Fox premieres a new "political reality
show" set in the Middle East, with young Israelis and Palestinians
vying for cash from both sides of The Wall.
HOLLYWOOD –-- The Fox Network will premiere a new seven-part
reality TV show with an international twist: Put a bunch of Israeli
and Palestinian twenty-somethings in each other's shoes, and watch
The show takes its name, The Wall, from the 452-mile physical barrier that is under construction around the West Bank, but also from the existing psychological barrier between the two peoples.
"It's like Fear Factor meets Average
Joe meets The Bachelor meets The Apprentice meets Survivor meets
My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance –-- all in the Middle East."
-- — Lance Buchanan,
Network executive Lance Buchanan explains that the show is "like Fear Factor meets Average Joe meets The Bachelor meets The Apprentice meets Survivor meets My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance – all in the Middle East."
BARRIERS: At least one
of the show's contestants will guard the wall at an area like
The reality TV series opens with dramatic montages of Israeli buses reduced to shells of twisted metal, and Israeli tanks bulldozing houses with Palestinian families streaming out of them. The footage ends with images of Israeli and Palestinian bodies splayed out on dirt and concrete.
We then meet our three Israeli and three Palestinian young men and women who will "assume each other's roles" according to the show's producers.
On the Israeli side: Benjamin is a soldier in the Israeli military and had a close friend killed by a Palestinian bomber; Rebecca is a quirky, left-leaning gal who works on a peace-activist kibbutz; Yechezkel is a wealthy, ultra-orthodox Jewish woman who's sister was killed in an attack on a settlement – and her father now leads the construction firm that's building The Wall.
On the Palestinian side: Abu is a foot soldier with Hamas who has witnessed multiple missile strikes by Israeli jets; Zafari is a young mother who signed on as a suicide bomber after her infant daughter was killed when their apartment building was hit by a tank shell; Izzedine is a relatively wealthy Palestianian young man who supposedly has Israeli cousins whom he's never met on the other side of The Wall.
Over the course of the next five core episodes, our contestants endure various hardships to win a half-million dollars each; dropouts go home without the cash. Benjamin must live with Hamas and endure the terror of Israeli precision strikes. Abu assumes Benjamin's former position in the Israeli military, and is posted at a checkpoint that has twice been the scene of suicide bombings. Yechezkel is made to live in a dirt-poor Palestinian settlement in Ramallah. Zafari explores the many creature comforts of Yechezkel's world on the other side of the wall, but must participate in all things ultra-orthodox. Rebecca goes on the front lines of Palestinian activism (i.e. lying down in front of tanks) while Izzedine goes to work on the kibbutz in conjunction with Rebecca's group (which is trying to stop The Wall from being built).
The reality TV series concludes with the revelation that some of the participants have dropped out, that two of the remaining participants are in fact separated-from-birth sisters, and there is also a climactic wedding between two of our participants (one Palestinian, one Israeli) that's held in front of The Wall near Jerusalem.