Movies inspired by Mossad operations

Israeli secret service features in Hollywood blockbusters about rescuing Ethiopians, tracking Nazis, and killing Palestinian terrorists

Ben Kingsley plays notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann in 2018's 'Operation Finale.' (Screen capture: YouTube)
Ben Kingsley plays notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann in 2018's 'Operation Finale.' (Screen capture: YouTube)

A stunning operation by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad in the 1980s that saw agents set up a fake diving resort in Sudan to rescue Ethiopian Jews is due to become a Hollywood film.

Here is a list of some of the movies inspired by Mossad operations:

“The Red Sea Diving Resort” (2019)

Filmed in South Africa and Namibia by Israeli director Gideon Raff, the movie tells the story of “Operation Brothers,” carried out by the Mossad between 1981 and 1985. Some 7,000 Ethiopian Jews were exfiltrated from Sudan to Israel by Mossad agents who had set up a fake diving resort on the Red Sea for the operation.

“The Angel” (2018)

Israeli director Ariel Vromen tells the story of Ashraf Marwan, son-in-law of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and adviser to his successor Anwar Sadat. Marwan was suspected of being a double agent who alerted the Mossad to an imminent attack on the eve of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The film was released on Netflix on September 14.

“Operation Finale” (2018)

A number of films have been made on the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was taken from Argentina by the Mossad while disguised as a flight attendant for Israeli airline El Al. The latest of those films, “Operation Finale,” was released on August 29. Ben Kingsley stars in the role of Eichmann, who was hanged in 1962.

“Munich” (2005)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, it is perhaps the best known film on the Mossad. It tells the story of “Operation Wrath of God,” which carried out the assassinations of 11 Palestinians in retaliation for the “Munich Massacre,” the hostage-taking and murder of the same number of Israeli Olympic team members at the 1972 summer games. Nominated in five Oscar categories, the film brought in more than $130 million at the box office.

“The Debt” (2010)

British-American adaptation of an Israeli film telling the story of three Mossad agents attempting to exfiltrate a former Nazi. It is loosely based on the hunt for Eichmann and another Nazi war criminal, Josef Mengele, who died without being captured.

“Live and Become” (2005)

In hopes of saving her son, an Ethiopian Christian disguises the boy as a Jew. The French-Israeli film tells the story of the boy and his arrival in Israel as he meets a new culture, Judaism, racism and the conflict with the Palestinians.

“The Patriots” (1994)

French director Eric Rochant’s film on a young French Jew recruited by Israeli intelligence. His missions are loosely based on “Operation Opera,” when Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, as well as the story of former Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard was jailed for 30 years for having provided Israel with thousands of documents on US spying activities, mainly in Arab countries.

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