The Israeli political thriller “Fauda” recently returned to Netflix, offering viewers more drama, action and suspense. The television series centers around elite Israeli undercover agents, who are working in Palestinian territories to neutralize threats from Hamas. The show has received positive reviews from both viewers and critics and has even won multiple awards for best drama series.
In the first season, the unit attempts to take down a high ranking Hamas leader, who was previously presumed dead. They go through incredibly difficult situations that when added together, displays the complexity of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Each character—from both sides of the conflict—undoubtedly suffer both physically and psychologically from their situation. The value of family, love, belief and sacrifice are central themes to the show, which greatly enhances the intensity of the drama.
Season two continues with the same themes of season one, plus the addition of new characters, one of whom an ISIS operative trying to take action in Israel. These new episodes capture the repercussions that violence and secrecy have in a combative environment.
One goal of “Fauda” is to show the toll that fighting takes on an individual. In both seasons, characters on both sides of the conflict deal with their personal struggles in a very realistic way; some become increasingly violent, while others completely lose hope. What is clear though, is that “Fauda” expertly exposes an honest, balanced and deeper message about the reality individuals face by being surrounded by violence and hate.
Personally, I connect with “Fauda” because it gives me the ability to understand the complexity of the conflict on a personal and emotional level.
“Fauda” offers a unique window into the Arab-Israeli conflict because of the way the entire show is portrayed. While the Palestinians are initially depicted as the antagonists, the series still receives praise from both pro and anti-Israel viewers. In an interview with BBC, Laëtitia EÏDO, an Arab actress on the show said, “Both sides are bad – and good, and that’s why people are saying for the first time, ‘I have compassion for the other side.’” The series has received praise for displaying both Palestinian and Israeli society in a balance in an objective way.
Personally, I connect with “Fauda” because it gives me the ability to understand the complexity of the conflict on a personal and emotional level. Despite my initial pre-disposition as a pro-Israel advocate, I can empathize with the internal human struggles that motivate the characters on both sides of the conflict. As an American, I feel that “Fauda” depicts the complexity of the conflict in such a human way, resulting in the realization that we are all victims of our own hate, indoctrination and ignorance. The show’s ability to put a human face on the conflict in such a raw and realistic manner, helps individuals on both sides look at their hate and animosity in a different light. Ultimately, “Fauda” successfully portrays the message of focusing on the elements that we all have in common rather than on the issues that divide us.
Shoshana Solomon is a junior at The Frisch School in Paramus, N.J.