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nathan alterman

  • The Mizrahi canon: Top classics from the margins of Israeli society

    Although Mizrahi artists have become household names that can sell out amphitheaters, their music is still missing from the Israeli musical canon. The culture that Mizrahi Jews never forgot, along with the attachment to their roots and faith, are excellent tools for creating new Mizrahi classics. By Avi H. Muthada Classics, like good wine, must be preserved in wooden barrels in dark basements for years upon years. Only every so often do we open the treasure, have a taste and fondly remember the memories of the past. When it comes to Israeli classics, the association is clear and one-dimensional: the…

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  • Matzpen and the story of two ads

    A strange historical coincidence had it that on the same day, September 22, 1967 – three months after the Six-Day War, with most of the Israeli public still intoxicated with euphoria – two very different political ads were published in Israeli dailies. One came from the most radical and demonized group in the political fringes, while the other was a product of the most respected members of the elite. In Yedioth Ahronoth, 57 of the leading cultural figures in Israel signed a petition that read: The Land of Israel is now in the hands of the Jewish people, and just as…

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  • A song was born: The tale of a controversial tune

    Six or seven years ago, I was sitting in Tel Aviv's Cafe Ginzburg with a man I admire deeply. Mikhael Manekin was then, along with Yehuda Shaul, one of heads of Breaking the Silence. BTS was still a budding organization at the time, made up entirely of Israeli soldiers who participated in the occupation and sought to document and inform of its atrocities. The organization was expanding its activities. Manekin came to Tel Aviv to brainstorm on organizing tours for Israelis and foreigners in Hebron. "I would like to bring authors there," he told me. "I feel that authors have…

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