Israeli TV storms Lebanon
Fauda, the popular Israeli series filmed in Hebrew and Arabic, returned for its fourth season on Netflix last week. Part of this season’s plot takes place in Lebanon, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the show ranked number one on Netflix in that country — technically still at war with Israel — as well as in the United Arab Emirates. It ranked second in Qatar (which also has no diplomatic relations with Israel) and was among the top 10 most-viewed Netflix shows in Turkey, Morocco, and Jordan.
Other countries that have put Fauda in the Neflix top 10 list include Romania, the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Italy, Poland, Holland, France, Kenya, and Sri Lanka, as well as Hungary, where some of the season’s episodes were filmed.
Lior Raz, the show’s star and co-creator, told a Tel Aviv correspondent for the UAE’s Khaleej Times that “the magic of the show was that it won people over from both sides of the conflict.”
Raz said many Israelis told him they felt empathetic toward Palestinians for the first time after watching the show, and “the Palestinians told me that this is the first time that they are feeling compassionate towards the Israelis. So, I think everyone connected to this narrative, but still they could see it from the other side too.”
Raz’s father is from Iraq and his mother is from Algeria.
Co-creator Avi Issacharoff told Army Radio that he hasn’t gotten used to the success of Fauda. “Even now in the fourth season, it still surprises me and Lior Raz every time,” he said.
As does the fact of getting feedback from fans just beyond Israel’s borders.
“I just spoke with someone from Lebanon,” Issacharoff said. “He had disagreements about details in the script.”