Contemporary Israeli Television Challenges National Traumas

Adia Mendelson-Maoz, Liat Steir-Livny

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In constructing a national identity, memorial days are important “sites of memory.” In this article we discuss two successful TV shows that criticize the ceremonial structure of two of the most important memorial days in Israel – Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day and Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers. Arab Labor (2007, 2010, 2012) is a satirical sitcom written by an Israeli Arab writer, Sayed Kashua, which focuses on the split identity of Arab citizens of Israel. Zaguri Empire (2014, 2015) is a comic drama written by Maor Zaguri, a third generation Mizrahi Jew, that tells the story of a family of Moroccan descent living in Israel’s periphery. This chapter examines how these shows work from within mainstream popular culture to criticize the Israeli consensus by confronting sacred Israeli myths and revealing the banality of the reproduction of nationality.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationNationalism and Popular Culture
EditorsTim Nieguth
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print) 9780367337636 0367337630
StatePublished - 2020


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