In recent days, tensions have been heating up again between Israel and Syria.   According to various reports, Syria struck down Israeli missiles that were going after Iranian targets within the country.  Following the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel is continuing to act “to prevent our enemies from establishing attack bases in our vicinity.”   In the midst of this crisis, one can only wish that Israel had a spy like Eli Cohen in Syria today, who could help us get rid of the Iranian menace near the Golan Heights.

Iran’s presence continues to cast a dark shadow over Syria.   Utilizing their base in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, Iran has almost managed to completely establish a Shia Crescent that includes a land corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.  From their base in Syria, Iran can use their proxies in order to attack and harm the State of Israel.

Iran is now so deeply entrenched in Syria that a modern day Eli Cohen is truly needed so that Israel can effectively go after the mullah’s regime, instead of merely doing temporary damage control here or there.  Only after Iran is truly booted out of Syria can Israelis sleep safely at night.

When one visits the Golan Heights today, one cannot help but miss the legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen.  Nadia, the widow of Cohen, recently came to the Golan Heights together with the Safadi Center in order to commemorate her late husband.   Eli Cohen was one of the best spies in Israeli history.  Former Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol described Cohen as follows: “Eli Cohen’s actions saved the State of Israel many brigades of soldiers and the information that he brought before the Six Days War was invaluable.  It led to the great victory of the Six Days War.”

A large convoy of about 200 motorcycles, buses and private cars made their way from Central Israel to Quneitra in order to hold a memorial service in honor of Eli Cohen in the very spot where he used to work. The memorial service held in honor of Cohen was hosted for the second year by the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.   At the event, Safadi showed a video documenting the last moments of Cohen’s life, a video that emerged recently after it had been lost for decades.

To this day, no one knows where Cohen is buried in Syria.    Not too long ago, a site that was believed to be the burial spot of Cohen was located in Syria.  However, it turned out to be the burial location of another Israeli, Zachary Baumel.  Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, stated at the event that we have a moral obligation to bring our missing people to Israel and for this reason, he is working day and night in order to bring the body of Cohen back to Israel.

Nadia stated that after 54 years, the pain has not gone away and the anger is not forgotten.  She stressed that her only hope is that one day he will be buried in the land that he fought for: “Safadi is making great efforts to locate his burial place. I believe that this will happen and our hope is not for nothing.

It is true that for the past few years we have been on the alert because of the information that Mendi brought in and a few months ago, we found another missing soldier instead of him but this strengthened my hope that something might come up. For the last 54 years, the hope has not run out despite the ups and downs but Israel is strong and we are being strengthened every time anew because of people like him.”

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Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara's former chief of staff. In addition, she is a counter-terror analyst at the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism, a think tank run by British Pakistani dissident Noor Dahri. For over 6 years, she is a Middle East based journalist, covering radical Islam, terrorism, human rights abuses in the Muslim world, minority rights abuses in the Muslim world, women's rights issues in the Muslim world, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish Diaspora, anti-Semitism, international affairs and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground breaking book that was endorsed by former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara.