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Palestinian actor on Israel’s top tv show sets off uproar over the occupation

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Hisham Suleiman is an Palestinian Israeli actor from Nazareth who founded a fringe theater there after studying acting in Tel Aviv. He recently played a leading role in Fauda (فوضى; means “chaos” in Arabic), a political thriller television series that is the most popular show in Israel. Developed by Lior Raz and journalist Avi Issacharoff, the series tells two parallel stories: of Doron, commander of the Mista’arvim team who are trying to catch an arch-terrorist Hamas member known as Abu Ahmed or “The Panther”; and of Abu Ahmed and his family. Suleiman plays the part of Abu Ahmed.

Udi Aloni has shared Suleiman’s latest response on Facebook, with the following introduction:

‘What a fucked up state this is where the creator of the series Fauda, Lior Raz, gets credit & respect for having been a soldier in the Israeli Occupation Army that violates international law & it’s reasonable to assume has injured innocent people and after this encourages his son to join a select Occupation unit, while Hisham Suleiman, an amazing Palestinian actor who has never held a weapon in his life and has never even hurt a fly, & has made major contributions to local cultural life, has to apologize for quoting from the Geneva Convention on struggle against illegal occupation & for displaying loyalty to his suffering people. This is how it is in our screwed up state, an excellent artist & a marvelous human being need to quote his actors’ agent in order to survive & provide for his family.’

Hisham Suleiman’s latest post:

‘After thousands of responses on Facebook, most of which warmed my heart, I feel it’s important to me to write to you personally, without mediators, deletions or editings. Over the past weekend I’ve read that I call for & support injuring soldiers or armed struggle. This is simply absolute nonsense. A statement that’s malicious, mendacious, & some might say libelous. What is certain is that I never said it. Yes, dear people. Half of the words that were written in the various headlines and references in the newspaper are written under the editor’s name & not as a quotation from me, in order to arouse and draw attention at any price.

Despite the attempt to present me as such, I’m not an angry person. In the course of the interview I spoke about quite “boring” things, what can I do… subjects like reconciliation, co-existence, even acting… Several times I expressed my revulsion for wars, because that’s truly who I am. What interests me is to influence, to create, & to convey messages from within, and as my agent Haim Shraga says to me, “this is your way to make people think”, & it’s a bit funny that I need to justify myself on this matter, but it’s simply important to me that you know me my real way & not by way of the media. I know that my role arouses heaps of emotions & touches people, I’m glad that you believe the Panther on the screen, but hey, I’m Abu Ahmed the way Walter White is a drug producer in everyday life:)

I’m also Hisham, an Arab actor, I want things to be good here just like everyone else in this state. To you, my dear fans, I propose that you go on enjoying the final episode of the season today.

Only love, without any warmongering. Share this post with your friends & thanks for your support

Translated from Hebrew and introduction by Richard Flantz

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Udi Aloni
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4 Responses

  1. just
    just on May 4, 2015, 1:52 pm

    You said it well, Udi!

    It’s one messed up place alright. All the best to Hisham Suleiman.

    Thank you, Udi and Richard.

  2. David Doppler
    David Doppler on May 4, 2015, 2:44 pm

    O/T (but the big news in Israel/Palestine), here’s an article in YnetNews today in which MK Shelley Yachimovich appears to carry Netanyahu’s water demanding that Herzog split with Livni. “In response to Yachimovich’s comments, Herzog said: ‘I can still remember days when only eight people sat here. It’s easy to break apart and destroy what we’ve built. I honestly think statements of this kind serve Bibi (Netanyahu). There’s a wonderful opportunity here, he still doesn’t even have 61 (MKs). We can still take over the government. We’re a quarter of the Knesset.'”,7340,L-4653733,00.html

    Possibly Netanyahu is desperate to get Herzog to join, to solve his problem that, with Lieberman’s defection, he can only get to 61-59, and that not done yet because Shas and Jewish Home have irreconcilable core issues. A razor thin majority may not be enough to keep Kahlon and Kulanu’s 10 seats. Herzog sounds like he’s itching for the opportunity to put together a government with Netanyahu left out, or possibly as a big but non-essential part of a very broad coalition that leaves out Bennett and Lieberman, symbolizing a decisive turn away from the rightward trajectory Netanyahu has led for so long. Stayed tuned.

  3. CigarGod
    CigarGod on May 5, 2015, 9:12 am

    I gave the world reason and they prefer hysteria.
    I gave them cigars, but they prefer to suck on tail pipes.

  4. eljay
    eljay on May 5, 2015, 9:27 am

    Udi Aloni has shared Suleiman’s latest response on Facebook …

    Mr. Suleiman’s latest response on FB seems reasonable. What was his initial post on FB?

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