The Israeli show Fauda, about a deep-cover unit of the IDF, has become a worldwide hit after being picked up by Netflix. While I have not personally seen it, I can attest that hardly a day goes by without a friend recommending I watch it.
Yep, I’ll definitely be giving it a shot (pun intended).
Lior Raz, the show’s co-creator and lead star, was recently interviewed by a site called Snap Munk. I found the interview really interesting, especially this:
The show is reported to have broken barriers in Israel by giving its Arab characters equal screen time and equally complex backstories as its Jewish characters. The protagonists from both sides are as much fathers and brothers as they are combatants, and are drawn with equal complexity.
“When we talk about the Arab population we try to show them as real people, not the flat way that is so many times used. We wanted to give them rights too. We wanted to give them wishes, just like everybody out there. We really wanted to show people and not just characters.”
Imagine that. The evil Zionists, accused of everything from apartheid to genocide and everything in between, portraying the Arabs (which I assume means mostly those identifying as palestinians) as real humans, and not one-dimensional villains.
Even as reminders of the desire to murder us occur:
The show was shot in the midst of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and sometimes the cast and crew were more in the middle of the action than they had anticipated. “We shot the show during the war in Israel. Sometimes there were missiles, you know bombs falling…” Raz says, describing the experience during mortar attacks. “We would all go down together to the bomb shelters and it was quite crazy. It was quite crazy.”
I am bringing this up not as a criticism but to remind you about the true face of Israel: a society that on the whole does not incite against palestinians nor paint them all as the big bad. And yes, it goes without saying that there is no apartheid or genocide.
In contrast, palestinian society does paint Israelis – actually, Jews – as evil and the sons of monkeys and pigs, deserving of the most heinous of deaths. Here is a recent, particularly disgusting example.
So for me, Fauda is not just about the success of Israeli television in the global market, but a great example of the difference between Israeli society and that of our enemies.