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Kosher Beef.
March 11, 2005 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Kosher Beef. The story of two Israeli rappers and the political views that divide them and their music.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (16 comments total)

 
Subliminal has been making the US news lately, because he's currently in America on a two-week tour. Here's also a good article from Rolling Stone magazine on him. This particular following quote from the article has been making the rounds: "When we talk politics with Arabs in Israel, they say, 'My grandfather used to live in Tel Aviv, and now it's owned by Jewish people -- we want to come back,'" he says. "I respond, 'My parents came from Iran and Tunisia, but nobody is going to give our property back to us. It's all been confiscated . . . We have this little sandbox we call Israel. We give our hearts and lives to make it a proud country. Every one serves in the Israeli Defense Force in order for Israel to survive. You have half of the globe. What the fuck do you want from us? Go live in Saudi Arabia.'"

From The Guardian article:>>"Two days later, I visit Tamer Nafar at his house in Lod. We sit on his bed, beneath huge posters of Tupac Shakur and Che Guevara." WTFrickingF? Can anyone please tell me why Tupac Shakur has such a huge fanbase in Israel?
posted by naxosaxur at 8:23 AM on March 11, 2005


People in Israel love Tupac for the same reason people love him everywhere else: He's got pretty eyes.

Nafar (the Arab-Israeli) sez: Israel raped the Palestinian soul so it got pregnant and gave birth to suicide bombers.

And while some will clearly disagree with that, it's a powerful image.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:54 AM on March 11, 2005


It's a nice quote that, isn't it, naxosaxur? "Someone stole what we had, so we stole a bit of what you had. Stop complaining! Go get something else!"

Justifying theft on the basis of "two wrongs" as an excuse for Israel. Is that really the best he can do? I suppose it is.
posted by Decani at 8:55 AM on March 11, 2005


Very interesting article, thanks, XQUZYPHYR. FWIW I don't think it's about politics, but about how people deal with politics.
posted by carter at 9:25 AM on March 11, 2005


Justifying theft on the basis of "two wrongs" as an excuse for Israel. Is that really the best he can do?

Seems pretty simple when neither "wrong" is yours, eh Decani? The Palestinian refugee problem is a direct consequence of protracted European, Arab and American ethno-centrism and anti-Judaism. Oh, but reading history is hard. It's so much easier to blame the problem on an evil Zionist cabal.

So get this: A vast majority of the Israeli population would welcome a just and equitable peace with a viable Palestinian state. What they are not willing to do is drown themselves in the Mediterranean. Were the Palestinians fucked over? Sure. So were the Kosovars. So are the Chechens. So were the Armenians. So were the Tutsis. So are the Darfurians.

How about dropping the playground logic and thinking about the problem. Your cozy first world nostrums and sophistry are self-indulgent, at best.
posted by felix betachat at 9:30 AM on March 11, 2005


The Palestinian refugee problem is a direct consequence of protracted European, Arab and American ethno-centrism and anti-Judaism.

Of course, being kicked out of their home had nothing to do with it? No, it was "anti-Judaism", read your history. Huh?

What they are not willing to do is drown themselves in the Mediterranean.

Which is why they're colonizing the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip. Because of "Anti-Judaism" trying to drown them in the sea!
posted by chaz at 9:38 AM on March 11, 2005


I'll keep it simple for you, chaz:

Before

During

After

Postscript

I call it "anti-Judaism". What term do you prefer?
posted by felix betachat at 9:59 AM on March 11, 2005


From the article:

"Halachmi has postponed the DVD release of Channels of Rage because she wants to get Shimoni and Nafar to record a song together for the soundtrack. After a year of trying, she is hopeful but exasperated. "Listen, they are men, they are artists and they are rappers. What do you expect? Hopefully, some good will come out of it one day."

Somehow for me that was the most touching part of the whole thing.
posted by goodglovin77 at 11:02 AM on March 11, 2005


In a similar vein, one of the most popular songs in Israel last year was Shirat ha-Sticker (.mp3) by the Rock/Rap group Hadag Nahash. The lyrics are almost entirely made of slogans taken off of bumper stickers.

