TV Series Review: Fauda

by Steve Lancaster6/6/18
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. • (260 views)

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53 Responses to TV Series Review: Fauda

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I would certainly need the subtitles. That can work, as it did in Allegro non Troppo (sort of a dark Italian version of Fantasia, the most painful piece being “The Sad Waltz” by Sibelius). But that didn’t rely too heavily on it, since most of the movie consists of cartoons and musical pieces.

  2. oldguy says:

    I never hear critics of Israel point this out so I will. As far as I can see, Israel is the only western country that has been successful in integrating Muslims into their country. You just might let that sink in.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I suspect the US has assimilated them about as well as Israel has. Both do much better than any European country.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      From the 19th century until the establishment of Israel, Jews and Moslems shared a common enemy, the Turks and later the British. The 1948 war changed that relationship, but Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has a consensual government. Moslem men and women are members of the government, doctors, lawyers, cabdrivers, masons and professors. The only thing we insist on is loyalty to the state–just saying.

      Before the 67 war Jews were forbidden, on threat of death, to enter holy places in east Jerusalem. Under Israeli administration all holy places anywhere in the state are open to all.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Palestinian attacks on Israelis began in 1929 when there was a pogrom in Hebron. Then in the later ’30s there was an Arab revolt aimed at removing the Jews. The Grand Mufti sided with the Axis after that. So there’s been a strong anti-Semitic strain (an ironic term under the circumstances, since the Arabs are Semites — as the Nazis pointed out to the Grand Mufti once when he exasperated them) in Palestine for a considerable time, easily justified by jihadist quotes in the Koran.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          In 1929 there were no Palestinians or Israelis, only Arabs and Jews. I am not suggesting that all was peaches and cream, but the animosity that exists today was much lower; as it was simpler to hate the occupying British.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Steve, a few months ago I watch the first half of episode one. It looked like a well-produced series, but I just wasn’t in the mood for watching this conflict. Frankly, I wish Israel would just nuke the bastards and get it over with. But otherwise I don’t want to spend one moment watching those animal Islamists in the Middle East.

    I suppose watching them get killed by Israeli soldiers is probably satisfying. Maybe I’ll watch for a couple episodes and see how it goes, especially doing so before my planned ditching of Netflix.

  4. pst4usa says:

    I can only say that the conflic is not complicated at all. One side wants to exist and the other side does not want them to exist. And if the latter ever get the means to make thier stated goal happen, they will do it.
    All the rest of the complication are just dialog. If the Arabs were to lay down all of their weapons, there would be peace in the middle east the very next day, and if Israel were to lay down thiers, there would be no Israel the next day, or very soon there after.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I finished the first episode of “Fauda.” It was exciting. But let’s hope the Israeli defense forces, on average, are a lot more competent than shown in this first operation whose purpose was to kill a major terrorist whom they suspected would try to visit his brother’s wedding.

    The bravery of these soldiers is beyond question. But, yikes, there seemed to be some gaps in planning and logistics in this first operation.

    There’s the strange irony that the Israelis can very easily pass themselves off as Palestinians. My conversational Hebrew isn’t what it once was so I found the subtitles essential. My conversational English ears aren’t once they were either, so even having subtitles for the English was necessary.

    Doron seems, at first glance, like a strong central character. The best scene was seeing the camera output from an Israeli drone as it flew toward the Israeli defense wall, over the wall, and into no-man’s land. A very effective shot. The production aesthetic seems relatively high (this is, thankfully, by no means a “Netflix Original”….only borrowed).

    Whether this show is either a one-trick pony (we hit, they hit, we hit, they hit) or creates some real interest and variety (and not just focuses on one villain as I fear it looks like they are doing) has yet to be seen. I’ll watch another episode soon and report back.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Clausewitz, the much quoted and now seldom read, said that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. This is especially true in covert ops. where the teams are small and in enemy territory. Our enemy is constantly adjusting and changing tactics, they are fanatics. That is how we will defeat them. The lack of moderation will ultimately bring some form of peace.

