by Steve Lancaster 6/6/18
When it comes to Israel, everything is complicated. Politics are complicated, religion is complicated, democracy is complicated, the conflict is complicated. Even the complications are complicated. These are the things that make us shout, and cry, that fill us with hope or plunge us into utter despair.
An Israeli series on Netflix. This series is in its second season. It is hard, realistic and very accurately depicts the harsh truths of the conflict between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. Since the series is produced in Israel; the natural assumption of a first-time viewer is that it will be Israeli centric. If you look for bias you will find it. However, the relationships between the Israelis and Palestinians is multifaceted.
The lead actor is Lior Raz, also the producer and writer. The story covers the actions of an Israeli counter terrorist operations group, referred to as, “the unit”. In reality they mirror the kind of operations conducted by Shin bet. Shin Bet is the Israeli FBI charged with domestic security. Personal aside, my oldest son is a Lt. Col. Working for Shin Bet. His job is so secret that he doesn’t even know what he is doing. His mother was murdered by a Palestinian outside Jerusalem in 1996. She was only 36.
Raz plays Doron a very skilled agent who seamlessly moves from Arab society to Israeli. He is fluent in Hebrew and Palestine Arabic. The series plays the conflict as what it is. Two sides locked in war over offences they did not give, to people who were dead before they were born. There are subtle clues that all is not black and white. The average Palestinian home visibly reflects a lower standard of living than the average Israeli. However, the homes of the Palestinian leadership reflect a wealthier lifestyle; the same with the automobiles, Lexus and BMW’s for the elite and beat-up Toyotas for the home boys. A life of privilege for the leadership and much less for the poor schmuck on the street.
The series revolves around Hamas, and Shin Bet. Hamas being the thugs they are, the lower operations level are involved in terror operations against Israeli citizens. The unit works to counter the knifings, shootings, and bombing. Sometimes they are successful, others not. For an Israeli made series it is remarkably fair to the average Palestinian and not propaganda.
If your conversational Hebrew and Arabic are very good you can turn off the sub titles. I left them on some as some of the accents are difficult to understand. You won’t miss much as the subs are quite good. The only disappointment is they run by very quickly, but isn’t that why we have pause and rewind? You won’t see any gee whiz tech and nothing that would betray any secrets. However, you will get good stories, told in a realistic manner and perhaps, by osmosis learn more about the both sides of an issue that has plagued the Middle East for almost 1,500 years. • (255 views)