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Here come the Jews: 1,500 protest satire TV show over depiction of religion

Demonstrators decry Kan public broadcaster’s acclaimed comedy show for mocking biblical figures and what they call ‘blasphemy’

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews protest outside the studios of Kan, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, against the program, 'The Jews Are Coming,' on August 17, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hundreds of Orthodox Jews protest outside the studios of Kan, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, against the program, 'The Jews Are Coming,' on August 17, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hundreds of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox demonstrators protested Monday outside the Kan public broadcaster’s offices in Jerusalem against its satirical TV show “HaYehudim Baim” (“The Jews are Coming”), over its depiction of biblical and religious figures.

The irreverent and acclaimed show employs sketches of biblical figures to comment on contemporary Israeli and Jewish social, political, and religious issues.

The 1,500-odd protesters were decrying the show for mocking religion.

Herzliya city councilmember Elad Tzadikov, one of the leaders of the protest, told the crowd that “it is no longer possible to remain silent in the face of such blasphemy.”

A scene from the opening credits of ‘HaYehudim Baim’ (‘The Jews are Coming’) on the Kan public broadcaster. (Screen capute: YouTube)

“The great absurdity is that this program is funded by our own money — the citizens,” he said. “The vast majority of the citizens of this country have respect for religion and tradition. It is impossible for us to fund a program that is entirely heresy.”

In 2014, the Knesset passed legislation that dismantled the Israel Broadcasting Authority and reestablished it as Kan, Israel’s publicly funded broadcaster.

Responding to the calls for the protest, Kan said in a statement that “‘The Jews are coming’ is a satire program, and that is how it should be treated. Freedom of expression and creativity are a top value in public broadcasting, as is self-deprecation. The right of protesters to protest is no less important.”

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