eretz shas 88 298.
(photo credit: Keshet)
It appears that the Shas party can't take a joke. Well, at least not the jokes made popular by the show Eretz Nehederet (Wonderful Country) on Channel 2. After watching a skit on the top rated satire show, Shas leaders decided to go on the attack, campaigning to have the show taken off the air. In the controversial skit, a secular bar mitzvah boy is called up for an aliya while his parents answer cell phone calls and complain about the length of the ceremony. Shas asserts that apart from being in poor taste and mocking the Jewish tradition for the sake of high ratings, the skit was also filmed in a real synagogue (thereby desecrating it), when it could have been easily filmed on a set. Shas was also particularly put off by a scene in which actress Orna Banai (Dikla) is wrapped in a tallit and takes a real Torah out of the ark unnecessarily.
Shas has declared war against the show on their Web site, claiming that they were forced to go public with their complaints when the Broadcasting Authority failed to properly respond to them.
In an angry letter to the the writers and producers of the show, Shas asks, "Is it appropriate to let a TV show continue to lead us astray? Is it appropriate to air a skit to the Israeli public that uses God's name in vain? Is it appropriate to promote the positive aspects of anorexia for the sake of a skit? Is it appropriate to make degrading comparisons between [Minister Avigdor] Lieberman and Hitler in the name of satire and ratings?"
Shas's Web site continues, saying "We've had enough of dictatorial people who call themselves "journalists" thinking that the more they trample, desecrate, insult and humiliate the Jewish tradition and the public, the more their stock will go up in the media milieu."
Shas says that after receiving a stream of complaints from a range of people, including haredim, religious, non-religious, it has become impossible for them not to do something. The party has begun to collect details from individuals who felt personally offended by the show, and intend to collect it in a report that will be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities in Israel. Others who feel offended by the show are encouraged by the party to voice their complaints on their Web site: www.shasnet.org.il.