“Arous. A Wonderful world apart, with so much to see and do” was written in the brochure promoting the unique diving club located in the Sudanese desert on the shores of the Red Sea.
The club was actually a base for Israeli Mossad agents with an extraordinary mission: organize the covert evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who heroically fled their country to Sudan, with the hope to reach Israel.
Daniel Limor was the Leader of the “Operation Brothers”. He will share with us his experience of the most inspiring humanitarian operation of all times.
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About Daniel Limor
A former commander in the Mossad, Daniel Limor is responsible for rescuing thousands of Ethiopians from war ravaged villages via Sudan, and bringing them to freedom in Israel.
In 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin was determined to rescue the long-lost Ethiopian Jewish tribe, Beta Israel. It was Mossad commander Limor who spent four and half years devoted to the mission involving Mossad agents and Israeli navy seals. Limor, the mind behind the mission, recounted how the plan was conceived.
This bond inspired Limor to dub the mission “Operation Brothers”, and he found that the similarities between himself and the Ethiopians was stronger than he might have originally thought. Operation Brothers ended abruptly in 1984, when an Israeli politician bragged publicly about the mission. The Israelis evacuated the resort overnight, leaving behind plenty of scuba-diving tourists who would wake the next morning to find that the entire senior staff had deserted them. The operation increased the number of Ethiopian Jews in Israel more than 5 000%, and became the precursor to subsequent daring rescues.
Today, there are more than 130 000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel. Said Limor, “Most of the immigrants became leaders in society in every branch of Israel. They decided on their own that they wanted to be a part of Israel.” The triumph of Limor’s mission has recently been brought to life on Netflix with the launch of The Red Sea Diving Resort, a film inspired by the operation.
Limor is retired, but continues to be actively involved in and beyond Israeli society. He founded the first non-orthodox pre-military school for social leadership in Israel, and engages with remote Jewish communities in South America and Africa.