Habib Galbi, by Israel’s Yemenite girl band A-wa, is topping the Israeli pop charts. News of its success has reached the ears ofAl-Jazeera:
A-wa: music an international language
“A girl band in Israel has been making waves after its debut single
became the first song entirely in Arabic to top the charts in Israel.
“Habib Galbi” by the band A-WA – made up of three sisters – gives traditional rhythms and lyrics from Yemen a hip-hop treatment.
“It’s a song that has been viewed online over two million times.
The sisters are descendants of Yemeni Jews who relocated (never ‘fled’ – ed) to Israel after its establishment in 1948.
“But it’s almost unheard of for a Jewish-Israeli band to sing traditional Yemeni folk in a nearly extinct dialect of Arabic.”
So far so true, but no report on Arabic news media about Mizrahi Jews is ever complete without denigrating Israel’s ‘domineering’ Ashkenazi establishment, even though Yemenite Jews have a very good reputation in Israel, and the singer Ofra Haza was a national star 40 years ago.
To make the political point about Israel’s ‘repression’ of the Mizrahim, ‘Israel’s ‘poorest and most disenfranchised’, Al-Jazeera wheels out the obligatory anti-Zionist commentator. Left-wing activist Orly Noy says: ” The Ashkenazim needed the Mizrahim to ‘work twice as hard to prove they were not ‘that type of Arab'”.
Iranian-born Noy, who blogs at the leftist +972 Magazine, once wrote a piece to say that she was proud of Iran, but not proud of Israel.