The Best Documentaries about Israel

Nov 7, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, History

Situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel is a country with an 8.3 million population and borders countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. With its long history dating back to ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah, this country has earned global recognition since 1948 for its independence. Moreover, it holds within itself over 400 archaeological sites that are 5,000 years old along with various religious structures like synagogues and churches. Its capital city Jerusalem is considered holy by both Jews and Muslims due to their respective religions. To know more about this unique nation of diversity we have compiled the best documentaries about Israel which will serve as our guide through its culture and heritage!


1948: Creation & Catastrophe (2018)

1948: Creation & Catastrophe is a gripping and powerful documentary that delves into the tumultuous events of Israel’s establishment, told through the personal experiences of those who lived it. Through their perspectives, we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that continues to shape our world today. With stunning visuals and thought-provoking interviews, 1948: Creation & Catastrophe is a must-watch for anyone seeking context and insight into this ongoing struggle.





Magical Israel: A Journey Through 5,000 Years of History (2010)

Come explore the enchanting land of Israel through a thought-provoking documentary that showcases its diverse cultures and cherished sites. From ancient ruins to modern cities, this captivating program captures the allure of the Holy Land like never before.




Modern Warfare: Six Day War – Third Arab-Israeli War (2003)

The 6 Day War was a pivotal moment in history, where Arab nations banded together with one goal: to eliminate Israel from existence. In the midst of this intense conflict, Israel showed the world their true strength and determination. This epic battle, one of the largest in armored warfare, is captured in all its glory in this documentary.






Body and Soul – The State of the Jewish Nation (2014)

Discover the enduring bond between the Jewish people and their ancestral homeland, Israel. Through captivating storytelling and meticulous research, this powerful documentary illuminates the rich history of this ancient land, from biblical times to modern day.






Yom Kippur War – 1973 Arab-Israeli War (2003)

The year was 1973 and tensions were high in the Middle East. In an unexpected turn of events, Egypt and Syria joined forces to launch a surprise attack on Israel. The world held its breath as the conflict escalated rapidly, with each side mobilizing their troops, technology, and tactics with incredible speed and precision.






Life by the Sword: The Israel Defense Forces (2012)

Welcome to the captivating world of Israeli military history, where secrets are revealed and legends come to life. Join Prof. Martin van Creveld, renowned historian and expert on all things related to Israel’s defense forces, on a journey like no other.




The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel (2015)

Join us on a captivating exploration of the 50 years leading up to the birth of the modern State of Israel. Delve into the minds and hearts of Israel’s founding visionaries, including Theodor Herzl Eliezer, Ben-Yehuda, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and Golda Meir. Experience history come alive as we trace the challenging and inspiring journey towards the re-establishment of Israel.





Israel: The Royal Tour (2014)

Dive into the vibrant and historic country of Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and travel expert Peter Greenberg. In this captivating documentary, you’ll discover hidden gems and must-see locations that hold personal significance for the Prime Minister himself. From ancient holy sites to bustling marketplaces, get an insider’s perspective on the rich culture and diverse landscapes of Israel.





Israel- Salt of the earth: The South (2023)

Discover the secrets of a nation that has defied all odds and risen to become one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Israel, where ancient knowledge meets cutting-edge innovation. From groundbreaking inventions to revolutionary advancements, witness how this small country has transformed into a powerhouse of progress.






The Best Free Israel Documentaries


1. Netanyahu at War

This documentary takes a look at the life of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. Through interviews with family and friends, rare home movies, and archival material we get an insight into how his personal history has shaped his political destiny. We explore what motivates him – is it patriotism, faith or a sense of predestination? From being one of the youngest ambassadors to leading the right-wing Likud party – this film offers an in-depth analysis as to who he really is and why he makes certain decisions. Follow us on this journey through Netanyahu’s life from soldier to politician – “Netanyahu at War”.


2. Gaza: The Fight For Israel

The Israel-Gaza conflict has been one of the most challenging issues for the Israeli government since its formation. This documentary follows General Dov Weissglas as he is faced with the difficult task of removing 8,500 Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip in 2005. It examines how this operation split Israel’s population down the middle, and explores both sides of this complex issue – those who believe it is a religious duty to settle land and those who see them as an obstacle to peace. Watch now to gain insight into this thorny problem!


