Bintel Blog

Offbeat Israel: 'Mohammed' the Shoe and a Studio Full of Pizza-Lovers

By Nathan Jeffay

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Israeli entertainment just can’t seem to stop generating controversy at the moment. In recent days, we have had Holocaust survivors taking offense at a skit with Hitler looking for parking in Tel Aviv, Christians taking offense at a skit on Jesus and Mary, and now it is Muslims who have been insulted.

Settler Natan Beshevkin, a contestant on the Hebrew-language version of the reality show “Survivor,” called one of his shoes Mohammed. He referred to his other shoe as Nasrin, an Arab contestant now voted off the show, with whom Beshevkin clashed repeatedly.


Meanwhile, those opposed to reality TV have also generated themselves some publicity. Three striking television writers burst in to a studio at Channel 10 as the respected news program “The Day That Was” was being broadcast live. They had entered the building posing as pizza deliverers. (One wonders quite how much pizza Israeli TV presenters eat to make it plausible that three delivery people were needed.)

They were protesting that the trend of funds for television being increasingly channeled to reality shows and away from scripted TV was not getting coverage in the news.

They were promptly dragged out of the studio having yelled little that was decipherable except for the claim that “they,” presumably TV bosses, are taking “all the money” away from them. But they seemed to get what they wanted: The presenter felt it necessary to give viewers an explanation of what just happened, so the protestors’ grievances were heard on TV news.


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