The Israeli television series Fauda—which, thanks to Netflix, has become an international hit—depicts an IDF counterterrorism unit and its duel with a Hamas mastermind in the West Bank. Reviewing the show, which takes its name from the Arabic word for “chaos,” A.E. Smith writes:
In a number of key respects, Fauda gets the reality of life inside counterterrorism agencies, probably helped by the fact that its creators . . . both served in the IDF’s Duvdevan special-operations unit. For if the series has a prevailing theme, it is disguise, deception, and the manner in which operators . . . lose themselves within their own dissimulations. Daily proximity to the adversary brings an unparalleled level of intimacy, and often the two sides come to identify with each other in unexpected ways.
Members of [the] team slip in and out of their identities as Palestinian Arabs, quite literally as easily as they change clothes. When [one] arrives at the wedding [where the Hamas operative is to be found], he transforms into an Arab before our eyes. His look, his movements, the genuine joy he seems to be feeling at being part of the celebration—he seems to have become what he is pretending to be.
The risk here—for [Fauda’s characters], for cops and intelligence officers, even for terrorists—is that such sustained intimacy becomes normal. The job and the adversary become more real, more meaningful, than husbands, wives, children, lovers.