Eli Zeira

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Eli Zeira (Hebrew: אלי זעירא) (born 1928) is a former major general in the Israel Defense Forces. He was director of Aman, Israel's military intelligence, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He is most remembered for his ill-conceived prewar assessment that Egypt and Syria would not attack (also known as "The Concept"),[1][2] despite intelligence to the contrary.

The postwar Agranat Commission, set to investigate the reasons for the costly war, found Zeira to be negligent of his duty, and he resigned.[3]

In 2004, former Mossad Director-General Zvi Zamir accused Zeira of leaking the identity of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian billionaire who served as a Mossad informant.[4] The State Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal investigation, which proved inconclusive and was closed in 2012.[5]


  1. ^ Shlaim, Avi "The Iron Wall -Israel and the Arab World." 2000. ISBN 978-0-140-28870-4. Page 319.
  2. ^ ^ Steven, Stewart, "The Spymasters of Israel." 1980, ninth printing 1988. ISBN 0-345-33927-4. Page 358:" [Zeira] was one of the architects of what was known as 'the concept.' Simply stated, the concept laid down first that the Arabs were not ready for an all-out war with Israel. Though they had the ability to launch a limited war, they knew perfectly well that Israel would not feel itself bound by the rules of that game, and a limited war would quickly escalate into a general one. Second, Zeira's concept laid down, if there was to be a war, it would be a short one. The third assumption was that in an overall war, the Arabs would be quickly defeated."
  3. ^ Dayan, Moshe, "Story of My Life." ISBN 0-688-03076-9. 1976. Page 606. "The commission found that Maj. Gen. Eliyahu Zeira, 'in view of his grave failure ... cannot continue in his post as chief of Military Intelligence.'"
  4. ^ Bar-Joseph, Uri (2016). The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 299–300. ISBN 9780062420138.
  5. ^ "State to close case against former IDF intel chief". 8 July 2012.