Israelis make fun of Birthright kids, themselves


The classic American fratboy

Israel’s most popular TV satire, Eretz Nehederet (Wonderful Country), began its 9th season last night and chose to kick things off with some good old “let’s laugh at Americans for being JAPs and fratboys.”

I have to say that for a cliched topic, the video was pretty funny. You do have to understand Hebrew. If you don’t, you need to be willing to pick up some of the English with terrible American accent moments.

Ah, Birthright. We know what it’s all about. The guys want the girls, the girls want the soldiers, and the Israelis want the American money. Though I have to say that my favorite part (in Hebrew) was at the beginning, when the Israeli tour guide (who also carries a JNF donation box with a credit card swipe) says that unlike the common perception, Israel is not only a desert and camels but a very progressive country. Immediately after he makes sure all the girls are sitting in the back of the bus.

And what’s the best way to make the American college students convince their parents to donate? Show them what would happen if they don’t … by taking them to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum. Because if you take Americans to Yad Vashem they will start cheering “Hey Yad Vashem you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, Hey Yad Vashem!”

And the organization? They are happy with the free publicity. Doron Karni, VP of International Marketing for Taglit-Birthright Israel, told Ha’aretz that “the parody is a testament to the way in which Taglit-Birthright Israel has become so entwined in Israeli culture.”

And I say, send your kids on Birthright, they will have the opportunity to laugh at Israelis and their culture, and the Israelis will do the same. That’s the only way we can live in harmony.


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