If someone is shouting “I AM NOW TRULY ISRAELI!” you’d imagine that they’re anything but. Well, get ready to be proved wrong, because the press release Netflix posted yesterday with that title has some pretty good points.
For one, the online streaming service finally introduced a Hebrew interface. Since the website’s launch in Israel in January of 2016, users could choose English, Arabic, or other languages, but not Ivrit. Kvar lo! Now, there are many titles and descriptions that are sabra-fied, like Katom Hoo Hashachor Hachadash, which you might know as Orange Is the New Black. Titles even scroll right to left. Mah pitom!
In addition to the interface, Netflix says that over 75 percent of its content has been dubbed or subtitled in Hebrew. So it’s not just Gal Gadot who will bring Israeli accents to our screens.
The press release shared that Netflix’s new Israeli image extends over to their pricing. What is listed in America as $8, $10, or $12 as the monthly streaming costs for a basic, standard, or premium subscription, Israelis can choose from NIS 29.90, NIS 39.90, or NIS 49.90. No conversions required.
Probably most exciting about Netflix’s entry into the Israeli market is introducing their development of excellent original content. They just bought the rights to a movie currently in production called Ha’Malach (The Angel), a spy thriller based on Uri Bar-Joseph’s book The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel.
“We’ve never seen a Netflix Original with such extensive Arabic dialogue,” the movie’s producer Simon Istolainen told Variety. “It goes to show their will to maintain the flavor and authenticity of the project.” Istolainen also applauded Netflix “for boarding a project without globally famous actors attached and giving it the means to be ambitious.”
Netflix also signed on to produce the award-winning IDF drama Fauda. Though the first season originally aired on the Israeli satellite network YES, the American juggernaut bought the production rights to the second season. It now streams exclusively on the site and is dubbed as a “Netflix Original Series.”
In addition to all of this, Netflix can claim Israeli citizenship because they’re bringing great Israeli shows to the rest of the world. And if you’re interested in checking them out, Yair Rosenberg has some suggestions for you.
There isn’t actually a Hebrew term for binge-watching, so get on it Eliezer Ben Yehuda. Netflix is as Israeli as they come.
Sophie Aroesty is an editorial intern at Tablet.