The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is threatening to sue Netflix if they don’t drop the Israeli television show Fauda. In response, over 50 entertainment executives have signed a letter saying that they stand with Netflix.
The letter, issued by the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an organization that is aimed at countering BDS, denounced BDS’ targeting of Netflix as a “blatant attempt at artistic censorship.”
“The BDS movement seeks to isolate Israel in the cultural, academic, economic, and diplomatic arenas. Its myopic and simplistic anti-Israel worldview is threatened by the worldwide exposure Netflix has generated for Fauda’s nuanced portrayal of issues related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” the letter states. “This worldview was evident in the letter BDS wrote to Netflix, in which they continued their habit of using inaccurate and inflammatory language, such as ‘colonialist’ and ‘apartheid,’ to describe Israel. As always, they assign every evil imaginable to Israel, while absolving the Palestinians of any and all responsibility or agency.”
The letter added that the show provides a balanced portrayal of all sides of the Israel-Palestine issue to help foster dialogue on the issue, but BDS is attempting to shut down that dialogue.
“Attempts to block true understanding and instead force a black and white, good versus evil view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict upon the world are nothing new for BDS. “In threatening to sue Netflix for distributing a television series with which they disagree, they have simply taken those attempts to the next level of absurdity.”
Among the executives to sign the letter included Chairman and CEO of Downtown Records Josh Deutsch and Orly Adelson, president of Orly Adelson Productions.
The BDS letter attacking the show called it “racist propaganda for the Israeli occupying army and displays aggression towards the Palestinian people, and the process it is leading for freedom and independence.”
Fauda, which is Arabic for “chaos”, centers on the undercover Israeli Special Forces operating in Judea and Samaria to track down a Hamas terrorist. The second season is set to premiere on Netflix on May 24, although it has already premiered in Israel. The characters in Fauda have become hot topics in Israeli culture and the show is starting to catch on in the United States as well.
Lior Raz, the main actor and co-creator of the show, told The Washington Post, “It allows people to see the complexity of the conflict and to understand that everyone has a backstory, on both sides, Israelis and Palestinians.”
Raz added that he and his co-creator, journalist Avi Issachoroff, will change scenes if the Arab actors think their characters are being wrongly depicted.