When it comes to spy dramas, the Israelis have mastered the formula, churning out some of the slickest, most suspenseful and action-filled dramas out there. Here are five Israeli espionage dramas on Netflix that we cycled through pretty quickly.
The show follows Doron Kavillio (Lior Raz), a commander in the Israel Defense Forces’ counter-terrorism unit and his team in their pursuit of Hamas terrorist Taufiq Hammed aka ‘The Panther’ (Hisham Sulliman). This show draws on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, though the situation is more a backdrop for all the action. Read our review of season three here.
Creators: Lior Raz, Avi Issacharoff
Directors: Rotem Shamir, Assaf Bernstein
Cast: Lior Raz, Hisham Sullliman, Laetitia Eido, Yuval Segal, Neta Garty
Seasons: 3 (2015, 2018, 2020)
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to join Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, then find out by watching Mossad 101 (pictured above). The drama shows cadets undergoing intensive training to become agents. The series takes place in a secret Mossad spy academy known as HaMidrasha where 13 trainees embark on missions to test their capabilities.
Creators: Izhar Harlev, Uri Levron, Daniel Skyrin
Director: Daniel Skyrin
Cast: Yehuda Levi, Liron Vasiman, Hana Laslo, Shai Avivi
Seasons: 2 (2015, 2016)
‘When Heroes Fly’
Loosely based on Amir Gutfreund’s eponymous novel, When Heroes Fly follows four former Israel Defense Forces veterans who served in the 2006 Lebanon War. They reunite and embark on a mission to find their friend Yael Ashkenazi in Colombia.
Creator and director: Omri Givon
Cast: Tomer Kapon, Ninet Tayeb, Michael Aloni, Nadav Netz, Moshe Ashkenazi
Seasons: 1 (2018)
Surgeon Yael Danon (Ayelet Zurer) is commanded to botch a scheduled operation on the Israeli prime minister and kill him or lose her family by four masked men that storm and capture her home. The award-winning show spawned an official Indian adaptation of the same name directed by Sudhir Mishra.
Creators and directors: Omri Givon, Rotem Shamir
Cast: Ayelet Zurer, Alona Tal, Jonah Lotan, Shmil Ben Ari, Dar Zuzovsky
Seasons: 2 (2013, 2016)
This miniseries, said to be inspired by real-life events, is based on the book, L’espion qui venait d’Israël (The Spy From Israel) by Uri Dan and Yeshayahu Ben Porat. It stars Sacha Baron Cohen as Eli Cohen, a Mossad spy who infiltrates the Syrian Ministry of Defense and is set in the years preceding the Six-Day War between Israel and Syria. Read our review of The Spy here.
Director: Gideon Raff
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Yael Eitan, Hadar Ratzon Rotem, Alona Tal, Noah Emmerich
Seasons: 1 (2019)