Lebanon – Israel’s neighbor to the North – was a country that was rather multi-cultural – compared to other countries in the Middle East.
Christians, Muslims and Jews lived relatively well together – especially in Beirut. Due to Lebanon being part of the French mandate, most people in Lebanon spoke Arabic, French, and English.
Things were not perfect, but by 1967, things became too dangerous for the Jewish community in Lebanon, and they were largely forced out.
One of the lesser known stories of modern Jewish history is the story of the Jewish spy, Shula Cohen, a young woman who served as a spy in Lebanon in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
She befriended one of the children of the Gemayel family, the leaders of the Phalangist party.
Pierre, the father was the founder of the party, and his two sons, Bashir and Amin were both elected to the job of President of the Republic in Lebanon.
As Shula Cohen found herself within earshot of state secrets in the Gemayel home, she soon became involved in sharing secrets that eventually led to hundreds – if not thousands – of Jews being smuggled to Israel through the Lebanon corridor.
Shula Cohen was ultimately caught and sent to prison for years. Despite being a young mother in her 30’s when she was caught, she was tossed into prison, along with her baby.
But, with the Lebanon Civil War in the 1970’s, almost all Jewish presence in Lebanon disappeared.
Organizational psychologist/management consultant turned Movie Producer (“Home Game” on Gush Katif), Avi is now CEO of 12Tribe Films, a business specializing in video and social media marketing for Israel. You can also follow my mobile updates on Telegram: https://t.me/aviabelowupdates