An Israeli TV channel has broadcast two Egyptian television shows igniting outrage and accusations of normalisation across the Arab world.
One of the soap operas starring famous Egyptian actor Adel Imam, “Awalem Khafeya” (Hidden Worlds), is being aired on Makan 3, an Israeli state channel.
The series follows a journalist who investigates an actress’ suicide and discovers a trail of corruption.
Magnum television company, which produced the series, has been accused of selling it to the Israeli channel, whilst the actor himself has been accused by some social media critics of selling it himself.
Magnum has denied this, saying the series is being broadcast illegally, according to the New Arab.
Producer Hisham Tahsin has pointed out that another Israeli channel, the Arabic language station Hala, broadcast another of Imam’s series, “Valentino”, just one day after it was broadcast in Egypt.
Valentino is a comedy in which Imam plays a businessman who owns a string of international schools and follows the relationship he has with his wife.
The spat comes shortly after Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned an Egyptian TV drama “Al-Nehaya” (The End) for predicting the destruction of Israel and the United States.
The series was produced by Synergy Media Productions and aired on the private, pro-regime TV channel ON, and was authorised by Egypt’s government censor.
The series is “completely unacceptable,” read the Israeli statement, “especially because the two states have had a peace treaty for the past 41 years.”
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 and under General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi relations between the two countries have grown closer, leading analysts to describe this as the golden age of relations between the two countries.
However, in some respects Egypt has sought to maintain nominal backing for the Palestinian cause, which has a high level of support among Egyptians.
The issue of closer relations with Israel is a controversial topic across the Arab world.
The Saudi drama “Exit 7” depicts one character who asks whether or not Israel should continue to be an enemy if the kingdom’s support for Palestine has come to nothing.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of normalising relations with Israel and ramping up anti-Palestinian rhetoric.