MBC1 refused to discontinue the Saudi series Makhraj 7, despite protests from many social network activists and criticism of the show, accusing it of promoting normalization with the state of Israel.
Many journalists in the Gulf have published tweets and posts on social networks in which they felt that the series distorted the facts and portrayed the Palestinian as the enemy and the Israeli as the friend, considering that the material presented on the Saudi channel is an attempt to “feel the pulse” of the peoples of the Gulf and to gradually install the idea of normalization, relying on the popularity of certain artists.
A discussion between the two heroes of the series, in which one of them shows his frustration with Saudi Arabia’s continued support for the Palestinians at the expense of Saudi citizens, while he finds no problem in establishing trade relations with Israel, sparked a great deal of controversy among viewers in the Arab world. They considered the series to be a premise for normalization and the strengthening of trade cooperation with Israel, especially after the scene was translated into Hebrew by an Israeli channel.
In the same scene, one of the characters said: “Like it or not, Israel exists”; “Israelis are human beings like you”. In another excerpt, a character points out that: “the Arabs have only lost the Palestinian cause over the years. So many words for nothing! ». In another passage, one of the characters says: “We have engaged in wars for Palestine. We cut off the oil for Palestine. When Palestine came to the rank of authority, we started to pay salaries when we needed them. As for the Palestinians, they do not hesitate to attack Saudi Arabia whenever they have the opportunity. »
Mazen Hayek, spokesperson for the Saudi channel MBC, playfully downplayed the political implications of these dialogues, considering that they are about dramatic construction and have nothing to do with normalization. For his part, the author of the series, Khalaf Al-Harbi, in a statement to the Al-Arabia channel, denied any attempt to promote normalization, considering that the series raises difficult, sensitive and taboo issues and that the aim behind the work is to raise community awareness about controversial topics, adding that some viewers take certain scenes out of context and interpret them as they wish and according to their agenda.