Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Life Surreally Imitates Art During Gaza Conflict

Israel’s Saturday Night Live interrupted by sirens while rehearsing war satire skit

Print Email

Eretz Nehederet, Israel’s version of Saturday Night Live, is not on vacation during Operation Pillar of Defense. On Monday night, the show screened as regular, featuring a slew of skits mocking the cast of characters involved in Israel’s military Operation Pillar of Defense. The video can be found here, and for the time being is only accessible in Hebrew.

One highlight is a fake Defense Minister Ehud Barak saying:

“People ask me, ‘Why now?’ And I respond: ‘Tradition is tradition! Every four years there is Olympics, and every four years there is an operation in Gaza! And because this one also won’t change anything, there will be another one four years from now!’”

The video makes light of the Minister of Culture relocating a theater festival originally planned within firing range of Gaza, and Israelis who are supposed to be in a shelter coming outside to filming falling rockets with their iPhones. As would be expected, a fake Bibi Netanyahu makes a cameo appearance, along with an IDF correspondent warning citizens of Gaza: “The IDF is sick in the head, so don’t make them angry.” Another notable moment was smack in the middle of the show, which featured a satirical advertisement from the Israel Ministry of Tourism in which a fake Israeli actress Noa Tishby asks, “Rockets? Sirens? Shelters? Who cares?” and promptly encourages Israelis to lie to their friends outside the country, saying “It’s quiet here, cheap here…” — a subtle reference to the expensive cost of living in Israel, another extant problem in Israel, unfortunately not erased by rockets from Hamas and a military operation.

The longest skit within the ten-minute clip posted online is one that makes light of a group of Tel Aviv residents who leave their apartments during a siren, and end up meeting their neighbors. Hilarity ensues: neighbors insult each other, a man is encouraged not to answer his phone lest it be Hamas on the other line, and a couple from the floor above having a one night stand are forced out of bed into the hallway.

But there is a more deeply disturbing video linked on the same page, right below the excerpt of the show featured on website. In the midst of rehearsal, a real alarm was sounded in the Dan region of Israel, where the show was being filmed. The actors, like any group of Israelis at that time, retreated to a shelter. Below this video reads a post, “The cast did not miss the opportunity, and the event is documented and forwarded to you.”

The video sufficiently blurs the line between satire and reality: the actors were already in costume, and are acting as light-hearted as they were when the sketch was actually filmed, probably a few minutes later. The dark humor featured in Eretz Nehederet demonstrates wit and talent, and is vitally important in the case that it can be used by terrorized Israelis as a coping mechanism. But the juxtaposition of these two videos gives watchers a rude awakening: the situation of which they are making light is ongoing, and relentless. Israeli satire may be entertaining, but it is also very, very real.

Earlier: Not Laughing at the Birthright Parody

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Life Surreally Imitates Art During Gaza Conflict

Israel’s Saturday Night Live interrupted by sirens while rehearsing war satire skit

More on Tablet:

Władysław Bartoszewski Dies at 93

By Stephanie Butnick — Former Polish foreign minister, an Auschwitz survivor, masterminded Poland’s relations with Germany and the Jews