Florida native Cindy—real name Cheryl—moved to Israel as a teenager, married a government intelligence analyst at nineteen, and was identified as a suitable spy by Mossad recruiters soon after her wedding. Two years of intensive training followed: she was taught how to lie, steal, kill, and, most importantly, how to use sex, and especially the promise of sex, as a powerful weapon. Gordon Thomas, in his book Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, reveals that, for example, Cindy’s tutors would pull her out of bed in the middle of the night, send her on a mission to pick up a tourist at a nightclub then disengage from him outside his hotel, observing her all the while. The lesson: how to sexually entrap a man without him having a clue as to what was going on.

Poor Vanunu certainly didn’t. How could he, when he was the one who approached Cindy on the street near his Covent Garden hotel? Sexy Cindy, who happily agreed to go for coffee and to meet up again the following day, was obviously just an American tourist looking for some fun. In reality, she’d hooked her prey: the only hitch was a directive from then-Prime Minister (now President), Shimon Peres, that the actual kidnap not take place on British soil, so as to avoid breaking any British laws and causing awkwardness with his good pal Margaret Thatcher.

For a girl of Cindy’s skill, this was easy-peasy. She had a sister in Rome, she told Vanunu—why, they should visit her, because only away from the stresses of London, and the Times people constantly breathing down his neck, could their relationship properly flourish, wink wink. Of course, what awaited Vanunu at the Rome apartment was not the consummation of a beautiful romance, but three Mossad agents who jumped him, injected him with a paralytic, and bundled him into an ambulance bound for the coast, where he was put on a speedboat, then a ship to Haifa.

In Gideon's Spies, former Mossad director Meir Amit says: “The history of modern intelligence is filled with accounts of women who have used their sex for the good of their country.” In this instance Cindy, supposedly, didn’t do more than flirt and kiss—although people who knew her have expressed skepticism about that—but presumably she’d have gone all the way had she deemed it necessary; all women working as Mossad spies must promise they’ll do anything for the sake of a mission. Well, almost anything. Peter Z. Malkin, one of the Israeli agents who captured Hitler’s chief executioner, Adolf Eichmann, in Argentina, recalls his team’s deeply pious bat leveyha, Rosa, vowing that she wouldn’t eat pork even if an assignment required it, but that no Jew “was ever burned at the stake” for sleeping with a strange man.

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Interested in spies? I've read Gideon's Spies and By Way of Deception: The Making of a Mossad officer