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Fauda

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Israeli show about a special ops unit which carries out counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/fauda

Most of the operatives are in their late 30s or older.  All their missions involve going undercover as Palestinans/Arabs. There are also Arab characters who pass themselves off as Jews.  For instance, one of Hamas soldiers is called The Jew because he apparently looks like one.

But apparently it is hard to tell physically.  All the Israeli characters appear to speak Arabic fluently or at any rate, has no problems communicating with Arabs.  Is it common or is it a license the show takes so the characters interact?

In fact one of the plots of season 2 involves an ISIS trained Palestinian recruiting young men and having them study Hebrew at a West Bank university, so that they can slip into Israel.  They make it pass a checkpoint but then encounter an IDF soldier and one of them says "God Willing" which is apparently an Islamic idiom.

The Israelis see this as an alarming development, that they're learning Hebrew and trying to go into Israel to carry out attacks.

Another thing I wonder about is whether the Arab characters are played by Arab actors or if they're all Israeli actors.

Would Israeli audience care or would they expect authenticity?  Does the Israeli film and TV industry have more liberal attitudes towards Palestinians so that they would want to cast Arabs, maybe even have Arab writers as well?

Because there are certainly Arab characters who are sympathetic.  For instance, Shirin, who's a French-educated doctor who wants nothing to do with terrorists but happen to have a younger cousin who's a terrorist and is smitten with her.

Some of the Israeli officials and the Palestinian officials seem to be friendly towards each other.  Or it may be that the Palestinian Authority officials make a lot of money and seem to live well, so they try to tamp down terrorists, to protect their positions.  There was one case where an Israeli commander is killed by a roadside bomb and the Israelis demand of the Palestinians to turn him over or else there will be a large military operation, which will hurt a lot of people caught in the middle.

So that doesn't happen.

But it's interesting that they chit chat a little about each other's family.  For instance, one high-level Palestinian official has a son who is involved in the Hebrew language plot.  The Israeli guy calls the Palestinian and tips him off about what his son might be doing so that the father could deal with it, rather than come in and try to arrest him.

It is action-heavy though, because it seems to be an attempt to emulate some US action movies.  The commandos in the unit are almost all macho.

There are some stunning women.  Almost sure a couple of them are Arab actresses.

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Finished all 3 seasons.  It does try to show a bit of the family lives of the soldiers but the main focus is the work, which is part undercover cop, part warrior.

The members of this elite unit are drawn from other IDF units.  The main character Doron knows all the Islamic traditions as well as being fluent in Arabic.  Turns out he’s partly Arab and easily passes as one, so he’s always going undercover.

As undercover, he gets close to some of the Palestinians in the West Bank. He can see their humanity, though if they knew he was an Israeli soldier, they’d curse him or kill him.

Show doesn’t depict them as cartoon villains, slavishly loyal to the Resistance or the Movement.  Even when they choose to become or are labeled as martyrs, trying to kill the Israelis but usually getting killed.  Overall, they do try to develop some of the Arab characters, if not sympathetically at least depict their perspectives without vilifying them.

Maybe one reason is that the show has an international audience, translated to several languages.

The unit does suffer casualties and these of course take emotional toll on them.  The third season is particularly brutal.

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