Netflix Needs a History Lesson
by Geoffrey Clarfield
A few months ago, I was reading an article from the news station France 24, a piece from its Beirut offices, which reports the news out of Syria in much greater detail and frequency than one can find in America.
This is because, after WWI, France was the occupying power in Syria and Lebanon, according to the mandate system of the League of Nations. Since then, France has maintained a special relationship with these two troubled countries since their independence after WWII. Here is what I read:
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the conflict has claimed 494,438 lives since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests… The previous tally, issued by the Observatory in March this year, stood at more than 388,000 dead… The war monitor has since confirmed an additional 105,015 deaths following months of documentation efforts supported by its network of sources on the ground… The overwhelming majority of these deaths occurred between the end of 2012 and November 2015,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, referring to the latest additions… Of the recently confirmed fatalities, more than 42,000 are civilians, most of them killed under torture in Syrian regime prisons, according to the monitor.
Having collected firsthand narratives of male and female non-Muslim Yezidi minorities who have fled persecution by ISIS in Syria and Iraq during this war, my heart went out to the Syrian people who have experienced such unbelievable suffering.
Needless to say, the writer and filmmaker in me felt that the stories of the survivors in Syria would make for real and thought-provoking TV dramas, which could be broadcast on Netflix and other downloadable TV media. I almost sat down and wrote a “treatment,” that is TV talk for a short summary of what such a series would entail, but unfortunately other priorities got in the way. Until today no one working with Netflix has done what I thought should be done to bring the plight of these people to the public eye in a dramatic and humane way.
Instead, Netflix has decided to invest in a clearly anti-Israel, anti-Zionist series called “Palestinian Stories.” As if he was reading my mind from afar, Israel writer Matan Peleg was interviewed in Israel Hayom and had this to say about this new Netflix series.
Netflix isn’t launching a category for the atrocities in Syria, where nearly one million people died over the last 10 years, or about the crimes in China. Israel is the only great criminal. We intend to call on the Israeli public and the Israel-supporting public around the world to boycott the company. We will not turn the other cheek. Those who hurt us will get hurt.
Not surprisingly, twenty-eight films out of a total of thirty-two in this series are directed by supporters of BDS. Needless to say, the Israelis are portrayed as bad guys while the Palestinians are portrayed as the good guys. The fact that a majority of Palestinians are in favor of the destruction of Israel and regularly support terrorist attacks against Israel from inside Israel — Judea and Samaria — and from Lebanon will no doubt be ignored or downplayed.
The average ahistorical viewer of Netflix in the English-speaking world will find it easy to conclude that the Palestinians are simply a people without a homeland and all they want is a place in the sun among other nations. So here is another bit of history for the ahistorical.
After WWI, the victorious allies divided up the Ottoman Empire. Syria and Lebanon were administered by the French, while “Palestine” was administered by the British with the intention of creating a Jewish State.
The allies knew that Palestine was the name the Romans gave Judea after they defeated it in 70 A.D. They knew it was the land of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. They knew it was the Jewish homeland.
They also knew that the Jews had lived on both sides of the Jordan for thousands of years but they decided to give the eastern side of the Jordan to their defeated Bedouin Arab Muslim allies in the Hejaz, some of whom had fought with them against the Turks during WWI. This was supposed to be the “Palestinian state” for that small number of Muslims and Christian who had lived in the land of Israel during Ottoman time.
Ever since the establishment of Jordan in the 1920s, it has functioned as a Palestinian state. Ninety percent of its inhabitants identify themselves as Palestinians. There has been a two-state solution in place for one hundred years. The Palestinians are not a people without a land or a home.
You can be sure that the owners and producers of this new Palestinian series on Netflix have not done their historical due diligence. There will never be a mention that a chunk of the Mandate for Palestine for the Jewish people was lopped off in 1921 and given to the Palestinians, and so the series will be a living justification for “resistance” which is the popular word of today’s lefties for terrorism.
It is time to stop paying Netflix for distorting both Jewish and Arab history in the Land of Israel. They do not need my money. They certainly do need a history lesson.
First published in American Thinker.