Back in 2007, an Israeli TV program ran the segment posted below. The program, Toffee VeHa-Gorilla, features a scantily clad young woman, a monkey, a big red couch with yellow pillows, a huge pink washing machine, and other props.
There isn’t much on the web about the program in English, perhaps deservedly so. Over the past two days, though, this video, in which the girl crucifies her monkey for contemplating “assimilating” himself into Christianity, is getting noticed.
The video was posted onto Youtube in September, 2010, but from the comments at its place there, it appears to have only started getting a lot of hits this past week. Now it is being posted at several sites, including some in Israel.
My prediction is that now that this unnerving segment appears to be going viral, it will be pulled down.
Prepare to be disturbed:
Update – Sunday: More information on this program.
There is indeed a paucity of information on Toffee VeHa-Gorilla in English. What I’ve been able to discern so far past what’s in the post above, has been provided by Shmuel at Mondoweiss, where the video was linked to earlier. Here’s Shmuel:
I haven’t come across anything about the show (טופי והגורילה – “Toffee and the Gorilla”) in English, but the “concept” is pretty clear from the Hebrew interview I linked to above, and the sketches available online (on youtube and elsewhere – you can cut and paste the Hebrew טופי והגורילה in the search bar).
It’s a parody of some of the shows on Israeli state Educational TV, especially in the ’60s and ’70s (some of the sketches are even in black and white, for added effect). The messages are unashamedly racist (against Arabs, Mizrahim, Christians, etc.), chauvinist and violent, holding up a mirror to Israeli society as it were (albeit from a safe distance – placing such attitudes somewhere in the past). The show’s creator describes its political orientation as “socialist-pacifist”.
The crucifixion sketch is so over the top that it could only be satire, although its utter crudeness is more indicative of a lack of self-awareness than of a desire to provoke in order to bring home an ugly truth.
Earlier at Mondoweiss, Shmuel wrote:
The programme is produced and broadcast by the privately-owned Bip channel, not state-run Educational TV. The Ed TV symbol, music and “feel” is part of the programme’s shtick – voice of the brainwashing, racist, consumerist, sexist (hence the girl in the bikini), warmongering establishment. Poor taste, blood, and provocations of all kinds are also part of the shtick.
Here’s an interview (Hebrew) with the programme’s creator –http://www.mouse.co.il/CM.articles_item,789,209,18794,.aspx – who says he was inspired by Team America and Southpark. [emphasis added]
Here’s the google search result for טופי והגורילה
That being said, to categorize the video, as one commenter did below, as having “the smell of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is highly inaccurate. Rather, it is a disturbing example of how racial and religious stereotypes in an increasingly fractured and dysfunctional society have very awkwardly found themselves projected through inept (at best) social satire.