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Eli David was played by Michael Nouri
Young Eli David was played by Ben Morrison

Occupation/Title: Deputy Director of Mossad (Season 3); Director of Mossad (Season 6-10)

Personality type: Manipulative

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s): disregard for his children

Blog Entries:
Leon Vance and Eli David
Eli David - Man or Monster?

Eli David viewed his job as saving Israel -- and sacrificed all that he had in order to do it. He raised his son from childhood to be an informer, and routinely sent his surviving daughter on dangerous missions; even abandoning her to certain death when her mission failed.

Yet at the very end, Eli gave his life attempting to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Iran. Was he evil, or working for the good of his country? Was he a traitor, or a martyr? Or all of the above?

Eli David


Family members: Ziva and Talia (daughters - the latter deceased); Ari (son; deceased)


Friends: Leon Vance

Enemies: Gibbs, Ziva, Tony and just about everyone else

Character Backstory:

Season 3

  • In 3.02 Kill Ari (Part 2), Ari tells Gibbs the reason he became such a "monster" was because of his father. His father had always groomed him to be a mole inside Hamas, but Ari hated him for it. He was referred to then as Deputy Director of Mossad, not Director. Later it was revealed, that Ziva was given orders by her father to kill Ari (if necessary) in order to earn the trust of Gibbs and NCIS. Ziva and Ari are half-siblings: Same father, different mothers.

  • In 3.04 Silver War, Ziva admits she may believe that Ari was right about her father. Ziva also reacts angrily (by driving slightly more maniacally) when asked about her father by McGee.

  • In 3.17 Ravenous, Ziva commented that she spent some time on stage as a child, and that she would search for her father's face in the audience. However, he was never there, even when he had promised that he would be.
Season 4

Season 5

Season 6
  • First appeared in 6.01 Last Man Standing, where it was shown he had a good friendship with NCIS Director Vance. This friendship allowed Vance to ask for Ziva back as a Liaison Officer to NCIS. It seemed that Eli reluctantly did this. Earlier, Eli overhead a conversation between Ziva and Gibbs about their undercover operation in Morocco.

  • Was next referenced in 6.22 Legend (Part 1) when Mossad Officer Michael Rivkin tells Ziva that her father sends his love, and that he sent Rivkin to Washington D.C. for a mission.

  • Appeared in 6.25 Aliyah when Vance, Gibbs, Tony and Ziva travelled to Tel Aviv. He interrogated Tony over Rivkin's death.

  • He then sent his daughter as part of a small band to kill a terrorist in Somalia.
Season 7

  • Did not attempt to rescue his daughter when she was captured in Somalia. (NCIS rescued her in 7.01 Truth or Consequences)

  • In 7.04 Good Cop, Bad Cop, he sent Malachi Ben-Gidon (a Mossad agent) to attempt to frame Ziva for the murder of a Marine on the Damocles and therefore not able to become an NCIS agent.

Season 8

  • The paired episodes of 8.08 Enemies Foreign and 8.09 Enemies Domestic served as the "origin" episodes showing how Eli and Leon Vance met and became friends in Amsterdam in 1991. After Eli's wife left him (taking Ziva, Talia and Ari), Eli became morose and angry. Unwilling or unable to act against his wife, he took out his anger on a Russian agent that had killed an Israeli sailor. He used Leon Vance as bait to draw out the Russian, then improvised a homemade bomb to kill the enemy. Meanwhile, he showed Vance how Vance had also been deliberately chosen for the NCIS mission in Amsterdam specifically because he was expendable, and thereby saved Vance's life as well.

  • Twenty years later, Eli tracked down all of the Americans involved in the Amsterdam operation and persuaded Leon to bring them together under the disguise of a sweeping conference to review past cases. This action exposed the old plot by former NIS agent Riley McAllister to have Vance killed in Amsterdam by the Russians so that national attention would be refocused on McAllister's personal area of expertise (Russian affairs), which McAllister had believed would result in his promotion to Director of NIS.
Season 10

  • Although considered a ruthless political hawk, Eli actually believed that Israel and Iran needed to make peace with one another and to diplomatically discuss their significant issues. He risked his life meeting with his childhood friend and equally hawkish Iranian counterpart, Arash Kazmi, in an attempt to bring peace. During this episode (10.11 Shabbat Shalom), Eli tells Ziva that he is seeking redemption for his past actions.

  • Eli was murdered by Roland Ames acting under the orders of Eli's own Deputy Director of Mossad, Ilan Bodnar. Bodnar believed Eli was betraying Israel by talking with Arash Kazmi about peace.





How to add pictures

Aliyah #10
Eli and Ziva

Episode 6.25 Aliyah
Eli and Vance
8.08 Enemies Foreign
8.08 Enemies Foreign

Sample Character Profile - Site Templates

Sample Character Profile - Site Templates


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Keyword tags: Eli David
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Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
DustyWhite Eli hero or villain? 19 Jan 8 2013, 6:03 PM EST by GoNCIS
Thread started: Nov 23 2010, 5:40 PM EST  Watch
I don't know yet.

But I like him more and more every episode :-)
2  out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?    
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