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Fauda–Crisis after Crisis

Based upon their experiences serving in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Lior Raz (who also stars as Doron) and Avi Issacharoff have developed a Netflix international sensation,  Fauda  Produced from 2015 through 2022 as a four season series,  each season features a Palestinian terrorist or terrorist cell that IDF sets out to eliminate .  Fauda seems to rip from today’s headlines the bloodshed between Israel and Gaza. 

The main character, Doron, is a rogue:  even the IDF cannot control his actions in every battle mission he is ordered to participate in.  Moreover, Doron identifies with both cultures. So do  several of the other main characters.  In an almost suspend-your-belief character arc, several of the IDF team members, their romantic interests, as well as key terrorists can move undetected between territorial borders  because their bilingual skills yield undetectable ethnic identities.  Doron’s father speaks fluent Arabic and so do almost all of the IDF special op forces sent into Palestine.    Furthermore, Doron is frequently conflicted in what the mission commands him to do–as he falls in love with Palestinian women under the guise of being Palestinian himself.     (The Palestinian women are often working in Israel as doctors or police officers with success and respect from their colleagues.)

At first, Fauda may seem to be a Muslim-bashing series produced by Israel to justify its brutal aggression on Hamas and Hezbollah.  And a number of critics have said as much. However, Fauda seems much more nuanced. And the overriding theme is  loyalty for one’s extended family–even when the family member has committed horrifying crimes. , underscoring  loyalty to one’s tribe, one’s political ideology, and one’s country (or hope for a country).  Believable beyond belief–a series of tragedies and brutality of unspeakable proportions–Fauda is not an easy conversation about Middle East conflict.  There are no foreseeable solutions to what seems like the implacable conditions of war.

Availability:  Netflix

Note: Season five has just been announced, although the finale of season four was intended as the end of the Fauda series.  The finale is shocking. It is difficult to imagine what a succeeding project could add to what is already a  profoundly unsettling finale.  

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