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The Honourable Woman, British Spy Thriller which deals with Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now on Netflix gets Thumbs Up

by Rhonda Spivak, July 2017,


There is a very good British political spy thriller television miniseries that is now on Netflix The Honourable Woman, which deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, directed and written by Hugo Blick for the  BBC in 2014, that is now on Netflix. The lead female actress won a Golden Globe Award for her performance and the series was awarded a Peabody Award in 2015.


Eight years after taking over the family company from her brother Ephra Stein, Anglo-Jewish businesswoman Nessa Stein becomes a symbol of reconciliation and continued commitment to the Middle East peace process. When her new Palestinian business partner dies in a mysterious suicide, Lady Stein is forced to delay the third phase of an ambitious and long-planned project: connecting the West Bank with optical fibre cables. Various stakeholders manoeuvre to get this lucrative contract. The stakes become the highest possible for the family when Kasim, the son of Atika Halibi, a Palestinian translator/housekeeper and Nessa Stein's very close friend, is kidnapped. Soon, a mystery around his parentage is revealed as are some closely held secrets.


In an interview with the BBC Blick was asked why he set the drama against the Israeli/Palestinian conflict , and he responded, "The Honourable Woman explores a range of complex and provocative themes of conflict, deception, betrayal and ancestry on both a very personal, human level as well as on a much wider, international and political stage. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict provides a perfect framing device for that drama as it is not only a fair representation of the wider themes addressed within The Honourable Woman but also the internal struggles existing within the character of Nessa Stein as she attempts to lay to rest the ghosts of her past."


He also explained that "Nessa is neither wholly Israeli nor British and to a degree this rootlessness, in tandem to being an orphan, helps explain her isolation." (

This series is terrific for binge watching especially if you have an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Blick has long been interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has told the Hollywood Prospectus that "the research for this  [series]has been a lifelong issue." He has commented that "At that time, it was relatively peaceful. And in the West, I think we’d forgotten the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine. And yet, when you’re there, you know it’s just a volcano that can burst back out at some time. You can never tell when that is."


Blick also told the Hollywood Prospectus that as a frequent visitor to Jerusalem,  "I’ve always been struck by the fact that it’s so quartered. It’s like a schism personality — the Jewish section, the Muslim section, the Christian section.  " In creating the character of Nessa Stein, he "was really interested in a schism personality."

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.