      What that peace will look like I haven’t a clue. However, SA, Egypt, Jordon and Israel are moving closer to a de facto mutual defense treaty with Israel as the nuclear guarantee. Will that continue after Iran falls to internal stress? Hard to say. SA has transitioned and has joined the 20th century. They may at last have realized that oil is not eatable. Women in SA can now drive automobiles. Consensual government may be only a century away.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The modernization of Saudi Arabia also inevitably means that the Wahabi priesthood have less influence, and that enables them to have a genuinely pro-Western foreign policy.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I have been watching the Crown Prince’s actions and wonder how long it will be before someone assassinates him.

          This man is turning the Saudi order on its head and I can’t believe there will not be a huge push back.

          Hopefully, I am wrong. Maybe those with power and money have become so degenerate and soft that they prefer to take the money and run to London or elsewhere.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            No, they aren’t the ones likeliest to want to assassinate him. The hardcore Wahabis are no doubt eager to stop the modernization of Saudi Arabia before it becomes irreversible. They want him to face Sadat’s fate, and he only made peace with Israel. But their desire won’t necessarily be fulfilled. Not all assassination attempts succeed.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              No doubt the Crown Prince is no dummy and is taking all possible precautions.

              It is hard to know exactly how deep his changes have gone and how many of his people are already in important positions to implement his policies.

              I suspect the Crown Prince will have to stay in power for something like an minimum of 10 years to have lasting influence on the culture of SA.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              Last I heard, there have been at least three attempts on IBS and several more broken up in the planning stage; IBS has Mossad to thank for Intel on some of them.

              My son told me that Shin Bet was reporting relevant intel to SA since it became evident IBS was going to take power.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Interesting about Shin Bet giving SA intel since knowing IBS was going to take power.

                I was thinking that IBS’s best protection would be Israeli bodyguards, but of course it would drive SA crazy.

                Happily, it appears he does have a sort of Israeli bodyguard.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Clausewitz, the much quoted and now seldom read, said that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. This is especially true in covert ops.

        That does make perfect sense. I just thought sending in the undercover agents in the guise of caterers was interesting. Even more interesting is when they jig was up, instead of going out the back door of the place where the wedding reception was being held, they made a big show of going out the front using human shields. Did they suppose they would be the only ones with guns, especially when they had just shot one of the guys in the back kitchen area who was onto them? Wasn’t there a back door?

        And why didn’t they put a dozen bullets into the Bad Terrorist when he was laying on the pavement? The terrorist, of course, survives and I’ll be rolling my eyes if he becomes the continuing Darth-Vader-like bad guy throughout season one.

        One thing is for sure, with the high-tech of the Israeli Defense Forces (including some great drone work), it must keep the terrorists on edge.

        As for peace in the Middle East, as long as the backward religion of Islam is dominant there, there will be no peace. I subscribe to the Churchillian view. Islam “is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog.”

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          You will amazed and happy at the content of the below article.

          I love it that the Turks are accusing the Austrians of being anti-Islamic, blah, blah, blah. This is especially rich considering the fact that Christians cannot build new churches in Turkey.

          They were already having trouble with Turks in Germany and Austria when I studied in both back in 1973-74. I recall all the street sweepers were already Turks. The were called “Gastarbeiter.” Guest workers.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            They were having trouble and still kept bringing in more and more. I wonder if this is where Jean Raspail got his inspiration. But there were no doubt similar problems in other countries as well. But not Japan, for some reason.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Japan is a strange case. When I first moved there in 1979, I believe there were something like 40,000 “foreigners” living in a country with a population of about 120 million. There were so few Westerners in the place that I remember when I saw a bus-load of Western tourists being unloaded at a hotel I thought to myself, “those people look strange.” And I had only lived in Tokyo for about 3 or 4 months at the time. I said to myself that I had already been there too long.

