Couch surfing settler gets personal with Israeli politicians

Couch surfing settler gets personal with Israeli politicians

Traveling around in his trusty minivan, humorist Hanoch Daum noodges political leaders from inside their homes

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Humorist Hanoch Daum of 'The House Crasher' celebrates the upcoming election day (Courtesy Hanoch Daum Facebook page)
Humorist Hanoch Daum of 'The House Crasher' celebrates the upcoming election day (Courtesy Hanoch Daum Facebook page)

Trying to figure out who to vote for next Tuesday? Settle in for an evening of binge-watching Hanoch Daum, host of Channel 10’s “The House Crasher,” who’s been spending the last few weeks grilling Israel’s political hopefuls.

Daum, an author and columnist who lives in the West Bank settlement of Elazar with his wife and kids — something he reminds viewers of each week — usually interviews a mix of celebrities, from actors and singers to reality show stars and sidelined politicians, on his weekly show.

This season, however, he’s been driving his Mazda minivan around the country to visit Israeli politicians, spending two days with each interviewee.

In fact, the name of the show, “HaMitnachel,” offers a double meaning for Daum’s act. It’s the term used for Jewish settlers, but also a slangy word for someone who pops by and stays on your couch, a far more fitting description of what Daum does in each segment.

He enters the politicians’ homes and makes fun of their immaculate white kitchens (Eli Yishai), supposedly bunking down with their four kids for the night (Jewish Home’s Naftali Bennett) and sitting in on their parlor meetings (Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid).

A columnist and writer, Daum, who always has his tiny, crocheted kippah perched firmly on his closely shorn head, is unabashedly right-wing and one of the few TV humorists who doesn’t automatically offer a dovish viewpoint. He also often makes mention of his close personal relationship with the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

That may make it easier for him to ask certain questions of the politicians he’s interviewing. With former Shas leader Eli Yishai, who started his own party (Yachad), he brings up the sensitive subject of his now-archenemy, Aryeh Deri, who used to be Yishai’s close political partner.

When speaking with left-wing Meretz incumbent Zahava Gal-on, he brought out a cake in the shape of the Israeli map, cutting it up into ever-smaller chunks in an attempt to show the problematic aspects of her political game plan.

Daum pokes, prods and makes fun of each politico, slightly reminiscent of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Ali G” appearances and humorous incognito interviews of celebrities and politicians.

On this show, however, it’s all out in the open. So go on, pick a segment. It may not help you choose a party, but it will offer some comic relief.

“The House Crasher,” Election Season, Nana Channel 10.

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