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  • From Umm Kulthum to Woody Guthrie: Thoughts on cultural sovereignty

    For an Israeli who has only known occupied, subdued and desperate Middle Eastern cities, there is something exciting about rediscovering the cultural world of a confident, proud Levant, cognizant of its traditions and histories. By Amos Noy (translated by Matan Kaminer) To 'Amar, with fond remembrance. Between the demand for "authenticity," which, while conscious of itself, is impossible (and has something petty and repressive about it), and the option of assimilation, or "self-effacing imitation" - one form of cultural oppression (which is, of course, a form of political oppression) - there is also third option: cultural sovereignty. I imagine that many…

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  • LISTEN: 'Kiss My (Arse), Lieberman' - Israel's first full protest album

    I'd be very surprised if any of you recall a post I published here last December. I was showing off my version of an Irish protest song from the 1980. The original refrain, penned by Irish songsmith John Maguire runs as such: "Hey Ronnie Reagan / I'm black and I'm pagan / I'm gay and I'm left and I'm free." My girlfriend Ruthie and I applied the tune to a local politician, our staunchly anti-democratic, openly racist Foreign Minister Avigdor "Ivet" Lieberman, and were stunned to see it go viral on YouTube. Since then, another protest tune recorded in our living…

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