Music, Jews, and Arabs - a common ground
This from Eva Broman on the Jewish-Music list. Commentary Eva's, from last month:
I came across a few clips that give a picture of the relations between Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis which differs quite a lot from the ones we're used to seeing. The clips show Arab singers performing for Israeli Jewish audiences, as well as Israeli Jewish singers appearing in front of enthusiastic Arab audiences.
The first one is from a live show with Druze singer Sharif, in a Jewish club:
On 16-Jan-2009, I got an email from "Michael" giving further details: "The village where Avi Biter is singing is Jisr Az-Zarqa, between Caesaria and Zikhron Yaacov on the Mediterranean coast." Thank you!
Tamir Gal and Avi Biter performing at Arabic "chatunot" in Ramallah and a Palestinian village (I couldn't catch the name):
Both Avi Biter and Tamir Gal have stayed close to their Middle Eastern roots in their music, often recording Hebrew versions of Turkish and Arab tunes. Both of them also include songs in Arabic, at least in their 'live' performances...which explains their popularity among Israeli Arabs.
What strikes me is that the mode of enjoying yourself and showing affection for the performer doesn't differ that much between Israeli Mizrahim and Palestinian Israelis...in fact, I have seen quite a few 'live' shows in Israeli clubs where fans would jump onstage to embrace and kiss the singer, just like the Palestinian "hatan" in the Avi Biter clip. The main difference would be the absence of women at the Arabic "haflas".
Regardless of what you might think of the music (in Israel it would probably be considered "low class"), it's an interesting grass roots phenomenon.