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Sex, Drugs and Hummus: Israel in the eyes of young American

A new web series with surprising funders, market Israel as a center of culture and hitech and a hotbed for religious pluralism, but mostly as an ideal place for excessive drinking and casual sex. The hummus in the name is merely symbolic.

Hamburger Hummus” is a new web comedy series of seven short episodes (3-4 minutes each) aired last week. A series we think might draw much attention in the forthcoming weeks.

The series shows Israel through the eyes of six American bloggers, attending a fictional conference (“Blogocon”) held in Tel-Aviv. It’s a small yet very colorful and vocal group of people, eager to make the best out of TLV and Israel in general.

“The best” according to Hamburger Hummus, includes attending gay parties, getting medical marijuana treatment, praying on the Temple Mount, impersonating as a startup recruit, and having a quickie in the lavatory of a club after excessive drinking (in a somewhat miserable timing, in the same week as the pub gang rape scandal). Watch the trailer (30 seconds) and you’ll understand:

So, the content and the language aren’t exactly politically correct. And what makes it especially interesting is that it’s clear this is hardly a low budget production – yet it’s not very clear who’s behind it.

It was directed by Workaholics’ Jay Kara and it’s cast includes Angela Kinsey (The Office), Jillian Bell (Workaholics, 22 Jump Street) and Marque Richardson (Dear White People). It has an invested website, a Youtube channel and a Facebook page operated by DC based SS+K, a digital agency whose client list includes Audi, Credo Mobile, Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, US Dept. of Education and other major corporations and establishments.

At first we thought it might be connected to the Birthright program, which is known as an ideal way for under 21 Jewish Americans (and not only them) to get to a place where they can legally drink and easily get laid (one of the episodes is called “Earthright“. A coincidence? We don’t think so!).

המבורגר חומוס, סדרה חדשה

Then we thought maybe it’s the other way around – maybe this series is not a disguised right wing pink-wash campaign, but a seires aiming to draw the more liberal audiences to Israel, people who are less conservative and hopefully less extreme, xenophobic or messianic. Or it could just be an expensive viral campaign for a business of some kind (such as the manufacturer of the solar system shown in the 6th episode).

Oddly, the funding came from the New Venture Fund, which is kind of strange because the NVF usually fund social projects, not comedies which looks like they were created to encourage Gay tourism to Tel-aviv.

One thing is certain: hummus is not mentioned in this series even once, except for the name. On the other hand, so does hamburgers. The name uses hummus as the Israeli equivalent to the American hamburger – which will probably annoy some people, but does make sense. Not because hummus is Israeli but because it is indeed as popular in Israel as hamburgers are in the states.

Bottom line: Hamburger Hummus is a funny series, and you can watch all 25 minutes of the first “season” at once, starting with this episode:

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