(JTA) — More than 50 entertainment industry executives have signed a letter in support of Netflix, after the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel threatened a lawsuit over its distribution of the Israeli drama series “Fauda.”
The show focuses on a commando unit of the Israeli Defense Forces whose members embed themselves in the Palestinian community, gathering intelligence and preventing terror attacks. Fauda is an Arabic word meaning “chaos.” The show incorporates both Arabic and Hebrew dialogue. It airs on Netflix with English subtitles. Netflix is set to release the second season of the series next month.
The letter sent to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, chief content creator, and Peter Friedlander, vice president of original series, praised “Fauda” for presenting a “nuanced portrayal of issues related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” Variety reported. The letter also said that the show, “mirrors the power of the arts in general; they bring up difficult but important conversations, expanding our horizons and allowing us to experience different points of view.”
Among the executives signing the letter, according to Variety, were Rick Rosen, head of television at WME; Marty Adelstein, CEO of Tomorrow Studios; Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications of Time Warner Inc.; Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group; Neil Jacobson, president of Geffen Records; and Ben Silverman, chairman and co-CEO of Propagate Content.
The BDS movement posted a statement on its website last week from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. It called on Israel to “nix” the series, calling it “an anti-Arab racist, Israeli propaganda tool that glorifies the Israeli military’s war crimes against the Palestinian people. Failing to do so will open Netflix to nonviolent grassroots pressure and possible legal accountability.”
Specifically, the statements demands that Netflix suspend production of season three of the series, refrain from releasing season two and remove season one from its streaming service.
The statement also said that the series “promotes and legitimizes violent acts committed against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory by Israeli army death squads — the so-called ‘Mistaravim.’ The show’s writers, who were members in these units, have based the series on the war crimes committed by these squads against Palestinians.”
The series was created by Avi Issacharoff, the Arab affairs reporter for the English-language Times of Israel news website, and actor Lior Raz, who stars in the show. Both men served in the IDF unit depicted in the series.