Israelis cancel Netflix subscription over 'Nakba' movie

Pia Steckelbach

5 min read
Netflix
AFP / Olivier DOULIERYNetflix

'I can't be part of a site that endorsed such a shocking scene'

Many Israelis have expressed outrage and terminated their Netflix subscription after the streaming platform announced that it would upload the film "Farha" – which shows Israeli soldiers executing a Palestinian family – to its catalog on Thursday. 

Subscribers will be able to watch the controversial film by Jordanian director Doreen J. Salam, which focuses on the Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic, meaning to Palestinians the creation of the State of Israel). The film notably includes a shocking 15-minute scene during which Israeli soldiers massacre a family of Palestinian refugees, including a one-year-old baby.

Jaffa theater under fire

The government-funded Al Saraya Theater in Jaffa came under fire for screening the movie on Wednesday night, with Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper slamming the decision to screen the film as "outrageous" and "disgraceful" and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling to strip funding for the theater.

Demonstrations took place outside of the venue on both sides with police separating the two groups -- pro-Israel protesters on one side and people attending the movie on the other. 

The pro-Israel group questioned why a government-funded theater was showing the film, considered anti-Israel propaganda by critics. The other side pleaded for a debate, claiming that the movie depicts historical facts which they say should be acknowledged.

'I canceled my subscription'

"After more than two years of subscription, I have decided to cancel it due to Netflix's support for the anti-Israeli film," one streamer said. 

"Netflix supports such a shocking and unrealistic scene that is not in line with Israeli and Jewish morality at all. I cannot subscribe to a site that has endorsed such a shocking scene in which [Israeli] soldiers are portrayed as vile as murderers without heart and without any humanity," testified Tal Oknin.

Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP
Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFPThe Netflix logo is displayed at Netflix's Los Angeles headquarters in Los Angeles, California, United States.

“I hope that a massive abandonment by Israelis will make Netflix realize that they made a mistake buying the film and change their decision on this. There is always room for criticism, but an objective review based on real cases,” he added. 

Another netizen claimed that "lately, the feeling is that many sites are controlled by the enemies of Israel and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel) in particular."

“It is very important that all of us as Israelis respond to any provocation like this, otherwise we give them a free hand. Since the global economy is in trouble, those who identify with the Palestinian narrative will know that they will lose us as customers and no longer receive money from us,” the internet user identified as "Asher" continued.

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'It's time to unite'

Model and influencer Nataly Dadon also decided to cancel her Netflix subscription. "Reason for Cancellation: Values ​​Before Luxury!!! So as everyone already knows and I also uploaded it here this week, Netflix is ​​releasing a movie called 'Farha' which apparently has sole purpose of increasing anti-Semitism against Jewish people. And it's not the only anti-Israel show getting a scene on Netflix," she wrote on Instagram.

"There is something very cynical and painful about the release of a film whose aim is to present us as a cruel and ruthless people. We who took to the streets to dance and rejoice as soon as the decision to the UN of November 29, 1947, we did not know then that here we were facing cursed battles and being embroiled in a war in which all sides suffered heavy losses, but the Jewish people never acted to cruel way or carried out purges, murdered innocent people for no reason and out of sheer cruelty!” she continued.

“We are not the ones who put the families in the gas chambers, we are not the ones who watched and persecuted, we are not the ones who raped and murdered! on the other side! [...] This shocking film has nothing more than the desire to contribute to the hatred of the Jewish people and this time in front of 222 million subscribers!" affirmed the model. "We are strong and it is time to unite with Israel. There are enough streaming sites too and nothing will happen to anyone if we cancel our subscription."

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