“Eretz Nehederet” satirizes Ben Gvir with a cover of “Springtime for Hitler”

The popular satirical show “Eretz Nehederet” aired a musical parody on Wednesday night implicitly comparing far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben Gvir and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

The skit was based on an iconic movie moment that appeared in the 1967 film “The Producers,” which was directed by Mel Brooks, “Springtime for Hitler.” [Les producteurs] – a number that showed actors, led by a flamboyant Hitler, happily singing a song about Nazi plans to occupy Europe.

Even though neither Hitler nor the Nazis were explicitly mentioned in the version offered by “Eretz Nehederet”, anyone who knows this cinematic classic will have understood the reference.

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In the Israeli sketch, an actor playing Ben Gvir, who here plays the role of Hitler, is invited by a visibly bullied Benjamin Netanyahu who asks theoretically: “Who will bring me the votes and save me from justice?” ”, a reference to the ongoing trial of Netanyahu, brought to justice for corruption.

READ – State of Israel vs. Netanyahu: details of the prime minister’s indictment

Ben Gvir, initially clumsy, then appears in the spotlight, with symbols around him reminiscent of the Kach party, a party that had been banned and which had been founded by the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane, of which Ben Gvir is a disciple. The character is surrounded by dancers and singers wearing headwear associated with the nationalist-religious movement and T-shirts emblazoned with the logos of extremist organizations like Kach, Lehava and La Familia.

Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party – now allied with the HaTzionout HaDatit party – promotes far-right views and calls for the expulsion of Arabs deemed insufficiently loyal to the state. He is seen as the ideological successor to Kach, although he was careful to keep his extremist views within the bounds of the law, to avoid being banned from the Knesset like the party led by Kahane.

Otzma Yehudit was established in 2012, but was unable to garner enough support to enter the Knesset until 2021, when Netanyahu brokered an alliance with HaTzionout HaDatit to prevent right-wing votes from falling. wasted in the election that year. Ben Gvir’s popularity has surged among the radical right since he entered the Knesset.

“It’s time for Ben Gvir… it’s time for Otzma Yehudit” and “Kahane for the whole family,” the Ben Gvir impersonator sings.

It is suspected that Ben Gvir is deliberately watering down his extremist beliefs in a bid to appeal to more right-wing Israelis while avoiding anti-racism laws. According to Article 7A of the Basic Law: The Knesset, “incitement to racism” is one of three actions that can disqualify a candidate.

A member of Otzma Yehudit recently said the alleged new moderation was a “ruse” to help Ben Gvir win support in the elections.

In the “Eretz Nehederet” scene, Ben Gvir details his ostensible plans once he takes power, singing “We’ll throw the Arabs and the leftists out, we’ll turn Al-Aqsa into a parking lot, we’ll put the gays back in the cupboard “.

Dancers mime a train as the group sings about putting ‘judges on the carriages’ – another pictorial element that for many Israelis will bring to mind Nazi transports taking Jews to their deaths in occupied Europe .

“I’ve mellowed, my friends, it’s not a mistake – or else you’ve opened up a bit to racism,” the actor playing Ben Gvir jovially sings, before listing a series of ministerial demands on Netanyahu.

After the scene aired, the real Ben Gvir told his Twitter followers that he always found Channel 12’s “Eretz Nehederet” funny despite the pejorative impersonations of himself and Netanyahu.

“However, today, in light of the hatred against me and former Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is clear that we are talking about an agenda to prevent the right-wing from returning to power. »

“They portray [le chef du parti Raam] Mansour Abbas as an adorable teddy bear while I am portrayed as anti-Semites would portray a Jew,” he said. ” [Ils] should be ashamed. »

Polls credit Ben Gvir and his partner Bezalel Smotrich with 12 to 13 seats in November’s elections, which could make them the leaders of the Knesset’s third faction after the polls.

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“Eretz Nehederet” satirizes Ben Gvir with a cover of “Springtime for Hitler”