Outgoing Mossad Chief Meir Dagan received a letter from former President George W. Bush at a Thursday night party honoring eight years of service.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert read the letter from Bush aloud at the party, which was closed to the press.
“I thank you for what you’ve done,” Bush wrote. “It was an honor to work with you.” Bush also sent Dagan a book with a message written inside.
The families of captive soldier Ron Arad and spy Eli Cohen were also invited to the event. Dagan apologized to the families that he did not succeed in bringing Cohen and Arad back to Israel.
Dagan has been in public service for 43 years, and served three premiers: Ariel Sharon, Olmert and Netanyahu. He will be replaced by Tamir Pardo, a Mossad veteran who served as Dagan’s deputy.