JERUSALEM – Official Palestinian Authority television recently aired an interview with an actor who depicted one of the “evil Jews” in a 1990s TV show, a role which almost borders on hilarity if it wasn’t so blatantly anti-Semitic.
Sami Sattoum, who played the role of the Jew in the TV series And You, Jerusalem from 1996, explained just how challenging it was to get into the part.
“Evil roles are always more difficult than the roles of good characters,” Sattoum told the interviewer on the show Culture Talks aired last month. “The directors say about my eyes, that I act well with them, and that ‘evil comes out of them,’ as they say.”
The interview included a clip from the original TV series which shows Sattoum dressed in a farcical caricature of a Jew, replete with swinging sidelocks and tziztit (ritual fringes). The show describes Jews as “wicked,” “oppressors,” and “evil.”
In one scene, the evil Jew is shown eyeing property belonging to an Arab.
Jew, played by actor Sami Sattoum: “They say the Arabs are generous. Maybe you would invite us in for a cup of coffee in your house?”
Arab: “What? Please.”
Jew: “You have a nice house, Abu Awni, It’s built in an old style.”
Arab: “This house was built by my grandfather’s grandfather more than 200 years ago.”
Jew: “Does that make sense, Abu Awni? Your grandfather’s grandfather built it over 200 years ago and it is still standing firm?”
Arab: “Why doesn’t that make sense? Even my grandfather’s grandfather inherited the land from his fathers. I mean the land of the house.”
Jew: “Okay, can we look at the house, Abu Awni?”
Jew: “We’ll just look Abu Awni, we’ll look at the house…”
At this point, the soundtrack erupts in the background:
“Here is the oppressor, here they went and returned, here they walked around;
Here he walks around, he walked around the whole world,
And his eye is still on you, O house.
Come on [Palestinians], be strong! Protest! Let the land burn;
The fire will ignite and the wind will strengthen and burn the wicked.
Here is the oppressor. Here is the oppressor…”
Jew: “It is truly a beautiful house, Abu Awni!”