Veteran Israeli singer Yehoram Gaon is harshly criticizing Mizrahi music. Speaking in an interview to the newspaper of the School of Communication at the Ariel University Center of Samaria, Gaon referred to the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean genre as "a natural disaster".
"It's such garbage, which even the devil hasn't created. Terrible garbage," he added.
"Sometime I listen to the words, and I can't believe what I hear," Gaon said. "The Hebrew is garbled, there are mistakes. I don't understand it, it's just terrible."
Gaon clarified, however, that he was not lashing out at the entire genre. "If we are talking about Avihu Medina or Shlomo Bar or people like that, it's nice. But most of them are a disgrace to intelligence. It's garbage of the worst kind. I can't wait for this damned wave to be over already."
Musicians belonging to the Mizrahi genre slammed Gaon's comments. "After reading the article I felt embarrassed for Yehoram Gaon, not for me, "successful songwriter Yossi Gispan told Ynet. "I was embarrassed by the fact that a prominent artist has to say such things just to make headlines."
Gaon said in response to the remarks, which were reported Wednesday by Yedioth Ahronoth, that he does not recall the interview. "I don't remember saying such things, but I stand behind them because they sound right to me.
"My opinion is that Mizrahi music is not particularly good. At the end of the day I see myself as a proud Sephardic, and it is from this position that that I offer this painful criticism. I was trying to express my yearning for beautiful musical times, like those of Nathan Alterman and Haim Hefer."