In the wake of the Tel Aviv riots and subsequent racist rhetoric, pundits across the spectrum are wondering about the origins of Israeli anti-immigrant anger.
We've covered this pretty thoroughly, but one lighter thought: the question reminds us of a video from the golden days of Israeli sketch comedy.
The sketch comes from a 70's comic troupe called Lul: if you want to get Lul, which featured no-classic artists like Arik Einstein and Shalom Chanoch, think a cross between Monty Python and Flight of the Conchords, but political.
This video shows a succession of immigrant waves to Israel. As each group arrives in Israel it kisses the ground—and is mocked by the group that arrived immediately before. Poles are eyed by Arabs (0:17), and in turn mockingly call Russians “gefilte fish with sugar” (1:06). When the Yemenites arrive, it's the Russians' turn to lament the overwhelming smell: “zchug, garlic, falafel... and all sorts of cholera” (1:43). And so on.
Some of the groups are hard to ID. But, whatever else is at work in anti-African racism, the video is a reminder that mistrusting newcomers is an excellent way to shake your own greenhorn status.
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