Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Spirit of Israel

This article sums up all of things I've always admired about the Israelis. The life of legendary Israeli secret agent Peter Z. Malkin—the man who captured Adolf Eichmann and brought him back to Israel for trial—highlights the best aspects of the Israeli character: a bold, enterprising, intelligent, can-do spirit.

"Better than Bond," Eric Fettman, New York Post, March 3

"Zvi Malchin was not only the single greatest secret agent the state of Israel was lucky enough to produce, he was one of the most extraordinary people one could ever hope to meet. The world knew him as Peter Z. Malkin, the man who on a cold night in 1960 kidnapped a factory worker named Riccardo Klement outside his ramshackle Buenos Aires home and brought him to Israel—where he stood public trial as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official who saw to it that 6 million Jews were murdered efficiently. Yet that was just one of hundreds of exploits undertaken by Malchin—who died here Tuesday night at age 75—during more than a quarter-century with Israeli intelligence, first as an agent and, ultimately, as chief of operations.... And though he saw more than his share of genuine dramatic action, Zvika had little regard for popular fiction's idea of a spy. 'In 28 years, I never killed anyone,' he said. 'My most important weapon wasn't a gun—it was my brain.' "