Shiloah on his way to Rhodes for talks on 1949 Armistice Agreements
|Allegiance||State of Israel 20px|
|Award(s)||Medal of Courage|
|Occupation||Director of Mossad|
Reuven Shiloah (December 1909-1959) was the first Director of the Mossad from 1949 to 1952. Born in Ottoman ruled Jerusalem as Reuven Zaslanski, he would later shorten his last name to Zaslani and use the codeword Shiloah. From an Orthodox Jewish family and with a rabbi for a father, Shiloah abandoned the religious life of his family at an early age. In the mid-1930s he met Betty Borden of New York and the two were married in 1936.
Shiloah was involved in Israeli political and defense matters since before its creation, and was a close friend of David Ben-Gurion. From his youth, Shiloah was involved in covert Yishuv affairs and was close to its leaders.  Before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Shiloah obtained the invasion plans of the Arab League, and he began building relationships with other intelligence agencies, particularly in the West. At the urging of Shiloah, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion created the "Central Institute for Coordination" (Mossad) in December 1949 and appointed Shiloah as it first Director. However, it was not until April 1, 1951 that the Mossad became operational under Shiloah because bureaucratic fighting had delayed Ben-Gurion's initial order. After his tenure at the Mossad Shiloah worked in the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC and continued serving as an advisor.
References[edit | edit source]
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Eshed, Haggai (1997). Reuven Shiloah – the Man Behind the Mossad; Secret Diplomacy in the Creation of Israel. Frank Cass. ISBN 0-7146-4812-4.
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