HaGashash HaHiver (Hebrew: הגשש החיוור, lit. The Pale Tracker) were an Israeli comedy group. Often called HaGashashim (The Trackers), they are considered a classic of Israeli entertainment and the most influential comedy act in the history of Israel.
The three members of the Gashash were:
The Gashashim put on many stage comedy shows, consisting of skits which became classics in their own right ("The Drafted Car", "Off Side Story", "Kreker vs Kreker", etc.) and contributed numerous quotes to modern spoken Hebrew. They also starred in comic Israeli movies which became major hits, such as Givat Halfon Eina Ona and recorded many famous Hebrew songs. Some of Israel's greatest authors and playwrights, including the late Nissim Aloni, prepared material for the trio. The producer of HaGashash HaHiver was Avraham Deshe ("Pachanel").
The Gashash' sketches transcended class and education. Their elaborate word play became known as Gashashit.
On October 29, 2007 Yisrael Poliakov died at age 66.
The judges who awarded the prize, wrote of their decision to bestow the award on the group: "The uniqueness of Hagashash Hahiver is in its two faces: On the one hand, it reflects the life and the culture that were created in Israel during its first 50 years and in the course of wars, immigration absorption and the struggle for its existence. On the other hand, it has taken an active role in shaping this culture, creating its language and sketching its identity...Their language, Gashashit, and the images they created broke the walls of the inflexible Hebrew language and became standard idiomatic phrases, so much so that he who doesn't know them doesn't know a large part of the culture that has sprouted here. Phrases such as, 'Drive in peace, the keys are inside,' 'There was an engine?' [referring to the "Drafted Car" skit where the army returns a requisitioned car without any of its original parts], 'Israbluff' and many others that became part of our everyday language."
- Don Rubin (1999). The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Europe. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- Motti Regev, Edwin Seroussi (2004). Popular music and national culture in Israel. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- Ury Eppstein, Michael Ajzenstadt (June 13, 1999). "These chicks have got to grow". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- Lyrics of songs performed by the Trackers at Shiron.net
- "Comic icon Yisrael 'Poli' Poliakov dies at 66". Jerusalem Post. October 30, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Recipients' C.V.".
- "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipients".