Four women among twelve Mossad agents singled out for outstanding service

Two female recipients put their lives at risk on more than one occasion, and one gave up a very promising career.

Netanyahu at Mossad ceremony (photo credit: Courtesy GPO)
Netanyahu at Mossad ceremony
(photo credit: Courtesy GPO)
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.
Every year, 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 evening.
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.
The awards 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 does.
“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 unknown.”
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 imagination.”
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.
Aware 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 activities.
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.
His 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 intelligence operations..
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.