Mustafa Taleb, a member of Unit 131 of Israel’s military intelligence service, “died” in early 1962. Massoud Bouton, who shed his identity as Taleb, lived for another 49 years. He died in Strasbourg, France, on May 26, 2011, alone, brokenhearted and destitute, waiting in vain for some acknowledgment or a word of thanks from the country he had served with such self-sacrifice.CONTINUED: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/news...le.php?id=4471
From 1956 to 1962, Bouton lived under an assumed identity. He pretended to be a wealthy Algerian businessman named Mustafa Taleb, a devout Muslim. He prayed in mosques in Algeria, Libya, Damascus and Beirut, fasted during Ramadan and, in his role as an Arab, cheered the enemies of Israel with the Syrian masses. For seven years, Bouton-Taleb worked as an agent among the enemy, providing Israel with intelligence reports and political assessments and putting himself in life-threatening danger. A small Morse code transmitter served as his voice. At that time, when the Israeli intelligence service and the Mossad were just starting out, Bouton-Taleb, a former combat soldier in the pre-state paramilitary group the Irgun, was legally married to two different women. His wife Esther, whom he had married as a young man, waited for him in Jerusalem. Keeping his secret locked in her heart, she coped every day with his absence and her longing for him as she raised their two children, Ehud and Naomi. He married his other wife, Surmeri, before a qadi in Beirut, according to Islamic religious law. Surmeri, who was part of Bouton's cover, was also his wife for all intents and purposes at the time.
A new book, "From Jerusalem to Damascus and Back — An Intelligence Agent’s Story" is now, finally being published. It was written by Bouton together with journalist Roni Shaked. It is a difficult story, and some of it is hard to comprehend. The security establishment delayed the book’s publication for years, as it portrays the men who headed Israel’s intelligence service during those years as insensitive, vindictive and having an incredibly large chip on their shoulder.
Massoud Bouton worked for the Mossad in Beirut and Damascus. (Photo credit: Courtesy.)
Massoud Bouton (right) at a sports event with Beirut municipal officials in 1959. (Photo credit: Courtesy.)
Bouton's Muslim "wife." (Photo credit: Courtesy.)
The story of this spy is unknown and is very interesting.
The publication of the book telling it was forbidden by the censorship during the lifetime of the superiors of Massoud Bouton in the Mossad. This is regrettable because we won't ever have their version. Massoud accuses them for a mistake that may had led to the capture of the legendary spy, and national hero, Elie Cohen, who replaced Massoud in Damascus.