Controversial Right and Left-wing Satires to Be Aired on Channel 1

Reforms at the IBA led to delayed debut of 'The Jews Are Coming,' as well as broadcast of a new show by a right-wing group.

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About a year after it was supposed to be aired on Channel 1, the satirical program “The Jews are Coming” has finally been added to the broadcast schedule. The show, which had been shelved, will be broadcast after the upcoming holidays.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority has also announced its decision to air a satirical show by Latma, a right-wing group of journalists and editors who, according to their website, are "frustrated with the tiny group of journalists who are in control of the Israeli media." Their program will be broadcast shortly after the conclusion of the 13 episodes of “The Jews Are Coming.”

“The Jews Are Coming” – composed of brief skits about Jewish history in biblical times – was created by Asaf Beiser and Natalie Marcus, in cooperation with a team of writers. The cast includes Yael Sharoni, Moni Moshonov, Yossi Marshak, Iddo Mosseri and Yaniv Biton.

Although it was approved for production, filmed and edited and slated to be screened over a year ago, then-IBA chairman Amir Gilat decided not to approve the show for broadcast.

The decision was related to the media uproar that followed the screening of a promo for the program, which featured a “children’s CD” starring Yigal Amir, the assassin of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; Baruch Goldstein, who perpetrated a massacre of Palestinians in 1994; and Yona Avrushmi, who killed peace activist Emil Grunzweig at a 1983 rally. Among other things, the trio sings, "But I'm a right-wing murderer."

Behind the scenes, Gilat and then-IBA director general Yoni Ben-Menachem cited various opinions about the subjects satirized by the show and about whether to air it. That was last September. Now, after personnel changes at the IBA – including the appointment of Yona Wiesenthal as editor-in-chief ־ and the new reforms that are taking place in the authority, the program was given the green light.

Approval of "The Jews Are Coming" has coincided with that of another satirical program, this one created by the Latma comedy team, which has produced its own Web-based, mock TV news show. It will apparently be the first satirical show to be openly defined as “right wing.”

To observers, it seems clear that the announcement of its production and broadcast following the decision to schedule “The Jews Are Coming” was designed to contradict claims of political bias in the IBA.

According to Wiesenthal, “The two satirical programs, ‘The Jews Are Coming’ and ‘Latma,’ are satirical shows presented from different angles, which will enrich the channel’s broadcast schedule.”

The Jews Are Coming.Credit: Michal Efrati

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