Avri Elad; Mideast Spy Spent 10 Years in Israeli Jail
Avri Elad, 67, the Mideast spy who spent 10 years in an Israeli jail for his role in the 1954 Lavon Affair. Born Adolf Seindwerg in Vienna, he moved to British Palestine as a child and later fought for Israeli independence. He changed his name to Avri Elad, which in Hebrew means “robust forever.” In 1954, Elad was involved in a plot to bomb American and British cultural facilities in Cairo to sabotage Egyptian relations with the West. Egyptian authorities arrested 11 Egyptian Jews. Elad returned to Israel but was convicted there and imprisoned for espionage, claiming unsuccessfully that superiors framed him as a scapegoat. An Egyptian magazine in 1988 claimed Elad had acted as a double agent for both Israel and Egypt. The Lavon Affair was so named because the scandal forced the resignation of Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon. Elad later moved to Los Angeles, where he owned a clothing factory that was raided by U.S. marshals in 1981 for making counterfeit Jordache jeans. On Sunday in Los Angeles.