3. The Complex History Of The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

This documentary is a must-watch for those wanting to understand the complex history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Through interviews with experts and scholars, as well as archival footage, it offers an in-depth look at how Britain’s double-dealings during WW1 triggered tragedy for Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Avi Shlaim, Professor at Oxford University calls it ‘one of best documentary I have ever seen’. Follow us on this journey through time to understand why conflicting promises created a legacy of bloodshed that has determined their fate up until today.


4. The 50 Years War Israel and the Arabs: Part 1

The Arab-Israeli War was an incredibly consequential conflict that changed the course of history. This documentary explores the different events leading up to and during this war, as well as its lasting effects. It looks at how Israel secured its boundaries after 1948 by taking more land from Syria and Jordan, and examines how this war led to Jewish people being expelled from their homes in what is now known as Palestine. We also explore the aftermath of the Six Day War two years later which further cemented Israel’s borders. Watch this documentary for a comprehensive look at one of the most important conflicts in modern history.


5. The 50 Years War Israel and the Arabs: Part 2

For the past half century, Israel and Palestine have been engaged in a conflict that has had no resolution. This series dives into the history of this ongoing war – from its roots in territorial disputes to its current state of affairs. In Part 2, you will learn more about what lies behind this fifty-year struggle and how it has evolved over time. Join us as we explore this incredible story!


6. Israel: Dream of the future

Israel is a small but powerful country that has had to fight for its existence since it was established. This documentary looks at the diverse cultures and religions that have contributed to Israel’s history, as well as the immigrants who helped shape its future. Pierre Brouwers takes us on a journey through this unique land, exploring how Jews and others before wars have made it rich with their culture and commerce. Discover how these people are still working towards creating an even brighter future in this amazing 10 Best Documentaries about Israel!


7. History of Israel Documentary

The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948 and has since been a contested region with a complex history. From its ancient roots to the present day, this documentary delves into the fascinating story of Israel’s past and examines how it continues to shape its future. Learn about the establishment of Israel as a safe haven for Jewish people escaping persecution during World War II, and explore why this land remains so important today. Discover who lived there before, what happened when they arrived, and how their presence continues to affect the nation. With expert interviews and archival footage, get an up-close look at one of the most controversial countries in world history: The State of Israel!


8. Israel: Birth of a Nation

This documentary film captures one of the most significant moments in Jewish history – the Israeli Declaration of Independence, proclaimed on May 14, 1948. It follows the last days leading up to this momentous event and provides an eye-witness account of a defining moment for Israel and its people. Relive this important milestone with us as we explore what led up to it, and how it shaped the nation it is today.


9. Six days that changed the Middle East: The ’67 Arab-Israeli War

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the Six-Day War of 1967 and its long-term consequences on the Middle East. It dives into the roots of this conflict, from 1948’s Nakba to 1956’s Suez Crisis, and covers all six days of battle with great detail. The film explores how this war changed Israel’s territorial claims and solidified their military dominance in the region. Don’t miss out on this informative journey through one of modern history’s most critical events!


10. Journey Through Israel

Join me on a journey through the Holy Land, exploring Israel and Palestine. From the beautiful beaches of modern Tel Aviv to the religious landmarks of Jerusalem, I’ll show you all that this diverse region has to offer. Along the way I’ll meet locals and taste some delicious local cuisine!

But it’s not just about fun – I’ll also talk about politics & history as we explore some of the sites most affected by conflicts in the area. Read up on different sources for more information if you’re interested in learning more. Come along with me and discover why Israel is such an amazing place to visit!


11. Rick Steves’ The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today

Rick Steves’ The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today is an informative hour-long special that provides a comprehensive look into the lives of Israelis and Palestinians. From Jerusalem’s ancient ramparts to Tel Aviv’s modern skyline, this documentary takes viewers on a journey through Israel and Palestine where we learn about security walls, settlements, olive harvesting near Hebron, visiting a home in Bethlehem, as well as understanding the challenges facing the region. Join us on this enlightening journey through The Holy Land!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B