Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week leveled harsh criticism at the satirical television show “Eretz Nehederet” for what he said was making light of the Holocaust.
Eretz Nehederet in its Monday episode (Hebrew link) poked fun at Israeli poet and songwriter Yehonatan Geffen, who last week was forced to apologize for comparing teenage Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to Jewish WWII hero Hannah Senesh and Anne Frank.
In the offending sketch, Geffen re-issues his initial statement, but swaps out Frank for Hannah Senesh and Donald Duck. He quickly decides the new apology could get him into trouble with Disney, so he scraps it altogether.
The episode, marking “Not-Holocaust-Day,” also pokes fun at Avigdor Liberman for threatening to pull Geffen’s music from Army Radio over his remarks.
Throughout the skit, actors portraying Liberman and Culture Minister Miri Regev bring up various issues pertaining to Israel’s treatment of other peoples — the Palestinians and African asylum seekers who face deportation — before leading the audience in a chorus of “Its not a Holocaust.”
Netanyahu on Thursday reposted a video clip of 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Miriam Indig tearfully complaining about the sketch, criticizing the popular TV series for “apparently having no limit to its cynicism or lack of values.”
Indig in the clip was complaining to Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that the comedy sketch show had lampooned Senesh, with whom she shared a cell before Senesh’s execution by the Nazis in 1944.
“I heard them making fun of the Holocaust survivors and of Hannah Senesh on TV yesterday,” Indig said in the emotional call with Kara. “No one knows how we suffered there, and now they’re making fun of it as if it never happened.”
Though many social media users echoed Netanyahu’s disgust over the sketch, some accused the prime minister of using the video of Indig as an excuse to criticize the media, saying the sketch was making fun of Geffen’s forced apology and not Holocaust survivors.