              It should be noted that among the 40,000 foreigners I have not included Chinese and Koreans. I believe the Chinese were mainly Taiwanese and numbered something like 60,000. They spoke Japanese and looked pretty much like Japanese.

              The Koreans were a strange case. If I recall correctly, there were something like 800,000 Koreans. They were split between those loyal to North Korea and South Korea. The North Korean contingent dressed in old-fashioned Korean attire and stood out. The South Korean group dressed like typical Japanese and one could not necessarily tell them from the Japanese.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Of course, both Taiwan and Korea were ruled for a long time by Japan. Elizabeth’s brother is a preacher somewhere in Japan.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Both were ruled by Japan, but the lessons taken from this rule would seem to be quite different.

                The Koreans still resent the Japanese and have less than warm relations.

                The Taiwanese don’t seem to resent the Japanese at all. They are quite happy to do a lot of business with Japan and have adopted some of the Japanese ways.

                Perhaps it is just the native Taiwanese who have such feelings toward Japan and not the mainlanders who came with that SOB Chiang Kai Shek.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The Koreans were very badly treated, and they remember. I understand Godzilla never played there. On the other hand, Japan seems to have done a good job of developing Taiwan. William J. Lederer, in a chapter in A Nation of Sheep, noted that they had 90% literacy after the occupation. And maybe they weren’t quite as brutal there.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Seven mosques is a good start. It’s interesting that they are specifying the problem as “political Islam.” That’s a start. I don’t expect all to catch up to yours truly and realize that Islam of any sort of flavor is the problem, but it’s a start.

            You were commenting to me the other day, Mr. Kung, on how Progressives (particularly in Europe) thought they could emasculate Islam as they have conservatives and Christians. (And I posit that this has successfully been done to these latter two groups). Today Islam is in the category of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But tomorrow Islam will certainly be a target for “fundamental transformation.”

            I thought of you the other day when I read about another European country that was outlawing the Hijab or was preparing too. (I forget with country — perhaps Denmark. It hardly matters.) Clearly, as a man outside the stunted confines of The Daily Drama, I see this as closing the barn door after the horses have bolted. But just as so many conservatives and Christians have been neutered, it’s not an irrational belief amongst Progressives that Islam can be “modernized” as well.

            So it’s also interesting to see what the leader of Saudi Arabia is doing in a sort of odd parallel in his modernization efforts. (Chicks can now drive cars in Saudi Arabia. Woo hoo!) I certainly wouldn’t sell him any life insurance. He’s a bad risk. But I believe all such efforts will fail unless one also takes a scissors to the Koran and associated documents and expunge them of all filth. Granted, much might not be left.

            Unless, of course, as in the West, feminism becomes this all-powerful force that, once unleashed, even the Prince can’t control. Yes, it would be a big improvement replacing suicide belts with vagina hats. But all things come with a cost.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              The problem is that until jihadism is totally eradicated, vagina hats will lead to more suicide belts. But at least Austria, or some elements in that nation (I have no doubt the Social Democrats oppose the closure of Islamist mosques), have now learned the truth. (Freedom of religion, there as here, limits what they can do, no doubt. I’m not sure we could pull that off here, but it hardly matters until someone wants to.)

  6. David says:

    Interesting discussion with a friend about Israel being ‘intolerant’.
    After letting him rant for awhile, I asked him a simple question.
    “Who won the six -day war?”
    “Easy answer – Israel.”
    “Then why on earth did they NOT take that victorious moment and simply remove that mosque built on the temple mount?” But, as we know, they chose not to – when they could have.
    As far as I’m concerned, that is the most striking example of tolerance I have seen in my lifetime.
    Arab response? Well…we know almost daily what the typical Arab response to tolerance has been since.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Then why on earth did they NOT take that victorious moment and simply remove that mosque built on the temple mount?” But, as we know, they chose not to – when they could have.

