Veteran Singer Yehoram Gaon Sparks Storm by Terming Mediterranean Music 'Rubbish'

Gaon, an Israel Prize laureate for music, says songs include mistakes in Hebrew, 'It's an embarrassment to the intelligentsia.'

Lea Penn
Itamar Zohar
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Remarks by singer and entertainer Yehoram Gaon that disparaged Mediterranean-style Israeli music unleashed a storm of criticism yesterday.

The comments by Gaon, who is an Israel Prize laureate for music, were quoted in a publication of the Ariel University Center's communications department.

"Sometimes I listen to the words and I don't believe what I am hearing," the publication quoted Gaon as saying. "It's rubbish that even the devil didn't create. Dreadful rubbish. There are mistakes in Hebrew; it's an embarrassment to the intelligentsia. I am hoping for the time when this cursed trend is over."

Eliko, a radio personality on the Lev Hamedina station, which features Mediterranean-style Israeli music, said in response, "This is unnecessary. It's an embarrassment to the person making the comments."

Following Gaon's comments, MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima ) announced that she will push for a conference to be convened in honor of Middle Eastern music on March 22, to which MKs, singers and songwriters will be invited. She called Gaon's remarks "elitism and arrogance."