Following the breakout of the underage sexual scandal in the involvement of which singer Eyal Golan is suspected, a close acquaintance of Golan told Ynet on Thursday he believed the singer's racial affiliation was fueling the extensive coverage.
Hannan Adani, who is the chairman of the soccer team in which Golan was playing since he was eight years old, said not only is he outraged in light of the allegations, but he is also certain that had the main suspect not been Mizrahi (of Jewish Sephardic origin), the coverage would have been less sensationalizing.
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"If his name was Markovich or Yankelevitch there wouldn’t be this much ruckus," Adani said, adding that Golan "is being discriminated against because of his race and because of his tremendous success."
According to Adani, who has known Golan for many years, though the allegations against Golan are still being investigated, the public "has already sentenced him and found him guilty."
Others have suggested that had Golan been Ashkenazi, his offenses would have been attributed to him alone without tarnishing an entire social group – in this case Mizrahi – or an entire musical genre – in this case Mizrahi music.
"You can't generalize an entire community," said singer Yoav Yitzhak. "If something happens in your house, would the extended family be to blame? We're talking about hundreds of thousands of people. What do they have to do with it? Some things are isolated incidents; you can't generalize."
Musician Haim Uliel also addressed potential generalizing in regards to the Mizrahi music scene. "It's a stigma," Uliel said; "Mizrahi singer – fancy cars, fancy lifestyle... now drugs will also be part of the stereotype… I hope this doesn't get linked to Mizrahi music."
Golan is suspected of multiple counts of statutory rape and drug solicitation of minors. He has been placed under house arrest and is to face further investigation.
Ami Friedman, Stelli Solomonov contributed to this report
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