BBC Three and the Swiss public broadcaster RTS have both put out comedy sketches skewering Israel’s relentless theft of Palestinian land.
In some ways, these comedians have shown more courage and truth than many mainstream journalists.
The BBC Three sketch, “The Israeli Embassy’s extension,” below, applies Israel’s logic of colonization in the West Bank to central London. But first …
Palestinian Monopoly - the game where the rules always change!
The video above is a sketch called “Hurry up and wait: Palestinian Monopoly” from the RTS show L’Agence..
It was broadcast in September, but only brought to my attention today. It’s in French, so here’s my translation of the dialogue:
Player 1: Hey, you want to play a game?
Player 2: Sure, what is it?
Player 1: It’s called Palestinian Monopoly!
Player 2: I don’t know it.
Player 1: It’s easy, I’ll teach you. First we divide the territory cards equitably: 15 for me and 2 for you.
Player 2: But I don’t feel like playing…
Player 1: But you have no choice. [rolls dice] Eight! I’m going to build on this land in East Jerusalem.
Player 2: But you don’t have the right to build, it’s not your land!
Player 1: Ah yes, sorry, well, it’s too late. I already built.
Player 2: Ok, well my turn [rolls dice] Three! Take a “Chance” card: “The United Nations passes a resolution giving you back one territory and you get to draw another card.” [pulls card] Bad luck. It says “The United States vetoes the resolution. Give back 8 more territories.”
Player 1: My turn! [rolls dice] Double 6! I buy the electricity company and now I can annoy Gaza by constantly turning the power on and off.
Player 2: Ok, my turn [rolls] – a two – Nablus. I buy and build a little village.
Player 1: My turn! Twelve!
Player 2: But you didn’t even roll the dice!
Player 1: No need! I bulldoze your village and build a colony of 17 houses.
Player 2: But you don’t have the right! It’s in the rules!
Player 1: But who cares about the rules? I roll a seven, pass Go and collect four million dollars.
Player 2: But it’s normally just two thousand shekels.
Player 1: Yeah, for you.
Player 2: Ok, my turn [rolls]. Seven [begins moving piece] … one .. two… what the? What’s this wall?
Player 1: You can’t go any further.
Player 2: I have no chance. When does this game finish?
Player 1: Never!
“The Israeli Embassy’s extension”
This sketch is from the BBC Three program The Revolution Will Be Televised, which describes itself as a series “bringing corruption, greed and hypocrisy to the fore. Politicians, multinationals and tax-shy corporations who have been taking the public for a ride for years are now on the receiving end.”
The Guardian says that the “joy” of the series is “its utter chutzpah.”
That’s certainly a contrast to the timidity of BBC news programs, which, as Amena Saleem has thoroughly documented, consistently whitewash Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.