Fauda (Which means Chaos in Arabic) is a 2015 Israeli television series that debuted on the channel Yes Oh. It stars Lior Raz and Hisham Suliman as the main stars with development by Raz and journalist Avi Issacharoff. It previously aired a total of 12 episodes. It's based on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and deconstructs on things that happen there from the Israelis and Palestinians who get involved in terrorist and anti-terrorist situations. The show centers on an Israeli Army Mista'arvim unit trying to stop the activities of a HAMAS cell led by someone known as "The Panther".
Doron Kavillio, a once famed Mista'arvim operator in the Israeli Army, has settled down to be involved with his family after he was discharged. But his normal life changes after some of his ex-Mista'arvim colleagues informed him that a known HAMAS terrorist named "Abu Ahmad" may still be alive and in hiding, despite being confirmed to be killed in action by the Israeli military. Not knowing any other way to resolve this dilemma, Doron agrees to get back on the action and see if he's alive or whether it's just a rumor.
As Doron and the unit continue to investigate HAMAS' activities, the group is in the middle of enacting plans to get a large-scale terror attack in Israel...
In November 2016, it was picked up by Netflix as a Netflix Original Series (even though it technically isn't one), the first Israeli TV show to get the label.
A second season aired in early 2018. A third season has been announced for 2019.
The TV show provides examples of:
- Amicably Divorced: Doron and Gali in Season 2.
- Arc Words: "Abu Ahmed met" - Abu Ahmed is dead. Usually uttered by characters who are well aware of what the truth is.
- Avenging the Villain: This is Al Makdasi's motivation to target Doron in Season 2. He's the son of Shiekh Awdaullah, the Hamas commander who Doron killed during a failed prisoner exchange in Season 1.
- Becoming the Mask: At one point in Season 2, Doron admits to Shirin how he feels more at ease in his cover identity in Palestinian territory, than he does as himself at home.
- Blood Brothers: The members of the unit, who will go to any length to protect and/or avenge their teammates.
- Cycle of Revenge: Part of the show's attempt to deconstruct the conflict. In-universe, the Mista'arvim's actions in Palestinian areas does not to stop HAMAS from conducting terror acts and instead, attracts Palestinians willing to fight on their behalf.
- Applies on a more personal level as well. Characters on both sides take a number of actions in retaliation for losses inflicted on them by the other side. Most notably, in Season 1 Boaz kills Abu Ahmed's brother. As a result, Abu Ahmed orders Walid to kill a captive Boaz. This prompts Doron to kill his own captive prisoner, Hamas leader Sheikh Awadullah. As a result, in Season 2 the Sheikh's son, Al Makdasi seeks revenge against Doron by executing Doron's father, Amos. This culminates in Doron inadvertently causing the death of Al Makdasi's brother Samir, and eventually killing Al Makdasi himself.
- Deconstruction: What the show is meant to do. In fact, it resonated with Israelis, Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians that many left comments (both good and bad) on Raz's Facebook page on their thoughts on how the show has affected their view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Dark Secret: Gideon Avital, the Defense Minister.
- Driven to Suicide: Shirin, towards the end of Season 2.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The unnamed Mista'arvim unit led by Doron throughout the show.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The show has a significant focus on the families of the Palestinian terrorists and how their lives are affected by the actions of their brother/son/husband. The death of a family member on more than one occasion motivates a terrorists' actions. Abu Ahmed launches retaliatory attacks on Israel after the unit kills his brother. Season 2 Big Bad Al Makdasi's primary motivation is avenging the death of his father.
- Faking the Dead: Abu Ahmed, after Doron's attempted assassination of him 18 months before the series begins. Israeli intelligence discovering this is what kicks of the plot.
- Greater-Scope Villain: ISIS serves as this in Season 2. While the Big Bad Al Makdasi's actions are largely motivated by his personal vendetta against Doron, his plans are ultimately based on orders from his handlers to establish an ISIS presence in Palestine.
- He Who Fights Monsters: A major part of the subtext of the show. It is constantly demonstrated how the Israeli soldiers, in the process of fighting Palestinian terrorists, have arguably ended up becoming as ruthless and brutal as their targets. This applies to Doron in particular.
- Honey Trap: Doron's flirtation with Shirin. Especially notable when he pretends to add her number to his phone to bug hers.