Bumper stickers in Israel are a major form of political expression, so the total effect of the song is a schizophrenic representation of the fractured political and cultural landscape.
posted by felix betachat at 11:31 AM on March 11, 2005


Also check out Iron Sheik - from the other side of the wall. Actually he's american, but you get the idea.
posted by sandmonk at 12:21 PM on March 11, 2005


You couldn't have possibly posted this two days ago so I could go to the show in Boston? Hrumph. (Great link -- thanks)
posted by VulcanMike at 12:45 PM on March 11, 2005


Good Lord, felix. You have gone completely off the deep end and grossly misrepresented me. I was passing comment on Subliminal's actual words - the ones naxosaxur originally quoted - not the entire history of the Israel-Palestine conflict! If you take the time to read those words I think you'll see that "justifying theft on the basis of two wrongs" is a pretty fair assessment of them.

I'd appreciate it if you didn't accuse me of being ignorant of history when I wasn't even offering an opinion on it. I'd also appreciate it if you hold off on slamming my "cozy first world nostrums and sophistry" until I, you know, actually post some of those things. Particularly as you seem to object to "playground logic".
posted by Decani at 12:49 PM on March 11, 2005


I was passing comment on Subliminal's actual words - the ones naxosaxur originally quoted - not the entire history of the Israel-Palestine conflict!

Sorry, this looked pretty global to me: Justifying theft on the basis of "two wrongs" as an excuse for Israel. Is that really the best he can do? I suppose it is.

I was touched by the quote, actually. It pretty neatly sums up how a lot of center-right Israelis feel about Palestinian claims to land. I've heard even far-left, Shalom Akshav-types say, in all seriousness, that they'd love to bring up the issue of a "right of return" to ancestral holdings in Ashkenaz, just to put the conversation in its proper perspective.

So, given that Subliminal was representing a viable and compelling perspective active in the current Israeli political scene, and given that you chose to reduce the complexity of his statement to a simple "two wrongs don't make a right" logic, I'd say it was a choice of accusing you of historical ignorance or outright malice.

I think you're probably a pretty nice, guy, though, so I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
posted by felix betachat at 1:18 PM on March 11, 2005


interesting link. the global reach of hip-hop never fails to amaze me. it's "world music" in the most basic sense of the term.
posted by jcruelty at 1:30 PM on March 11, 2005


Forget Israeli rap, check out Matsiyahu, the Hasidic reggae superstar! He's even playing the Wakarusa Festival this summer (like Bonnaroo, but smaller and better).
posted by Asparagirl at 1:49 PM on March 11, 2005


felix: I am starting to get a familiar pain between my eyes. It is the pain of being consistently and unfairly misrepresented by someone who seems - and please do correct me if I'm wrong here - to be more interested in jumping to insolent conclusions and beating straw men of his own fevered devising than dealing fairly, and in a balanced way, with what I have actually said.

My comment was clearly about something Subliminal was quoted as having said; not a general observation about the situation. The clue, I would have hoped, would have been where I said, "Is that really the best he can do?" For you to say that this remark "looked pretty global" says, I would humbly venture to suggest, a hell of lot more about you than it does about me.

I dispute your assertion that Subliminal's comment was especially compelling and I most certainly dispute that it was complex. The essence of it was as I said: he wishes to suggest that displaced Palestinians should stop grumbling and "Go live in Saudi Arabia", because his antecedents suffered the loss of home and property. This is not "complex and compelling", it is simple-minded and offensive. As is your use of a balatant false dichotomy to further misrepresent both my statements here and my intentions.

I am a newbie here, and you know nothing of my education, or my knowledge of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Assume that I am ignorant of it by all means: you will find yourself to be as foolishly mistaken as if you believe your other false alternative: that I am a nice guy.
posted by Decani at 4:07 PM on March 11, 2005


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