What if James Bond had a family? The son of a '60s Israeli spy recounts what it’s like.

America Abroad
Oded Gur-Ariel grew up having to keep an important secret: That his father an Israli spy.

Oded Gur Arie grew up having to keep an important secret: That his father was an Israeli spy. 

Courtsey of Peter Payette

Oded Gur-Arie was just a boy when he learned that his dad was a spy.

Today, Gur-Arie teaches entrepreneurship at Adrian College in Michigan, but he was born in Israel and his father is one of the most famous spies in the country’s history, known by his cover name, Wolfgang Lotz.

In the 60s, Israel suspected that Egypt was developing weapons of mass destruction, which could then potentially be used against Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser brought German scientists in to help with the development of the nuclear program and Mossad sent Gur-Arie’s father to try to infiltrate their circles, pretending to be a former Nazi officer.

Young Gur-Arie and his mom were housed in Paris for the mission and his father — Zeev was his real name — came to visit from time to time.

“On one of his first visits back from Egypt, he went to meet with his boss and he took me with him,” says Gur-Arie. “All of a sudden, I realized they are talking about things that are pretty amazing, like information, people, and spies, and Egypt and this and that, and it became very clear to me what he was doing.”

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