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We’re kicking off our brand new series, Israel Phenomenology, and in the first episode, host Chloé Valdary ponders ethnic groups in Israel, and in particular the Mizrachim – Jews who immigrated to Israel from North African and Middle Eastern countries.

Long story short, the absorption of these immigrants wasn’t exactly smooth and, for the longest time, anything “Mizrachi” was looked down upon – including their music, which was actually suppressed.

Given the popularity of Mizrachi music today, it’s hard to believe there was a time when it was actively stifled. So, how did we get from suppression to domination and just what does the cassette tape have to do with this whole situation?