Should one laugh or cry at the demand of Yinon Magal, a new MK from Habayit Hayehudi and a former media person, to fire Hisham Suleiman, the star of “Fauda,” a local television series about an undercover Israel Defense Forces unit that is battling Hamas in the territories?
For anyone who missed not only the series (the final episode of its first season was broadcast this week on Yes satellite television) but also the “real-life” series we would dub “McCarthyism Tel Aviv-Style” – starring the champion of the self-righteous, clucking Magal, and entertainer Hanoch Daum, the king of journalistic populism – here’s a recap.
Suleiman, in an interview with the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth, said that he does not advocate terrorism, but “a soldier who is in the West Bank and is attacked – I don’t think that is an act of terrorism.” Daum said Suleiman should be ashamed of himself, and Magal urged that he be fired from the show.
After seeing the last “Fauda” episode, I would say that Magal can relax, because it looks as though Suleiman won’t have much work to do in the second season. However, someone will have to play the role of the commander of the Hamas terrorist squad. The production team now has an opportunity to draw up a questionnaire along the lines of “no loyalty, no citizenship – and no part in the series.”
Maybe we should take a page from theater in the era of Shakespeare, when the women’s parts were played by male youths. Thus, in “Fauda,” not only the undercover mistarvim, as they’re known, but the Arabs, too, should be played by Jews, so in case they’re interviewed by Yedioth they won’t say anything that Daum or Magal might find unpalatable.
But wait a minute: Some Jews, too, are left-wingers. Maybe Magal himself, aided by party colleague MK Ayelet Shaked, who is slated to be justice minister, should cast the roles. Their criteria needn’t be based on talent or screen presence, but on the opinions the actors might spout in media interviews.
And why stop at local series? Has anyone checked how Gal Gadot – the Israeli actress who’s been cast as the new Wonder Woman – voted in the recent elections? I say that if she didn’t vote for Habayit Hayehudi her passport be revoked immediately and she should be denied access to any of the Hollywood studios. We really don’t want a possible Israel-basher disseminating her leftism among the goyim. (Don’t get me wrong: I have no idea what Gadot’s political views are, I’m just raising the question).
Actress Ayelet Zurer also shapes up as a potential hazard in this regard. And what about future Israeli Nobel laureates, if there are any more from Israel? Wouldn’t it be best to know up front what they think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Otherwise, Magal might have to demand afterward that the prize be revoked.
I know that these are little more than the cries of a dying man: Clearly, many more people agree with Magal’s demand, however groundless, than share my constant amazement that there are those who seize every opportunity to lead public opinion down darker and ever more bizarre alleys. Nonetheless, since when, in a democracy, are calls voiced for someone to be fired – even an Arab – because they espouse unpalatable views?
The creators of “Fauda” should be concerned, too. Not because they will have to send Suleiman a pink slip, but because, obviously, the message they wanted to transmit in their series – that the situation is complex and that people are suffering on both sides – wasn’t received. At least, not by the militant masses.
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