Don't dress like Palestinians! Israeli comedian gives 'tips' to Gulf tourists following normalisation deals

Don't dress like Palestinians! Israeli comedian gives 'tips' to Gulf tourists following normalisation deals
Noam Shuster has provided visiting Arabs with advice about what to expect when they visit.
2 min read
17 December, 2020
Comedian Noam Schuster has angered some with her portrayal of Israel [Twitter/@ShusterNoam]
An Israeli comedian has made a mockumentary video targetting Arab tourists but poking fun at widespread anti-Arab and anti-African racism in Israel, provoking some backlash from Israelis left unimpressed by her caustic wit.

Noam Shuster made the video for Israeli public broadcaster Kani, ostensibly to explain to Arab tourists what they might expect when they arrive and some other useful hints, as a host of Arab nations normalise relations with Israel, and tourists, particularly from the Emirates, are expected to flock to the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

While the video is designed as a wry and satirical look at the treatment of Arabs in Israel and makes jabs at conditions in Arab countries, some Israelis have taken umbrage with the public broadcaster using airtime to paint such a 'negative' portrait of Israel and Israelis.

In the segment, which was broadcast on 'From the Other Side with Guy Zohar', Shuster welcomes potential Arab tourists to Israel, before explaining that to ease their journey through Ben Gurion Airport, they should let it be known that they are not Palestinian, so as to avoid a lengthy detention. 

Shuster goes on to tell Saudi tourists that could be visiting in the future, that in Israel, there is no discussion about whether women are allowed to drive or not, in a dig at the now expired driving ban on women in the kingdom.

Taking aim at Israel's prime minister, Shuster lampoons the current political situation in the country and the "many years of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule, despite democracy", comments which are played over footage of protesters being attacked and sprayed with water cannons. 

Highlighting the recent agreement signed by between Israel and Sudan, Shuster also points to the racism experienced by people of African descent.

Read more: Israel normalisation deals reflect the rupture between repressive regimes and Arab societies

On Israeli social media, the video faced fierce criticism. While some can see the potential humour of the piece, they were angered that the video has been made by Israel’s public broadcaster and with public funds.

One social media user commented that, "I don't have a problem with people making videos with this kind of content - from their own pocket. When will we close this unnecessary public broadcaster and save us 750 million shekels a year?"

Others praised the video and applauded it efforts to get people to understand the issues in the country through satire, with one user saying: "It's a shame that there are few here with critical thinking and a sense of satire."

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