Real Life Lessons That Fauda Can Teach Us
Netflix’s hit show Fauda has put Israel on the map in a new way. Despite being highly stylized for Hollywood and the Israeli film industry, never before have we been privy to life as an undercover Israeli counter-terror operative quite like this.
While we should never assume that art completely imitates life, we can and should draw real conclusions from this fantastically entertaining show.
Written by Lior Raz, a former undercover operative in Israel’s elite Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit, and Avi Issacharoff, a former IDF soldier and journalist, the show gives us a unique window into a world we can’t fathom as Westerners.
Here are two of my biggest takeaways. First, the obvious and inescapable conclusion: The Israeli Jew is tough — often much tougher than the typical American Jew that you or I know. This is a testament not only to the safety of modern-day life in America, but also to the way that Israel empowers Jews.
The creation of Israel provided the downtrodden Jew with renewed hope, with something to fight and die for — which was arguably missing for generations. Second, and quite important, the ongoing genocidal Arab assault on the Jewish state since 1948 has condensed into a few short decades what by all means should have taken centuries — namely, the reawakening of the dormant Jewish warrior spirit.
Our exile following the destruction of the Second Temple did not result in the death of the warrior spirit within us. For centuries after, Jews were still known as fierce warriors. We were not instantly transformed into the helpless, desperate Jews that the world eventually liberated from Hitler’s death camps. Anyone familiar with Israelis will agree that the Jewish warrior lives again, and it lives in Israel.
My second, and less obvious conclusion: The Jew is not only white. Many of us come or descend from Jews that lived in Arab lands, at times centuries before the rise of Islam or Christianity. Up until the 1960s, many Jews lived in the Arab world, speaking the Arabic language, and were intimately familiar Arab culture and customs. And what’s more, many of the lessons learned about Arab culture from Israeli Jews have been used to help America deal with the Arab world.
This is something to consider next time we choose to thumb our noses at the “aid” Israel receives or, as our leaders begrudgingly admit behind closed doors, the crucial role that Israel plays in American security.
Edward Manor is an Israeli-born American lawyer and political commentator (Twitter: @Shomer_Israel).