This video published today shows Israeli activists from the dissident group Boycott from Within disrupting the filming of the new NBC drama show Dig on location in the ethnically cleansed Palestinian coastal city of Jaffa, in present-day Israel.
The activists are greeted with racist slogans by people on the set.
Dig, to be shown on NBC’s cable network USA, has generated strong protests from Palestinians who see it is as part of Israel’s effort to consolidate its control and advance the Judaization of occupied Jerusalem.
Responding to protests from Palestinians, NBC vice president Cory Shields promised last December that the show would not be filmed in Silwan in eastern Jerusalem, a Palestinian neighborhood which Israel’s occupation municipality is in the process of ethnically cleansing.
But NBC has violated this promise and the filming has proceeded in Silwan and other locations targeted for Israeli settlement.
The Israeli government and Jerusalem’s occupation municipality are providing the series a $6.3 million grant. The cast and crew recently met with Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, leader of the extreme right-wing nationalist and pro-settler party Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home).
Invading the set
Shortly after someone from the film crew calls out “action,” the video shows activists marching on to the set shouting “One, two, three, four occupation no more, five, six, seven eight, we don’t dig apartheid state” and “Shame on you Hollywood! Shame on you NBC!”
The activists, who can be seen carrying large protest banners, are met with a racist response.
They are told to “go to Sudan” and “go to Hizbullah” and in one disturbing moment an extra begins to sing a song in praise of Baruch Goldstein, the American settler who massacred 29 Palestinians at the Ibrahimi mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 1994.
Goldstein was killed by survivors defending themselves.
The extra says to camera “I ask for blessings on Baruch Goldstein’s grave… because what he did was self sacrifice. Not because you’ve got to kill Arabs, but because in his action he saved many Jews.”
One of the protestors says: “Our message is that you [NBC] are complicit in Israeli crimes, in whitewashing Israeli crimes with the support and investment of the Jerusalem Municipality and Naftali Bennett.”
This is not the first time opponents of NBC’s complicity in Israeli colonization have made their way on to a Dig set.
Earlier this month Jason Isaacs, the Dig actor who previously starred in several Harry Potter films, was confronted on set as the show filmed on location in eastern occupied Jerusalem.
It remains to be seen whether Isaacs will condemn the kind of racism expressed on the set of his new show.