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NBC’s ‘Dig’ gets $6.5 million from Israel to film in E. Jerusalem while Palestinian residents lack drinking water

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Silwan (Photo via Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine)

Silwan (Photo via Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine)

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.

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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16 Responses

  1. Kay24 on May 12, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Making money off a brutal military occupation, land grabs and control of water.
    Shame on NBC to aid and abet criminals. They seem to lack any sense of decency, and concern for human rights. They will sell their souls for ratings.

    • amigo on May 12, 2014, 1:41 pm

      “They will sell their souls for ratings.”Kay 24

      Your too late Kay.

      They already have.

      I base that on the assumption they ever had a soul.

      • Kay24 on May 12, 2014, 4:52 pm

        Okay, then my reference to the timing should have been clearer.:))
        It seems they lack any empathy for the victims of oppression, and occupy, by those they support, just like the servants in congress we voted for.

  2. Oscar on May 12, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Au contraire, Kay24 — there will be no ratings for NBC. The show is pure hasbara, and who wants to watch that tripe? It’s a paid infomercial that NBC is only airing because it comes at almost zero cost on production.

    Expect it to be on this list this time next year:

    • Kay24 on May 12, 2014, 4:56 pm

      They all seem like that. The day I see/hear criticism and the truth about what we read here, on some television channel, will be the day that I will be in shock.

  3. mondonut on May 12, 2014, 2:05 pm

    East Jerusalemites pay 47% of the city’s municipal taxes, but receive a limp 5% of the revenue back in benefits.


  4. chet on May 12, 2014, 2:52 pm

    The willingness of NBC to take this dirty money and undertake this odious project answers all the questions about why the “progressive” MSNBC hosts never comment on any I/P issues.

  5. Ecru on May 12, 2014, 4:43 pm

    Well let’s be fair – if you want to make a program about Ahnenerbe “archaeology” then Israeli occupied East Jerusalem is obviously the place to go.

  6. MHughes976 on May 12, 2014, 5:53 pm

    Do we know – do I want to know? – the plot of ‘Dig’? Are the devious Arabs, in the intervals of terrorism, creeping under the ground to smash up a stone on which Solomon’s authentic, signed judgement on the contending women is inscribed and another with a clearly authentic prophecy showing that the Temple must be restored by next year or else? Or is it a fair-minded, reconciling presentation of both sides of the Biblical Archaeology controversy?

      • a blah chick on May 12, 2014, 9:28 pm

        The synopsis says that an FBI agent (of course) investigates the murder of a young woman (no doubt pretty and American) and uncovers a conspiracy that is “2000 years in the making.”

        This could be anything but if I had to hazard a guess it probably deals with early Christianity. But I wouldn’t lay bets against some crazy Arab showing up at some point.

      • Woody Tanaka on May 12, 2014, 10:01 pm

        Count on it. It’s a Zio production from the same racist responsible for the disgustingly bigoted “Homeland.”.

  7. Woody Tanaka on May 12, 2014, 5:59 pm

    It’s disgusting that NBC is taking this blood money. (I would boycott it, but there hasn’t been any decent programming on NBC in decades.) But even worse is the fact that the US television people seem so willing to recreate the racist propaganda garbage that the Zios produce.

  8. dbroncos on May 12, 2014, 8:49 pm

    OT Anderson Cooper interviewing Donald Sterling on CNN. Sterling says Jews take care of each other while Magic Johnson has done nothing for black people, suggesting that black people don’t help each other generally. He seems unhinged.

    • a blah chick on May 12, 2014, 9:23 pm

      His wife suggests that he is suffering from dementia, in which case why is he running about loose?

      Also Magic has invested a lot in the urban LA community,

  9. Palikari on May 12, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Can’t wait to watch both shows! They look very interesting.

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