The Israeli sketch comedy show Hayehudim Baim skewers many elements of Jewish and Israeli history, and its satirical, secular, liberal readings of biblical figures and religious practices have created political controversy. Yet despite its apparently progressive take on Jewish history and Israeli culture, the show’s use of drag as a central feature of its satire reveals certain practical and ideological lapses in its treatment of gender norms. A series of sketches about the biblical matriarchs Rachel and Leah, both married to the patriarch Jacob, demonstrates the limits of the show’s ability to engage in a progressive critique without resorting to regressive notions of gender and sexuality deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

You do not currently have access to this content.