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April 4, 2018 12:57 pm

Top Entertainment Industry Execs Condemn BDS Threats to Sue Netflix Over Israeli Series ‘Fauda’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A screenshot of a season 1 poster for “Fauda.” Photo: IMDb.

Fifty-six high-level executives in the entertainment industry signed an open letter to Netflix on Tuesday denouncing threats by boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) activists to pursue legal action against the company if it continued to stream the hit Israeli television series “Fauda.”

The letter — addressed to Netflix’s Chief Content Creator Ted Sarandos and VP of Original Series Peter Friedlander — was issued by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment industry advocacy group. The executives told Sarandos and Friedlander in the letter, “we stand behind you and Netflix in the face of this blatant attempt at artistic censorship.”

They added, “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 [the show’s] nuanced portrayal of issues related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 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.”

In a letter sent last week to Netflix, supporters of the BDS movement made demands for Netflix to “stop broadcasting and not to produce the third season of the series,” and threatened legal action against the company if it does not remove the first season of “Fauda” from its platform. They claimed the show serves as “racist propaganda for the Israeli occupying army…encourages violating international law and human rights…and gives legitimization to war criminals.” The letter also attacked the show’s co-creators Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, both former soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.

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In their own letter, the entertainment industry executives told Netflix that Issacharoff and Raz “go out of their way to show the conflict — and the individuals caught up in the conflict — in all its complexity.” They also mentioned Raz’s comments in a previous interview where he said he worked with his Arab actors to rewrite scenes if they felt their characters were portrayed incorrectly.

The executives ended by saying that the BDS movement was attempting to “block true understanding and instead force a black and white, good versus evil view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict upon the world. 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.”

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