BDS movement demands Netflix cancel popular Israeli terrorism series 'Fauda'

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement has sent a letter to Netflix demanding that it not provide a platform for a third season of the hit Israeli TV drama “Fauda.” The letter from the BDS claims that the show consists of “racist propaganda” and “promotes and legitimizes the war crimes committed by death squads disguised as people pretending to be Arabs within the occupation army.” The letter notes that the two producers of the series, Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff are themselves veterans of an Israeli Defense Forces unit that engaged in counter terrorism operations against Palestinians. The BDS threatened unspecified legal action if Netflix does not comply with its demand.

“Fauda” is an award-winning drama that depicts efforts by an elite unit of the IDF to combat terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza. The show has gained worldwide popularity since Netflix began to carry it, even in some parts of the Muslim world with access to the livestreaming service. “Fauda” has won praise from critics for showing the human cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on both sides, showing the perspective of all of the antagonists in the ongoing struggle. “Fauda” has run for two seasons with a third scheduled to drop in 2019. The series is in Hebrew and Arabic with the addition of subtitled or dubbed languages where appropriate.

The BDS movement is a worldwide organization dedicated to the economic and cultural isolation of the State of Israel for what it says is the Jewish state’s occupation of Palestinian land. The organization has pressured performing artists to not appear in concerts in Israel and has organized anti-Israel events on university campuses in Europe and North America.

Supporters of the BDS movement compare what it is doing to the efforts of the anti-Apartheid movement to bring about black majority rule in South Africa or the American civil rights movement to end racial discrimination in the United States. Its opponents ascribe anti-Semitic motives to the movement, pointing out that it is silent about far greater acts of oppression that take place in other countries in the Middle East. Some have even compared its efforts to the “do not buy from Jews” boycotts organized by the Nazis in Germany.

Regardless, the BDS letter is getting some considerable pushback by the entertainment industry. According to the Algemeimer, a group of top entertainment executives have signed a letter opposing the BDS demand. The letter, send to Netflix, condemns what the signers view as a “blatant attempt at artistic censorship.”

The letter goes on to suggest that the BDS movement is attempting to paint the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in stark black and white terms, ascribing every evil to the Israelis and absolving the Palestinian side from any responsibility. It praises “Fauda” as depicting the conflict in all of its complexity.

Raz and Issacharoff took the threats in stride, claiming that the BDS letter provided some publicity for their show and might inspire Palestinians to tune in.