Shaul Avigur

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Shaul Avigur

Shaul Avigur (Hebrew: שאול אביגור‎; 1899–1978) was a founder of the Israeli Intelligence Community.


Avigur was born in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils in Latvia) under the name Saul Meyeroff (later Meirov; Hebrew: מאירוב‎), but when his son Gur Meyeroff was killed in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, he changed it to Avigur, meaning "Father of Gur". Along with Reuven Shiloah, Avigur was instrumental in forming SHAI, the intelligence wing of the Haganah, in 1934. Since 1939 he was involved in the Mossad Le'aliyah Bet operations to smuggle Jews into the British Mandate of Palestine and was named its commander. During Israel's War of Independence, he acted as David Ben-Gurion's deputy defense minister. In 1953 he was appointed the founding head of Lishkat Hakesher, also known as "Nativ", an Israeli organization that maintained contact with Jews in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He headed the organization until 1970. Avigur was the brother-in-law of former Prime Minister Moshe Sharett.


In 1973, Avigur was awarded the Israel Prize, for his special contribution to society and the State.[1]

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