Add comment August 3rd, 2013 Headsman
On this day in 1949, Jordan hanged Jacob Bokai. The Syrian Jew was the first Israeli intelligence agent put to death in service of the infant state. (At least, the first that’s been publicly acknowledged.)
Posing as a Palestinian named Najib Ibrahim Hamuda, Bokai’s mission to infiltrate Jordan started at a Palestinian refugee camp in Jaffa, where he was abused by the guards to establish his credentials. Those beatings went for naught, however, as Bokai never made it past the checkpoint: he was arrested immediately upon passing the Mandelbaum Gate into Jordan on 4 May 1949. Since he refused to cop to his mission or his Jewish identity, he was given a Muslim burial after hanging for espionage.
That charge was indeed well-founded: Bokai is now openly honored at a memorial to Israeli agents opened in 1985.
According to the story related by a former Mossad chief who gave a tour of this place to Tom Friedman back when the latter was the Times‘ Middle East scribe and not its leading nutter columnist — just mind the source is what I’m saying here — the doomed “Mr. Hamuda” still managed to get a message back to his Israeli handlers reassuring them that the enhanced interrogation he enjoyed in Jordan prior to execution had not compromised whatever operations he was privy to: “I did not commit treason.”
On this day..
- 1546: Etienne Dolet, no longer anything at all - 2016
- 1795: Jerry Avershaw, contemptuously - 2015
- 1530: Francesco Ferruccio, victim of Maramaldo - 2014
- 1788: Not Jean Louschart, rescued by the crowd - 2012
- 1573: William Kirkcaldy of Grange, former king's man - 2011
- 1976: Valery Sablin, Hunt for Red October inspiration - 2010
- 1726: Mary Standford, shunning convict transportation - 2009
- 1916: Sir Roger Casement - 2008