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April 18, 2023 11:43 am

‘Fauda’ Co-Creator Teases Season 5 News, Criticizes Israel’s Judicial Reform ‘Coup’ in Podcast Interview


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Avi Issacharoff (left) and Lior Raz, showrunners of Israeli television series “Fauda,” smile during an interview with Reuters in Tel Aviv, May 30, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen

Avi Issacharoff, the co-creator of the widely popular Israeli television series Fauda, did a podcast interview last week in which he briefly discussed a potential fifth season of the television drama before speaking out against Israel’s proposed judicial reform plans led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Issacharoff was a guest on the April 14 episode of the podcast State of Tel Aviv, hosted by former Canadian Ambassador to Israel Vivian Bercovici. A former journalist who also served in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Duvdevan unit, Issacharoff began his interview with talks about Fauda, an action series about an undercover Israeli combat unit that hunts down Palestinian terrorists.

Issacharoff — who created Fauda with its lead actor Lior Raz — said the show’s fourth season, which premiered on Netflix on Jan. 20, has been more successful than its first three seasons. When asked by Bercovici about a fifth season, Issacharoff replied that he is “still waiting to hear from the network Yes,” meaning Israel’s Yes Studios, about moving forward with the show. He also talked about his docu-drama series that will be released May 19 on Showtime called Ghosts of Beirut, about the real-life joint assassination operation between the CIA and Israel’s Mossad to take down Hezbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyeh.

In recent months, Issacharoff has publicly critiqued the proposed legal reforms in Israel spearheaded by Netanyahu, which the Fauda co-creator called a “judicial coup.” He recently did an interview televised in Israel where he criticized Netanyahu’s plans for the Israeli government and also spoke at anti-government demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He told Bercovici he believes Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul is tearing Israel apart and making the country vulnerable, creating an opening for it to be attacked by its adversaries.

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“This country has become so fragmented because of the rift inside Israeli society,” he said. “I think that our enemies … they are all smelling the blood and they see that we’re becoming weaker and weaker. They understand that Netanyahu doesn’t have a same support that he used to have, and this is why I think they allow themselves to be more violent and aggressive.”

Issacharoff then referred to the recent rocket attacks launched from Lebanon to Israel in early April. He believes more violence will take place against Israel as thousands protest against the government and as the country deals with the chaos of the proposed judicial reforms.

“The fact that we have seen 34 rockets being shot from southern Lebanon towards Israel — it’s something that didn’t take place here in the last 17 years and it says something: that Hezbollah is allowing Hamas to take some risk and go challenge Israel because they know Netanyahu doesn’t have the courage or the will now to go to war. There’s a reason why they do it now,” he explained. “[Netanyahu] doesn’t have the popular support of the Israeli people to go to war.

“At the end of the day, I think the real problem is not even the judicial reform. It’s the rift inside families, among friends, among teammates, my family, my teammates from the army, my best friends … we’re arguing about that. It tears this country apart. It [has] already torn this country.”

Issacharoff additionally accused Netanyahu and some of his Ashkenazi colleagues in the government of looking down at Mizrahi Jews, such as the Fauda co-creator himself, and said he does not believe that they will be able to properly represent Israel’s massive Mizrahi community. He concluded the interview by making predictions about the Israeli government and the intentions of its prime minister, who was indicted in 2019 on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

“Let’s be honest, this whole thing is about saving him from going to prison,” Issacharoff said about Netanyahu. “I think this government will fall at the end of the day because right now its existence is a threat for the state of Israel; for the future of the state. In a few months… it’s either they will lead us into a terrible war that will bring an end to this government or they will get out of this government and that will be the end of this government.”

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