve the
interests of the state,” he said.
“I salute the Mossad and its warriors,
especially these 12 outstanding agents.”
Peres stated that he had met
people from the intelligence community from around the globe and could say from
experience that the Mossad is the best espionage agency in the world. Its agents
are required to demonstrate wisdom, self control, amazing courage, ingenuity,
the ability to improvise, caution and agility.
“The service you do for
the state is not paved with gold. You are a small organization operating
in a large world. Israel is surrounded by so many enemies and so few
friends. For you each day is filled with the unexpected and the
Netanyahu regretted that for reasons of security, the
activities of the Mossad have to remain secret.
“The citizens of Israel
do not know what you do, but I know what tremendous things you do for the
security of the state,” he said. “Whenever I am asked to approve one of your
operations, I am astounded by your daring and the scope of your
Commenting on what former Miss Israel, actress and model
Gal Gadot, is doing in her cinematic role as Wonder Woman, Netanyahu said that
this is what the four female honorees do in their day-today lives.
of the personal stories of each of the 12 distinguished agents, Netanyahu said
that even though their names remained classified, it is because of them that the
reputation of the Mossad continues to be enhanced.
Mossad Director Tamir
Pardo made the point that the Mossad includes both experienced veterans in the
field and bright young agents who separately and together deal with the numerous
and varied issues that come within the purview of the Mossad’s
The strength of the Mossad is in its people, in their
dedication, in their resourcefulness, in their commitment to the mission, and in
their creative thinking out of the box, he said, adding that other
characteristics included modesty, integrity and the perpetual readiness to
confront new challenges.
Unwilling to say too much about the recipients
of citations, even in such a closed circle, Pardo permitted himself to single
out one of the recipients, an agent whose area of expertise is in intelligence
gathering, and who has performed so admirably as to have previously received a
citation from the president in addition to the one on Thursday night.
spectacular insight and manner of assessment had led to new breakthrough in the
Mossad’s thinking and approach. His extraordinary accomplishments and unique
abilities had resulted in an impressive number of successes in thwarting the
enemy and safeguarding the nation.
Another recipient whose area of
specialization is in technology recognized the potential of certain
technological developments and the extent to which this could be used in
According to his friends, said Pardo, there are
numerous hi-tech firms chasing him with tempting job offers, but he would rather
stay where he is.