‘Ex-Mossad’ is Network Crime Dramas’ New Symbol of Ruthless Villainy
Crime dramas on CBS and NBC opened the current TV season with blatant emphasis on Israeli “ex-Mossad” agents as villains, a trend that began last spring.
CBS’s FBI: Most Wanted, a relatively new link in the Law and Order production fan belt, began its third season by reveling in the premise of mercenary Israeli ex-Mossad hit men. This year’s premier episode was part of a trilogy, together with the original FBI series and the newly-introduced FBI: International, all of which constitute CBS’s Tuesday night prime time line-up.
In this episode, written by David Hodgkins and Elizabeth Rinehart with lead producer Dick Wolf, an armed bearded assassin murders a billionaire and a fifteen-year-old girl in New York City. After he flees into a subway car, the FBI officers wait for him to get out at his stop in order to avoid endangering passengers. When he emerges from the subway, the suspect, realizing that he is being followed by law officers, starts firing at them and then grabs an innocent hostage. Obviously, he has no concern for collateral damage.
This dastardly villain is shot and killed, and identified as one Efraim Amit, age 43, who was recruited by Mossad after his service in the Israeli Army, for missions in Africa and Eastern Europe. It is suggested that other ex-Mossad operatives are doing the bidding of a billionaire who has been running a vicious and deadly sex trafficking operation of which super-wealthy, famous and powerful men gladly avail themselves. These for-hire (ex-Mossad?) thugs murder teenage girls, as young as 13 years old, who run afoul of, or are no longer useful to, their ruthless boss. It is suggested that Amit was flying in girls from other countries for the pleasure of American billionaires. He was also paid to kill anyone who might expose the boss’s lucrative blackmail operation.
All this culminated in the debut episode of FBI: International, where there was no longer any mention of ex-Mossad mercenaries. So what was the point of gratuitously—and momentarily—singling out the State of Israel as the spawner of renegades who advance horrific sex-trafficking?
Last spring, NBC’s newest Law and Order incarnation, Organized Crime, dealt with a mobster named Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) who was importing Fentanyl- laced drugs lethal to teenagers and adults, and also trying to profit off of unauthorized Covid vaccines. It seems that Wheatley caused the death of his own mob boss father as well as the wife of past Law and Order personage, Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).
Behind, or sometimes abetting, these and several other murders, including that of a fetching undercover woman cop, is a shadowy figure, Izak Bekher (Ibrahim Renno), Wheatley’s “bald bodyguard with a beard and an accent,” who, we learn, is Israeli and ex-Mossad, and extremely efficient and crafty in his killings.
We are quickly told, however, that Bekher got kicked out of Mossad and has gone rogue, being “on the wrong side of every war for the last fifteen years.” Apparently, he is unsurpassed in ruthlessness, having put a bullet between the eyes of a lead investigator in Manila who tried to arrest him for arms trafficking. He also cold-bloodedly murdered a young wife and mother, a town official in Loudoun County, Virginia (4-15-21) for demanding more money from Wheatley after the latter had bribed her in order to expand his communications capabilities there. (4-15-21) Bekher also made the bomb that killed Stabler’s wife.
But, apparently, Bekher lacks honor even among thieves, or at least to his murderous employer. He asks the police for protection from Wheatley, agreeing to go under cover. But he takes it upon himself to make a show of removing a police bugging device from Wheatley’s office, in order to get his boss to trust him again -- Bekher protests -- though the cops have reason to wonder whether Bekher is “playing us.” Tragically for Bekher, but not for any of his future victims, Wheatley has him killed because he could potentially testify to Wheatley’s son’s initiation crime of executing an undercover female cop who was pretending to be that son’s girlfriend. (5-27-21)
The Wheatley-Bekher saga spilled over into the current TV season with a sensational trial in a December cross-over episode with NBC’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, character Stabler’s old hunting ground. Indeed, two of the spring episodes were cross-over episodes, as well, thus rendering the “ex-Mossad” Bekher one of the franchise’s most exposed and discussed villains.
In the December episode (12-9-21) it was all discussion since Bekher’s body had not yet been found. On trial for his crimes, Wheatley blames everything on Bekher, claiming that the latter “just slipped into the wind” after the “innocent” boss threatened to report Bekher for self-directed murders. Wheatley’s defense attorney uses the argument that because an “ex-Mossad” mercenary would never make sloppy mistakes in purchasing a bomb-related device with an old credit card and then keeping that device in a storage locker, the bomb must have been planted by the police! So, the writers decided to depict Bekher as not such a consummate professional after all?
Rounding out a franchise-wide defamation of Israelis (ex and perhaps current), CBS’s FBI (12-14-21) provided a clue about an assassin hired by a vicious incarcerated Cartel boss intent on killing the series star agents and their family members. The hired killer has been making murder machines disguised as electric power boxes that automatically shoot selected nearby individuals using facial recognition devices programmed with photographs of the would-be targets. We are told that this is the “same kind of device…recently used in Iran to kill a nuclear scientist.” Is there suggestion here of another rogue Israeli exploiting -- for profit -- machinery designed to protect Israel and the rest of the world from Iran? Or did the episode suggest that the United States is targeting Iranians and that the rogue is American? Of course, the “ex-Mossad” fixation on the part of the franchise probably answers that question.
Why all the concerted effort to associate “ex-Mossad” with “mercenary”? Why all the relish in suggesting that the State of Israel is a breeding ground for the most vicious and ruthless enablers of American and international crime?
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