A New Realism: America & Israel in the Trump Era

Must-Reads from Magazine

How Israel Became a Television Powerhouse

You don’t often see perfectly chilled martinis served at conferences in Israel, but the TLV Formats Conference was an event that was out of the ordinary. It was held for the second time in September 2017, and hundreds of buyers from television networks around the world came to Tel Aviv to snatch up new Israeli shows—scrambling to get ahead of the huge international TV convention called MIPCOM the following month in Cannes. Over the past decade, Israel has become one of the world’s most prolific exporters of “formats”—industry jargon for concepts and programs. Sometimes an American TV network takes a show in Hebrew such as Hatufim (Prisoners of War) and turns it into Homeland, the Claire Danes Showtime drama about a bipolar CIA agent. Other times, Israeli shows have become hits without being remade. The past two years have seen the worldwide success of Fauda, a tense and thrill-packed series from Israel’s YES cable network about a counterterrorism unit and the terrorists they fight. The subtitled version of the show, which is half in Hebrew and half in Arabic, has become a huge hit for Netflix.

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The Triumph of Reason at the United Nations

A bright light in a dark place.

When UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced America’s withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last October, it was clear this was only the beginning. UNESCO had spent decades defying American law and denying Israel ownership of its own cultural heritage. The organization’s “extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment,” Haley said. Quoting Ronald Reagan, who withdrew from UNESCO in 1984, she added that American taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for an institution that is “hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense.” That logic demands bold actions from the United States. After all, UNESCO isn’t the only arm of the United Nations that offends American sensibilities and advances the objectives of despots and thugs. Now, it seems the UN ambassador is ready to make her next move.

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