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MK Katz Promises 'Day of Reckoning' for 'Anti-Semitic' Satire

MKs furious over provocative promo for weekly Channel 2 satire Eretz Nehederet. MK Katz says the program is not unlike Nazi propaganda.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/4/2010, 9:14 PM / Last Update: 1/4/2010, 4:29 AM

The Knesset's Education Committee discussed Monday a promotional clip for Channel 2 TV's flagship satire program, Eretz Nehederet. The clip, which is aired repeatedly throughout the day, shows the program's stars in a state of complete undress, daubing paint on each other in a sexually suggestive and sometimes homoerotic manner. It has caused an uproar even among Israelis who are used to explicit content on TV programs that are intended for general audiences. 

Religious Knesset members and MK Ronit Tirosh of Kadima blasted the program over the promo, while MK Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Our Home) defended the clip as "a burst of creativity." A representative for Channel 2 said that while the channel was "not happy" with the clip, it approved it for broadcast because of considerations of freedom of expression.

MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz (National Union), who has been personally targeted by the program, used the opportunity to settle some scores with the program's creators. He said:

"They present me, an IDF officer and a disabled IDF veteran, whose sons serve in the IDF in the best units... they see their father presented as one who fires upon soldiers...  This is Eretz Nehederet's freedom of expression. That it is OK to [libel] an IDF officer, a disabled vet, because he has a beard like this [i.e., like a stereotypical settler – ed.]. This program was planned in order to make it possible after it is aired to expel the settlers – just like the Nazis planned how to kill the Jews. First you besmirch them and then you slaughter them. I take full responsibility for this statement. Let them sue me! Have I ever raised a hand against an IDF soldier?”

“There will come a day when we will be in power," he warned, "and there will be retroactive laws and it will be possible to prosecute all those who were tainted with anti-Semitism towards the settlers and towards the Jewish people and towards the IDF.”

MK Nissim Ze'ev of Shas said that “there is nothing wonderful about Eretz Nehederet (the name means “a wonderful country”). “It is an Ugly Country that shows the problematic nature of Israeli society. There are no positive educational and cultural messages in the program. I do not see anything in it and its contents must be limited.”