Controversy over the airing of dramas based on close Israeli-Saudi relations during Ramadan

Controversy over the airing of dramas based on close Israeli-Saudi relations during Ramadan

Posted on May 22, 2020

A new controversy has erupted over two Ramadan dramas aired on a government-run TV channel in Saudi Arabia, which shows Saudi Arabia's better relations with Israel.

Most Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, have no formal diplomatic relations with Israel
But according to experts, in the context of the two countries' enmity with Iran, their relations are improving with each passing day.

Ramadan TV is the most-watched TV channel in Saudi Arabia, and speculation is rife this month, especially after the dramas are aired.
Saudi Arabia has formally moved towards better relations with Israel, and the royal family has already made the final decision.

The play 'Exit 7' tells the story of a middle-class family in rapidly modernizing Saudi Arabia, and for the first time, viewers objected to the play.
When it shows a young man befriending an Israeli boy through an online video game.

In another controversial scene, a young man objected to not establishing relations with Israel, saying that our real enemies are the Palestinians who humiliate Saudi Arabia day and night despite decades of financial support.

umme haroon

Another play, Umm Haroon, depicts an Arab population in Kuwait in the 1940s.
And on social media, the public also criticized the drama, saying it was intended to promote the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčimproving relations with Israel.

The show was produced by MBC, a highly influential Arab satellite network under the auspices of the Saudi government.
The channel's founder, Waleed al-Ibrahim, was arrested along with other influential business families in 2017 in the name of an anti-corruption campaign, and the channel has since been controlled by the government.

Both dramas are in stark contrast to the Egyptian science fiction drama The End, which depicts the destruction of the Jewish state.
There was great outrage in Israel. On the other hand, MBC defended the airing of these dramas, claiming that these two shows are getting the highest ratings during Ramadan.

The Middle East has been run by stereotypes for decades under the shadow of fear, terrorism, extremism, and hatred, the channel's spokesman Mazen Hayek told AFP.

He said the dramas aim to portray the region in a different way, reflecting dialogue, tolerance, and hope based on religious tolerance.
These allegations are outdated in the current era of globalization, but experts do not agree with this position.

Aziz al-Ghassan, a lecturer at Essex University who specializes in Saudi Arabia's foreign policy for Israel, said the show was helpful for the Saudi state to learn.
What is the position of the people on the issue of Israel and Palestine, these dramas will pave the way for changing the opinion of the people?


Mian Tajamul

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