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A Week of Israeli Music

A compilation of the past week’s stories on notable Israeli musicians—from the pioneering Mizrahi star Kobi Oz to rappers spitting bars about skipping mandatory IDF conscription—and a playlist to go with it

Dana Kessler,
Matti Friedman,
Elie Bleier
July 09, 2021
Editor’s note: We asked writers Dana, Matti, and Elie to send us their song recommendations from the artists and styles featured in this collection (and a few personal favorites, too!) 

Noga Erez is Out of Quarantine: With a coveted Billie Eilish endorsement in her pocket, Israel’s leading indie artist arrives in the States this month for her American festival debut.

Orphaned Land: The Israeli band, whose music fuses death metal growls, Jewish liturgical poems, and Middle Eastern folk, has legions of Arab fans—many of whom have petitioned for the band to receive a Nobel Prize for its cross-cultural message.

Israeli Rap is Ruining the Youth: Yotam ‘Vxodoo Daddy’ Rabino is a young Israeli rapper who skipped out on mandatory conscription and lived to spit the tale. He’s not the only one.

Israel’s Country Music Wizard: Kobi Oz might be the most influential musician in Israel. His songs brought Mizrahi stylings into the mainstream, painting a vivid portrait of a place coming to terms with its Middle Eastern identity.

The Summer of Static & Ben El: The flashy, globally-inspired pop duo is ready to bring the Tel Aviv party worldwide.

Dana Kessler has written for Maariv, Haaretz, Yediot Aharonot, and other Israeli publications. She is based in Tel Aviv.

Matti Friedman is a Tablet columnist and the author, most recently, of Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.

Elie Bleier is a producer at Israel Story, a writer, and a former Tablet Journalism Fellow.