The television network NBC will receive a $6.5 million (22 million NIS) grant from the Israeli government to film the new archeological thriller Dig, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Meanwhile Palestinians residing in Silwan are plagued by poor infrastructure even though East Jerusalemites pay 47% of the city’s municipal taxes, but receive a limp 5% of the revenue back in benefits.
The most recent neglect in Silwan, located outside of the Old City just beyond the Western Wall, is the lack of safe drinking water. Silwan is one of ten neighborhoods in east and south Jerusalem that are under warning from the city to boil water for two-minutes before consumption.
Aside from contaminated water, in Silwan the roads are pot-holed and narrow like a refugee camp and the neighborhood itself is overpopulated and in an enclave away from the rest of the city.
Moreover, the government funding for Dig has caught ire from another television network, FX who is currently filming a series from the creator of Showtime’s blockbuster Homeland, loosely based on the life of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Tyrant, is being filmed in Kfar Sava in Central Israel where the show’s production has reproduced a variation of al-Assad’s castle for the program’s set. FX requested the same $6.5 million grant as NBC from the Israeli government, but were turned down.
From i24 a little about The Tyrant, which will premier this summer:
‘Tyrant’ follows an American family whose patriarch, Bassam ‘Barry’ Al Fayeed, played by Adam Rayner, is a royal son of the Arab dictator of a state called Baladi. Barry left his home country for America 20 years before the start of the series, becoming a doctor, and returns for his brother’s wedding, only to be met by a coup that thrusts him back into the corrupt government he tried to escape.