Hollywood is a pale imitation of Israeli reality

Over and over I am struck by how Israeli reality is like a Hollywood action/drama film. Sometimes our stories are so dramatic that they wouldn’t be believable as a movie script.

I feel like I have seen this film. The strong, tough and handsome man is in charge of everyone’s security. He excels at his job and it’s a good thing because time and again it becomes necessary to step in to save the world. Or at least the Nation.


Like any good movie, there is a sub-narrative. The character would not be whole without adversity at home that must be overcome. Perhaps it is his child that is ill – something that tears at his heart, adding personal pain and dilemmas to those of the Nation that he must handle. This adds sensitivity to the strength making the character much more interesting and making his professional choice both more complex and better balanced.

Sound familiar? Somehow writing it out made me think of John Travolta or Harrison Ford. Predictable Hollywood film? In actuality, this script is a pale imitation of Israeli reality.

yossi-cohenThe true story is that of Yossi Cohen, chosen to be the next Head of the Mossad. Tough and talented, good looking and sometimes called on to save the Nation, he also has the sub-narrative. His son was born with Cerebral Palsy.

In Israel, the impossible just means I’M POSSIBLE so there wasn’t going to be anything to stop Yossi’s son Jonathan from leading a full life. Despite difficulty reading and writing he achieved the rank of Captain in an important IDF unit – a testament to an exceptional mind as this position is something earned, not given out of political correctness or pity. He speaks four languages and became the head of the team within the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responsible for following and responding to the international media in real time.

Captain Johnny lectures young people throughout the country, exemplifying for them the triumph of mind over matter. He and his father each say about the other “He is my true hero.”

Jonathan Cohen weddingRecently Jonathan got married to Yael, who was born with paralysis of the legs and was abandoned at birth.

Could their story be any more dramatic?

Hollywood has nothing on Israel.

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