Yehoshafat "Pati" Harkabi (September 21, 1921 - August 26, 1994) was an Israeli military figure and writer who served as the head of AMAN (Military Intelligence Directorate) from 1955 to 1959. Later in his career, he became a professor of international relations at the Hebrew University. He was awarded the Israel Prize in political science in 1992.
Born in Haifa, Harkabi was the son of Chaya (née Shtempfer) and Judge Tzadokiah Harkabi. He graduated from the Reali School and earned degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Harvard University in the United States. He held a doctorate from the Hebrew University.
In 1943, Harkabi enlisted in the British Army and participated in World War II. After the war, he attended the first course organized by the Jewish Agency for training diplomats. During the War of Independence, he fought in the Jerusalem sector as the commander of a platoon in the Moriah Brigade of the Etzioni Division. In this war, he also lost his younger brother Meir (Erik) in an attempt to capture the Radar Hill from the Jordanian Legion.
After the war, he became a member of the Israeli delegation to Rhodes for negotiations on armistice agreements. He joined the staff of the Foreign Ministry and served as a liaison officer between the ministry and the IDF, as well as the chief of the office of Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett. He later returned to the IDF and served as the deputy chief of the Intelligence Corps when it was established.
He spent time in France for studies, but due to an embarrassing incident, he was appointed as the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate (AMAN) in 1955, rising to the rank of Aluf in October 1958. In this role, he served until 1959 when he was dismissed due to his responsibility for the Lavon Affair.
Harkabi is considered a brilliant intelligence officer, and during his tenure as head of AMAN, the assassination of Colonel Mustafa Hafez, the head of Egyptian intelligence in the Gaza Strip, was carried out. Hafez was responsible for directing and organizing raids into Israel, and the IDF conducted Operation Kadesh to eliminate him.
After leaving the IDF, he was appointed as an aide to the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, with a promise of advancement to more senior positions. However, his aspirations were not fulfilled, leading him to pursue academic research. In 1969, he joined the faculty of the Hebrew University as a senior lecturer and later became a professor in the Michael Harari Chair of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies.
During this period, he also held various public service positions, including overseeing strategic research at the Foreign Ministry. He was a strategic advisor to Defense Minister Shimon Peres from 1974 to 1975.
Harkabi consistently warned for many years about the perceived threats to Israel from the PLO, but over the years, he changed his view and advocated for negotiations with this organization.
From 1976 to 1978, he served as an advisor on intelligence to the Prime Minister, under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin.
Yehoshafat Harkabi passed away on August 26, 1994, and was buried in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
- יהושפט הרכביhe.wikipedia.org