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"Fauda" (Arabic for 'Chaos') depicts the two-sided story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Doron, a commander of undercover Israeli unit, the Israeli Special Forces, operating inside Palestinian territories, and his team, are hunting down Hamas terrorist Abu-Ahmed. On the other side of the fence, the life of Abu-Ahmed and his family, who has thus far murdered 143 Israelis, will never accept the State of Israel, and will continue Jihad for as long as it takes.
Purchased and broadcast by Netflix, this is the best series to come from Israel TV film-makers, who are rapidly becoming masters of the genre --and all this on strictly limited budgets.
Why is Fauda different? Well, for a start, there is the fact that it reeks of authenticity about the cat and mouse tactics Israel is forced to employ when hunting down highly motivated Palestinian terrorists. This drama has everything. It is played out in Arabic and Hebrew by superb actors who have bilingual command of the languages.
It is never condescending to the Arabs, so even the most fervent of Palestinian supporters will find it hard to find bias. The eternal struggle is seen from both sides and does not moralise. Love and betrayal are rawly exposed, not only between human beings but also between ideologies. This, indeed, is a fight to the death. Lior Raz is entirely convincing as Doron Kavillio, the emotionally torn leader of the 'mista'ar'vim', the Arabic-speaking Jewish infiltrators who act and think like Arabs in order to track down Israel's enemies in the West Bank. The dividing line between pretense and reality becomes a blur.
The Israeli Arab actors, too, deserve credit for portraying their characters with such humanity. Betrayal is an integral part of Arab society in the West Bank (and Gaza for that matter). Israel would not have been able to succeed as often as it has if not for the myriad informants and stool pigeons willing to 'shop' the terrorists among them, whether for money or for political reasons. Everyone, it seems, has his price. The enmity between Fatah, which runs the West Bank, and Hamas, dominant in Gaza, is palpable. Israel uses this to its advantage.
The reason why this series must be seen on TV throughout the Western world, and even further afield, is that it shows in depth how Israel combats terrorism. All we usually see on the news channels are the results of hits via video from drones and guided missiles. We never see the story behind the assassination of terrorists.
The amazing thing is that past leaders of the Israeli 'mista'ar'vim' have said that the reality is even more astounding than that which is portrayed in this series. If so, the mind boggles.
All I can say is 'kol ha'kavod' (all respect) to the writers, producers. director and actors of Fauda (Chaos in Arabic). I can hardly wait for series 2.
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