      It should be dynamited after first giving the Arabs a chance to pay for moving it lock, stock, and barrel to someplace else. These “mosques” are little more than the equivalent of a dog peeing on a tree to claim his territory.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      There were some who advocated building a new Temple, and still are. The most political way of handling the thing was to grant access to all holy places under our control. Many don’t like it; as it allows our enemy access to areas that are, at best unstable, and at worst out of control.

      The irony is that our best friends in the West, are evangelical Christians. 2000 years of hatred and animosity has been put away on both sides. I recall a study, perhaps 40 years ago that found Jewish mistrust and hatred of Christians was per capita higher than anti-semitism per capita among Christians. I would not go so far as to say all is forgotten, but it has changed.

      Here in NW Arkansas, there are three Messianic Jewish Christian synagogues/churches in addition to a well funded and attended reform/conservative/orthodox synagogue in Fayetteville. There are theological issues but no one is spray painting buildings or starting fires. If you had told my very Orthodox grandmother that her grandson would find Jewish paradise in Arkansas she would have stroked out.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Back in the mid ’80s, I liked to ask people to name a state with one Jewish and one Catholic Senator. The natural answer would be New York, but no — its two Senators were both Catholics (Al D’Amato and Daniel Patrick Moynihan). Of course, D’Amato replaced Jacob K. Javits, who was Jewish, so New York answered the question from ’71 through ’80 (the Catholics being Jim Buckley and then Moynihan).

        There were some states with Jewish Senators you might not expect, such as Nebraska (Ed Zorinsky). But the correct answer was Nevada, with Chic Hecht and Paul Laxalt.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        There were some who advocated building a new Temple, and still are. The most political way of handling the thing was to grant access to all holy places under our control. Many don’t like it; as it allows our enemy access to areas that are, at best unstable, and at worst out of control.

        These mosques are ways for Islam to claim territory. I’m not ultra hard-line on most things but if there is true cosmic-based evil as an inherent part of existence, Islam is the expression of it. There is nothing to make peace with but their defeat. Those who actually live in and govern Israel have much more immediate and practical concerns to deal with.

        The irony is that our best friends in the West, are evangelical Christians. 2000 years of hatred and animosity has been put away on both sides.

        I was just thinking about this general subject this morning….likely due in part to watching this series (into episode 4 right now). To call Jews “Christ killers” is a stupid and disingenuous as the Democrats and Left saying that “the climate of right wing hate killed Jack Kennedy.” No, a Marxist of their own faith killed him. Nor did “right-wing hate” kill Bobby Kennedy. A Muslim killed Bobby Kennedy, a faith the Left has cozied up to. Nor did “Jews” kill Jesus. Politics did.

        All is not forgotten. And it can’t be forgotten until the history (good and bad) is remembered. But with the current Pope more interested in “climate change,” Marxism (in various forms), and appeasing Muslims, it’s hard for Christians and Jews to figure everything out with so much disinformation and bad faith out there. Meanwhile, many supposed Protestant leaders (such as Joel Osteen) turn the subject into one of money (prosperity)…forgetting the Original Jew who overturned the money-changing tables in the temple.

        Nearby we’ve had an “Islamic Center” open in what used to be a bank. How sad that is. Give me a hundred orthodox synagogues but spare me this Islamic plague. And it is always a plague.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, as long as any women or girls you know are dressed super-modestly when they’re in the area, you should be all right. For now.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            You un-woke hater, you. You assume that I have no transgender friends who almost might be accosted. “He/She” is an outdated notion…unless talking about ships. They’re always a “she.”

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              Unless its a sub, then its a boat.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                But wouldn’t it still be a “she”? I understand this all comes from the French, where most of the terms are of feminine gender. (They have no neuter gender. Germany does, not that it matters, cf. Mark Twain’s “The Awful German Language”.)

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Found this on the web:

                There’s an old sexist stereotype that women are illogical and unpredictable. The stereotype seems to be common across many cultures. The female principle in Chinese philosophy, yin, is associated with darkness, wetness, cold, passivity, disintegration, and negativity generally. Hurricanes and tropical storms used to be named after women in token of their unpredictability.

