Mossad Chief David Barnea’s brother reveals new family details - report

The Mossad director's brother went on a different path to religion.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Mossad chief David Barnea meet at the Prime Minister’s Office last June. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Mossad chief David Barnea meet at the Prime Minister’s Office last June.
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

Mossad Director David Barnea’s brother, Zohar, has revealed some new family details in an interview with Mishpacha magazine.

In December, Zohar Barnea interviewed with Channel 13 about his experience barely surviving the Mount Meron disaster with his son. But in the latest interview, Zohar also discusses a bit more about David and their family.

He discussed their family moving to New York in 1983 and spending some of their teenage years there, exposing them all to the broader and wider world.

Zohar said this was the time period when he was influenced to become more religious, while David remained secular in terms of religion, but was doubtlessly influenced in other ways.

In fact, the Mossad chief would later return to New York as a grown up for university studies.

 Mossad chief David Barnea (center) at the funeral of Aura Herzog, wife of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, and mother of current Israeli president Isaac Herzog on January 12, 2022 (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Mossad chief David Barnea (center) at the funeral of Aura Herzog, wife of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, and mother of current Israeli president Isaac Herzog on January 12, 2022 (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

He said that David has remained close with him and their two sisters.

Noting that he and the family knew when David was traveling overseas for the Mossad, even if there was not a lot of discussion about it, he added that they also knew when David returned since he would invariably make a quick visit to see their parents.

In addition, he said that David made it a regular duty to pick up his father from his prior residence in Rishon Lezion to bring him to family Shabbat dinners.

Zohar said that everyone who knew David even at a young age understood that he had a range of special talents, had a clear sense of what he believed was right and was capable of accomplishing great things without saying much.

The Mossad chief’s brother did not have a lot to say about Iran, but added that all things are in God’s hands and that if God had picked David as one of his messengers to protect the State of Israel, the country could not be in much better hands.

As in the prior Channel 13 interview, Zohar also retold the story of his barely surviving the Mount Meron disaster.

He said that one of the reasons he was at Meron on Lag Ba’omer was that this was a period when David’s candidacy for leading the Mossad was up in the air and his brother had asked him to pray for him at Meron.