And the 530 children who were wearing them at the time.
And here are the shoes of two Mossad agents who ran the operation.
This is the real “Mossad”. Across all of it’s history, and despite the impressions you may have from Spielberg movies and other reality based fiction, The Mossad has devoted more than half of all its resources to rescuing Jews.
We can laugh at the #MossadStoleMyShoe jokes about Asghar Bukhari and his delusions of extrodinary grandeur in thinking he matters enough for The Mossad to move his shoes but the truth is they have important work to do. (While we ridicule him, be aware this clown is a serious hater of Israel and the Jews and not to be taken lightly.)
On Tuesday night in Jerusalem I attended a book launch. The book is the definitive history of an amazingly daring mission to take Jewish children out of Morocco. Just the children with the parents staying behind with only a hope that they might, one day, be allowed to leave.
The book is named after the operation and the operation is named after the code name of the main agent: David Littman. Both David and his new, young wife and his baby daughter, took on immense personal risk to rescue the children. At the time he did not even fully realise who he was working for. Operation Mural is an amazing story. The book is the collected testimonies of many involved, it contains newly declassified, original documents and the stories of the children that were brought, via Switzerland, to Israel.
The book was started by David Littman but he passed away before it was completed. His daughter and widow carried on the work and it has just been published.
Operation Mural chronicles a brave 1961 Mossad mission, based on the recently declassified minutes. A spellbound and often chilling account of what it took to smuggle 530 Moroccan Jewish children to Israel via a holiday-camp in Switzerland, re-counted by one of its main operatives, David G. Littman. “A document of historical importance for the history of the Aliya of Moroccan Jews to Israel. I am sure that this book will in the future be read to the next generation so as to prove the heroic operation of one man.” -Shmuel Toledano Deputy Head of the Mossad (1953-1976), former Knesset member, and adviser on Arab Affairs to Prime Ministers Golda Meir, Levy Eshkol, and Yitzhak Rabin
I was lucky enough to be at the award ceremony at The Mossad HQ where David Littman received a special award: “The Medal of Silence” (which is described at great length on New English Review).
And here are the owners of those shoes: Gad Shahar and Shmuel Toledano.
There is a documentary I thoroughly recommend which can be seen in full online. It gives you the flavour of the mission but not all the detail in the book. If the video embed isn’t working click here.
Never forget: The Mossad represents the Government of Israel’s commitment to making sure never again is not just a slogan.