                Individual ships and boats also have peculiar and unpredictable qualities, even if they were built according to the same plans by the same shipyard. Nobody really knows why this is, but professional mariners have noticed it for centuries. It’s especially true of sailing ships, in which a large combination of variables comes together to determine its seaworthiness.

                Anyway, this unpredictability became associated with female qualities, and so ships began to be described as female.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            I prefer the Moslem women in bags; makes target identification much easier. If they would make them from high quality kevlar the clean up after the explosion would be simpler also.

            So please, lets get the men in their head wear make it a requirement to be in any western country.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          if there is true cosmic-based evil as an inherent part of existence, Islam is the expression of it. There is nothing to make peace with but their defeat.

          Sounds like an inversion of Arnaud Amalric’s credo.

          “Kill them all, Satan will know his own.”

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Yeah, but he only did that in one city (Béziers), and the comment may be apocryphal (though that’s what they did). And are you going to argue with a Papal legate? Oh, wait, if he were from the Peron pope we all would, so why not?

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            Yep, Dante needs a rewrite.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is an interesting letter in response to an article at Takimag.

    There is an underlying problematic in the whole Israeli-Palestinian conflict Cole ignores, but which is present in virtually all hotspots around the world.

    It is about what constitutes a country? Is it defined by the physical “involatile” borders, or is it the area that a distinct ethnic group of people inhabits?

    In the first case, as it was pretty much over the past millennium, a country was defined by the area where a distinct elite (usually a king and his entourage) tax-farmed the population and they couldn’t care less if their subject cattle was all of the same kind or different.

    The second case is an area that is occupied by people who feel kinship with each other and share a common culture. This was the case in pre-medieval times and found a rebirth with the nation state in the last century. Folks want to be ruled by one of their own and live in an environment that reflects their own culture.

    This constitutes also the classic distinction between globalists and nationalists. While the elites like to keep the farm borders intact, the people like to adapt the borders to match their cultural and ethnic presence.

    The globalist elites (including the large number of Jews among them) are happy with multicultural countries they can farm while living wherever they want. The Israeli nationalists on the other hand, living in Israel, know that a multicultural entity is hell for those who have to live in it; they have the great examples of multicultural paradises right next door in Syria and Lebanon. So they do what all tribes, including Israelis in biblical times, have done: Kick those out who are not part of your culture and if need be, kill them. It may not be tolerant and nice, but evolution just works that way.

    Now the question comes to Mr. Cole:

    If Israel is right to only allow folks of their ethnicity and religion to live in their country, why is it wrong for other nations to do the same and tell the Jews to leave and go to their own country?

    This writer has given the questions a lot of thought. And the answers are not simple. The basic points he makes apply across the globe.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Of course, a lot of elites don’t want Israel to be a nation-state. That isn’t so good for the Palestinians, and the Palestinians are the underdogs and thus deserve all the consideration. Besides, most of them hate Jews and especially Zionists. So they can support transnationalism in their own countries without being hypocrites.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Consider that God Almighty first apparently chose the Jews to bring us out of our devolved animalism to something higher. Either this is true or it is false. But if it is true, Israel as a nation is sanctioned at the very highest levels. One aspect of anti-Semitism is that pagans are offended to be reminded that they are living like beasts.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Consider that God Almighty first apparently chose the Jews to bring us out of our devolved animalism to something higher. Either this is true or it is false.

        I am not whether or not this is true, but the Jews believe it and are the very definition of a nation and a nation has a right to defend itself. In fact, a nation will have the urge to defend itself.

        The Jews hold the land of Israel by right of conquest and that is the oldest and most concrete right in the history of nations. If nations cannot or will not defend themselves, they go the way of the woolly mammoth.

        I fear most West European nations and the USA are heading down that road.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          But not through military conquest, as usually happens when some country won’t defend itself. In this case, we’re talking about a sort-of-peaceful invasion à la Jean Raspail.

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