Iftach Spector (born 20 October 1940) is a retired Israeli brigadier general, a former fighter pilot and commander of the airbases at Tel Nof and Ramat David. He serves on the Israel Advisory Council of the Israel Policy Forum. He is responsible for leading the attack on USS Liberty, killing 34 US sailors.

Iftach Spector
Born (1940-10-20) 20 October 1940 (age 79)
Allegiance Israel
Service/branch Israeli Air Force
Years of service1964–1996
RankBrigadier General
Commands held107 Squadron
101 Squadron
Ramat David Airbase
IAF Air Group
Battles/warsSix-Day War
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
Operation Opera


Spector was born in Petah Tikva, in what was then Mandate Palestine, in 1940. His parents were both members of the Palmach, the elite strike force of the Haganah. His father, Zvi Spector, was the commander of Operation Boatswain, a failed 1941 Palmach mission in Lebanon that resulted in the deaths of all participants, and his mother, Shoshana Spector, was among the founding members of the Palmach and served as its adjutant officer. Spector grew up on kibbutz Givat Brenner and kibbutz Hulata.[1]

Spector saw action in the Six-Day War, and was one of the pilots involved in the USS Liberty incident. He took part in Operation Rimon 20, an air battle between Israel and the Soviet Union during the War of Attrition, later fought in the Yom Kippur War, and participated in Operation Opera, Israel's 1981 bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor. During his service with the Israeli Air Force, Spector commanded 101 and 107 squadrons and both the air bases at Ramat David and Tel Nof. Spector shot down 12 enemy aircraft, eight while flying the Mirage III and four while flying the F-4 Phantom II.[2][3]

In 1992 he was awarded the Yitzhak Sadeh Prize for his book A Dream in Black and Azure, a novelized account of a fighter squadron during the Yom Kippur War.[4]

Since 2001, he has been active in the Movement for Disengagement from the Palestinians. In 2003, Spector was one of 27 reserve pilots and former pilots exempt from reserve duty to sign "The pilots' letter" refusing to fly missions against targets in the West Bank and Gaza.[5][6][7]


  • Iftach Spector, Loud and Clear, Minneapolis, Zenith Press, 2009, 426 pp., ISBN 978-0-7603-3630-4 is his personal autobiography.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Spector, p. 32
  2. ^ Aloni, Shlomo (2004). Israeli Mirage and Nesher Aces. Osprey Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 1-84176-653-4.
  3. ^ Aloni, Shlomo (2004). Israeli Phantom II Aces. Osprey Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 1-84176-783-2.
  4. ^ (in Hebrew) The Center for Defence Studies Archived 2015-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ David Rodman, 'Book Reviews', Israel Affairs, 16:2, 322–333.
  6. ^ Gideon Levy 'Lowest deeds from loftiest heights.' Haaretz 14 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Buy Loud and Clear: The Memoir of an Israeli Fighter Pilot Book Online at Low Prices in India | Loud and Clear: The Memoir of an Israeli Fighter Pilot Reviews & Ratings". Amazon.in. Retrieved 2019-05-30.