Veterans of the War of Independence, who are currently in the tenth decade of their lives, have joined the furor surrounding the Jordanian film Farha, which depicts Israel Defense Forces soldiers executing Palestinian children and babies, demanding Netflix immediately remove it from their library.
"We are Holocaust survivors who defended our country. Remove the defamatory film," the five ex-soldiers called.
The Israel Law Center has sent a warning letter to Netflix on their behalf concerning a potential breach of Israeli defamation laws.
The group consists of 96-year-old Oded Negbi, who served in the Givati Brigade and fought many battles in the Negev and Jaffa; 92-year-old Eitan Yavzory of Kibbutz Afikim, who fought in Gush Etzion and in the Negev; 94-year-old Ezra Yachin, who fought in Jerusalem; 92-year-old Lt. Col. (Res.) Ze'ev (Tibi) Ram, a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family at Auschwitz and enlisted in the Golani Brigade upon the outbreak of the War of Independence; and 91-year-old Prof. Benny Arad, a veteran of the Haganah, who fought in the War of Independence, among other conflicts, and served as an IDF officer for many years. As a physicist, Arad was one of the founders of the Department of Experimental Physics at the Negev Nuclear Research Center.
"It's an antisemitic movie. When I heard about it, I was appalled. At the thought that this movie is being shown all over the world, I was driven to stand up and protest, and I called in my son. He contacted the Israel Law Center," Arad said.
"Personally, I don't watch television. But when we're defamed like this, I can't let it pass. The world doesn't know what the IDF is, what a moral army we have. So they may think that the lies that the movie shows are the actual truth. All we did is defend our country, our nation, and our nascent state."
Negbi also shares his frustration with the movie and the lopsided fashion in which it depicts his comrades in arms.
"The life I lived alongside the Arabs was completely different. When I heard about that movie, I shuddered. I went through many hardships. My mother taught me to give to others and help them. Not even the concept of killing children could come out of a home like that. The very notion of harming an Arab child was far from our minds. It's sheer slander," he said.
The film Farha was created by Jordanian director and screenwriter Darin J. Salam and purports to present the "Nakba" from the point of view of an Arab girl, named Farha, who hides in the basement of her home and watches as her village's Israeli conquerors abuse her people.
The president of the Israel Law Center, attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, said: "Netflix-Israel must not cooperate with the severe incitement and the campaign of de-legitimization against Israeli War of Independence veterans. In one of the scenes, Israeli soldiers execute a family of refugees, including a baby, with no justification. That misrepresents reality and constitutes a gross violation of the Defamation (Prohibition) Law. We call on Netflix-Israel, in the name of those fighters who defended this country, some of them after surviving the inferno of the Holocaust, to immediately remove the film."