Intimate Violence and the Violence of Intimacy: Reflections on the Israeli TV Show Fauda

by Aryeh Cohen

The Israeli show Fauda has become a celebrated example of a veritable renaissance in Israeli television. After much anticipation following its critically acclaimed inaugural season, the second season dropped at Netflix on May 24. This hit show follows an elite unit of the Israeli secret service known as mistarvim [undercover soldiers disguised as Arabs] as they hunt terrorists in the West Bank. The New York Times gushed: ״The grittiest, tightest, most lived-in thrillers come from Israel, and ‘Fauda … is the current standard-bearer. … and while the outcome is predictable, the story ventures into the lives and minds of characters on all sides of the conflict.” Lior Raz and Avi Issachoroff have claimed that the show’s authenticity has brought it fans from all sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

At 50 We Dare Not Give Up


WE SEEM TO BE at an intersection of incompetence and invidiousness as we draw closer to the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation. We are almost to the point that both right and left agree that the term “occupation” should no longer be used. On the right, the argument is either for stasis—building out the settlements and expanding the area controlled by settlers; pressing the Palestinians economically and geographically until they leave or surrender—or, legally annex the territory and bestow limited rights upon the Palestinians. On the left, the call is now for recognizing the de facto annexation and granting full political rights to the Palestinian residents. The political powers in Israel and Palestine are in a state of constant strategic dithering—one step forward and two steps back.

The Place of Politics: Public Protest and the Rabbinic Construction of Space

There is a strong contrast of delicate and solid, metal and wood, meditative and powerful. The location is not coincidental. The artist’s statement—in a plaque behind the sculpture—ties the symbolism in almost simplistic manner to the Los Angeles Police Department. The number five (the larger pillars) corresponds to the number of members of the police commission. The four smaller pillars, to the four stars on the uniform collar of the Chief of Police.

The Benediction Rabbi Hier Should Offer at the Inauguration

Editor’s note: RABBI MARVIN HIER Founder and Dean Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance has accepted an invitation to give a benediction at the Trump inauguration. While his presence there is a disgrace to the very notion of a “museum of tolerance,” and a betrayal of the 70% of Jews who voted against Trump in the 2016 election, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen provides him with ethical guidance in what he could say to redeem his presence, which provides the very kind of legitimation to Trump that Trump’s appointment as a key White House advisor who has been the publisher of anti-Semitic and racist articles of the alt-Right has been to the racist section of the poltical Right. But don’t hold your breath to see if that happens. Congratulations to Rabbi Ayreh Cohen, a contributing editor to Tikkun magazine, for his courageous and prophetic article which appears in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. –Rabbi Michael Lerner 

Rabbi Hier, you have been given a unique challenge and a unique opportunity.