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Israeli Sketch Show Fights Hatred Through Satire

Eretz Nehederet, Israel's beloved SNL counterpart, gains overseas fans with edgy satire to counter anti-Israel rhetoric. 

If you’re active on any social media apps, there’s a good chance you recently stumbled on one or two parody videos making fun of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and its seemingly biased coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.

If you caught a smidge of the Hebrew accent in the faux anchors’ British dialect, it’s because they are Israeli actors from the satirical sketch show Eretz Nehederet.

Eretz Nehederet (“A Wonderful Country”) first aired in 2003. Israeli broadcaster Keshet has seen this hit show through the Second Intifada, the Second Lebanon War, several military operations in Gaza and domestic political unrest.

But the show’s writers admit it has never been as tough for them to write sketches and keep the show going as it has been since October 7. 

After taking an understandable break following the Hamas attack, Eretz Nehederet returned at the end of October. The first post-October 7 episode included a sketch lampooning the BBC’s coverage of the war. 

The sketch was entirely in English, with actors Liat Harlev and Yuval Semo doing their best British accents. It was clear, this time around the show was appealing to the international audience. 

The skit racked up hundreds of thousands of views within hours on Eretz Nehederet’s YouTube channel and became a viral hit.

Eretz Nehederet actor Liat Harlev as a BBC reporter reacting sympathetically to actor Eli Finish as Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in a viral parody. Photo: screenshot

Later, Eretz Nehederet’s longtime host Eyal Kitzis said the crew didn’t believe the material they wrote for the first episode back was genuinely funny, but they wanted to get something out there for Israelis to take their minds off the tragedy. 

The following episodes have so far all included English-speaking skits, sometimes more than one per show, with every single one of them going viral on social media. 

The sketches included more BBC parodies, satirical portrayal of anti-Israel US college students and UN’s Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and its dismissal of gender violence during the October 7 attacks.

The latest episode featured a music video featuring the Qatar-based Hamas leaders asking the international community for more money because “my dog needs new Armani.”

The lyrics include: “Dollar bills, dollar bills/My people have no water/Wonder how it feels?”

Eretz Nehederet actors Liat Harlev and Eli Finish spoofing BBC’s interview of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Photo: screenshot
Eretz Nehederet actors Liat Harlev and Eli Finish spoofing BBC’s interview of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.  SCREENSHOT.

It also included a sketch with US actor Michael Rapaport. Rapaport, who is Jewish, has become one of the most prominent pro-Israel voices on social media since the start of the latest war. 

In the skit, the actor plays Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore, who asks Hogwarts professors whether calling for the genocide of “the mudbloods” violates the school’s code of conduct.

Lee Kern, a writer and co-producer of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” was also mentioned in the end credits of one of the episodes. Kern has been very vocal on his social media since the start of the war about Israel’s right to defend itself. 

With Israel struggling to explain its position in the conflict to the world, it appears that satire might just succeed where all else failed. 


Produced in association with ISRAEL21c

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