The Spy

In the 1960s, Israeli clerk-turned-secret agent Eli Cohen goes deep undercover inside Syria on a perilous, years-long mission to spy for Mossad.


The Spy 

Miniseries (2019) | 6 episodes

Available on Netflix

Created and Directed by: Gideon Raff

Grade Level: High School and up


  • Personal sacrifice
  • Mizrahi Jews in Israel
  • Early years in Israel
  • International diplomacy


The Spy is an English language French made spy thriller based on the true story of Eli Cohen, perhaps Israel’s most famous spy. The miniseries, featuring Sacha Baron Cohen as Eli Cohen (no relation), follows the spy’s espionage efforts that proved critical to Israel’s success in the 1967 Six-Day War. 

The series depicts the trajectory of Cohen’s life, from his early years as an Egyptian Jew, to his family life in Israel, and ultimately his infiltration of the Syrian Ministry of Defense. In Syria Cohen assumes a false identity as a businessman and manages to work his way into the social circles of Syria’s elite. Cohen is later appointed as the country’s Deputy Defense Minister and becomes a close confidant to the future president of Syria. The series also focuses on the hardships faced by Cohen and his wife while he is spying in Syria, for months at a time.

Think James Bond meets Fauda

  • To whom and to what are we responsible?
  • What surprised you about depictions of early life in Israel?
  • Which of your assumptions about immigrants to Israel did The Spy contradict? Which did it confirm?
  • What types of qualities do real-life heroes have?