Top executives in the entertainment industry condemned a threat by BDS to boycott Netflix for airing the Israeli-produced “Fauda” TV show.
Dozens of top executives in the entertainment industry condemned a threat by the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement to boycott Netflix if it aired the Israeli-produced “Fauda” TV show.
BDS representatives sent a threatening letter to Netflix, the American internet streaming company which picked up the Israeli show and screened its first season.
“This is a series that is racist against Arabs and that encourages violating international law and human rights — which could lead us to take legal actions against Netflix,” BDS threatened.
“Fauda,” meaning chaos in Arabic, is an Israeli drama about an elite Israeli undercover unit operating against Palestinian terrorists. It was bought by Netflix in 2016.
Responding to BDS, the Creative Community For Peace (CCFP), an organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry dedicated to promoting the arts as a means to peace and to defending artistic freedom, stated in a letter to Netflix, “We stand behind Netflix in the face of this blatant attempt at artistic censorship.”
“[BDS’] 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,” explained the letter, which was signed by 56 executives.
This anti-Israel worldview is evident in the communication BDS sent 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,” continued the letter, which was addressed to the Chief Content Officer and Vice President of Original Series for Netflix.
The show, in fact, goes out of its way “to show the conflict — and the individuals caught up in the conflict — in all its complexity,” the letter pointed out.
“This is the power of this show — and the reason it attracts legions of fans from around the world — which 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,” the execs underscored.
BDS Serves Up Free PR
“It’s a shame that the BDS movement continues in its campaign of divisiveness and hatred toward Israelis instead of focusing on other messages,” the show’s producer, Liat Benasuly-Amit, told The Wrap. “It’s a shame they don’t see the messages we get from people in Turkey, Qatar, Dubai and other Arab countries who talk about how this series opened their eyes in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. People who once hated anything to do with Israel have been exposed to the complexity of the conflict and the humanity on both sides.”
“Sadly, 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,” the letter said.
“We have every confidence that you and Netflix will disregard these threats and stand behind the show. We offer our assistance if ever you should need it,” the letter concluded.
Show co-creator Lior Raz dismissed the BDS’ demands as irrelevant.
“We thank them for the public relations they’re giving our series,” Raz joked, adding that he recently received an email from a girl from Turkey who claimed that until she saw Fauda, she hated Israelis, and after watching the series she understands the complexity of the conflict.
Show co-creator Avi Issacharoff told Ha’aretz, “We wanted to thank the BDS movement because now Palestinians who have yet to see Fauda will now find a way to see the series,” adding on a more serious note that “it’s sad to see the BDS movement try to hurt any kind of Israeli creation, no matter what its content. All we can do is wish them absolutely no success.”