Saturday, February 02, 2013

Tomi Lapid (father of Yair) on Mizrahi music

Jacky Levi, Israeli columnist and radio and t.v. host, interviewed by Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber, in her Israeli Media and the Framing of Internal Conflict: The Yemenite Babies Affair (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 63.

I remember driving one day and listening to a radio talk show, they put on a great song by Amir Benayun and then interviewed Tomi Lapid [an Ashkenazi media icon and a Knesset member]. When he was asked what he thought about the song, he said 'it was disgusting and repulsive, they say that we occupy the Arabs, but they really occupy us.' I was so shocked I almost got into an accident. This was not just a private person making a stupid comment. This was an influential key media figure. I think only then I started to understand what other Mizrahim, like Avihu Medina, are talking about, (Interview, summer 2008)

Tomi Lapid's son Yair is head of the "centrist" Yesh Atid party, which won 19 Knesset seats in the January 2013 elections.

Amir Benayun, from Beersheva, is the son of an Algerian Jew. He put out an album in 2011 called Zini, a collection of songs sung in Arabic and based on the book of Ecclesiastes. Benayum is affiliated with the right-wing of the Zionist religious camp and with Chabad.

Here's are a couple good tracks from Benayun.

Avihu Medina, of Yemeni background, is one of the giants of Mizrahi music or more properly, "Israeli Mediterranean Music." Amy Horowitz discusses him at length in her Mediterranean Israeli Music and the Politics of the Aesthetic (Wayne State University Press, 2010).

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