In America we’re used to our comedians all mocking conservatives. But Hannah Brown of the Jerusalem Post reports in Israel, in the midst of war with Hamas, the country’s most popular comedy show – Eretz Nehederet (Wonderful Country) – went viral mocking the pro-Hamas bias of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
This skit was in English and featured show regulars Liat Harlev as a BBC anchor and Yuval Semmo as a BBC reporter breaking the news of the bombing of the hospital in Gaza that the BBC (and many American media outlets) immediately blamed on an Israeli airstrike.
Israeli TV show mocks the BBC. It’s funny – but it’s also scarily close to the truth. This is how the world views the BBC now, which poorly reflects our country.
— David Foxx (@thatfoxxybloke) October 26, 2023
Harlev, announces “Israel has bombed a hospital killing hundreds of innocent people.” When the chyron says 500 are dead, she says “more, more!” The number rises to 750 on screen. “Much better.” she says. .
Semmo, playing reporter “Harry Whiteguilt,” then says “Good evening, Rachel, from the “illegal colony of Tel Aviv.” He says Israel denied the bombing, but proclaimed he had the video footage to prove their guilt. They shows a paper airplane dropping blue stars of David, then cut to the nuclear explosion from the movie Oppenheimer.
The anchor says “Absolutely shocking, Harry!” He says “we got this video from Hamas, the most credible not terrorist organization in the world,” a dig at the fact that the BBC proclaimed it would not call Hamas a terrorist organization (they’ve now relented a bit). As he speaks, a chyron appears with the words, “We love Hamas.”
Whiteguilt then says “I have some terrible news,” that the United States has evidence that Israel did not bomb the hospital. The anchor is shocked: “Wait, what!? What!?” Then she says “Well, I guess it’s going to be one of those things we can never be sure about, like how the Jews knew about 9/11 and did not go to work that day.” The reporter says no, an audio recording shows “Hamas freedom fighters admitted they fired a missile by mistake.”
In a parody of actual audio of terrorists discussing a missile launch, one says they made a mistake, and the other says it’s no problem, maybe there were some gay people at the scene. “That’s life, you win some, you lose some.”
The anchor sticks to pretending: “Well, I guess we’ll never know what happened,” even as one of the terrorists on the audio says, “No, no, we did it,” and Whiteguilt concludes “But it’s still Israel’s fault.” Because Israel’s blockade prevented Hamas from getting properly functioning missiles.
Muli Segev, the showrunner, told Variety this episode was highly-rated:
Like most Israelis, we’re very disappointed with the one-sided way this war is covered by the international media, and the BBC have always been the most extreme case of that attitude. So when we decided to go on the air with a special show about this current situation it was clear that we should deal with that, and the hospital bombing incident was good example of the way even established media groups like the NYT or BBC rush to conclusions when Israel is on the line….
During our 20 years running we were on the air during traumatic events, even during the COVID pandemic. We never missed a show because we truly believe that humor is the best cure for fear and anxiety. It’s the old Jewish secret: laughing in the face of death. But I admit this time it’s harder than ever. Everyone is still in mourning, each and every one of us has lost someone, or knows someone who has. it has been the most horrific event in this nation’s history and we have been through a lot along the years as you know. But still, people need some kind of relief.