- Kissing Cousins: Walid tries to be this with Shirin, even going to the extent of proposing to her. In Season 2 its revealed that he got her to married him in the interim.
- Klingon Promotion: Walid, with cooperation from Hamas commander Abu Samara, executes his superior Abu Ahmed at the end of Season 1. As a result, he ends up taking Abu Ahmed's place.
- Married to the Job: For most of the Mista'arvim, it's more important to dedicate their time to the unit than to think of their own families. Deconstructed severely in the 7th episode when the unit agrees to kidnap a Palestinian sheikh to save own of their own. Nurit doesn't like the idea of doing it because she's not sure if it's worth it, even if it starts to break her personal morals.
- Its also the reason why Doron's wife Gali falls out of love with him, and eventually ends up cheating on him. According to her, he became too focused on the job and started to neglect his family.
- Mandatory Unretirement: Doron finds himself compelled to return to the unit at the start of Season 1 to take down Abu Ahmed. Granted, once he's back, it doesn't take him long to overcome any inhibitions he might have had about returning.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: The presence of HAMAS is felt in the show thanks to the reputation of Abu Ahmed.
- Season 2 also includes the presence of ISIS.
- Open Heart Dentistry: Shirin is forced to operate on Boaz under harsh conditions despite not being a surgeon.
- Prisoner Exchange: An attempt at one is depicted in the middle of Season 1. It doesn't go well and results in the death of both prisoners.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Moreno, the head of the unit, is one for the most part, as is Captain Gabi Ayub of the Secret Service. On the Palestinian side, Hamas leaders Shiekh Awdaullah and Abu Samara probably count, as does Palestinian Preventive Security head Abu Maher.
- Retired Badass: Doron's father, Amos Kabillo. It is strongly implied that he, like his son, was once an undercover operative.
- Doron himself technically counts. He'd retired from the unit prior to the events of the series, and only rejoins the team to take down Abu Ahmed in Season 1 and because he and his family were targeted by Al Makdasi in Season 2.
- Retirony: Moreno was on the verge of retiring from the unit and letting Naor take his place as commander before his sudden death at the start of Season 2.
- Running Gag: Captain Ayub constantly being interrupted by phone calls from his kids while at work.
- Shown Their Work: How the Mista'arvim works. It helps that Raz actually did serve with one during his time with the Israeli Army and used his knowledge to make their portrayal very accurate.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Moreno, Walid and Shirin are all prominent Season 1 characters who die over the course of Season 2. In Moreno's case, his death comes as early as the Season 2 premiere.
- The Bus Came Back: In Season 2 Eli, the unit member who was last seen in the second episode of Season 1, returns to take command of the unit.
- Title Drop: The word "Fauda", which is Arabic for 'chaos' is used frequently throughout the series in conversations. Most notably, in the first episode, its used as a codeword by the unit to indicate an operation spiralling out of control.
- Villainous Rescue: In the Season 2 finale, Hamas leader Abu Samara and his men end up saving Doron's life by storming Al Makdasi's hideout just before the latter was about to execute Doron.
- Wham Episode:
- The 3rd episode shows the Palestinian widow not leaving a nightclub in downtown Tel Aviv after she leaves a bomb inside. Instead, she stays behind to die as a martyr.
- The 5th episode ends with Boaz being captured by the Hamas, which in the 6th episode results in Doron and most of the team going rogue to launch an unsanctioned operation to rescue him. This culminates in the 7th episode in which Boaz is killed during an attempted prisoner exchange.
- The Season 1 finale ends with Walid, Abu Ahmed's aide, protegee and closest companion throughout the story, shooting him in the end.
- The Season 2 premiere ends with Moreno being killed after a failed attempt to capture Al Makdasi.
- Season 2, Episode 6 begins with Walid being captured by the unit, with help from Shirin.
- Season 2, Episode 8 ends with Al Makdasi beheading Doron's father, Amos Kabillo.
- Season 2, Episode 9 ends with Shirin having attempted to hang herself, with Doron desperately trying to save her.
- Your Cheating Heart: Gali cheats on Doron with Naor in Season 1. Doron himself cheats on Gali with Shirin while undercover in Palestinian territory.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Very much in effect on the Palestinian side, as it is in real life.