Monday, July 25, 2011
Hagit Yasou wins Kochav Nolad 9 finals with a song by Ofra Haza
Steven Plaut writes:
Unlike all the other Israelis, in love with Hagit Yaso, I can tell you the exact moment when I fell in love with her. It was the first and only time that I watched “A Star is Born,” Israel’s analogue to “American Idol.” It is not something I voluntarily watch. But I was in the hospital ward after surgery, unable to get up to turn the TV off. And that is where it happened. You probably have already heard of her. Hagit Yaso is the Israeli Ethiopian Jewish young woman superstar who has knocked the socks off the entire country. The 21 year old (see her photo here:
won the last round of the song contest, held last night on the Haifa beach (no I was not there). But even before that, she had rocketed within just a few weeks to becoming one of the most recognized persons in the country. Hers is being described everywhere as the Israeli “Cinderella story.” She lives with her struggling parents and family in Sderot, the town at which the barbarians-Hamas are most like to fire rockets, and she works as an assistant daycare provider in a kibbutz nearby. And she sings like an angel.
From out of nowhere she emerged to take the entire country by storm. Instead of the bubblegum pop songs usually featured in the Israeli singing contest, she stands with quiet dignity, singing with pathos, including a song based on Ethiopian melodies in Hebrew, with Amharic (Ethiopian) sentences mixed in. Rather than downplaying her Ethiopian identify, she celebrates it. And there is never a dry eye in the house when she does it. In the hospital ward I had chills running up and down my spine as she sang, and it was not from the medications!
I have confessed to my Missus that I am in love with Hagit. My Missus does not seem to mind, as long as I do my chores, since the only conceivable relation I could have with Hagit would be if she were to offer to walk me across the busy street. Besides, the wife was long used to me also being in love with singer Ofra Haza, before Ofra's tragic end. Hagit is inevitably being compared with Ofra, that other Cinderella story. Ofra had emerged from a low-income Yemenite family in a Tel Aviv slum to take the country by storm and hold it in her
palm for years. Hagit’s winning performance last night was with a song made famous by Ofra. Yes, and of course this all makes a mockery out of the “Israel is an Apartheid State” claims of the Hitlerjugend.
For those of you who understand such things, Hagit has a Facebook at
Comment: Those people now continuing the lie that Israel is an apartheid nation, give it a rest-we, in Israel, know better. This is a huge story here, I did watch the series, well at least part of it. This contest generally embraces Israel each year about this time. I was attending a wonderful seaside concert the night of the finals, watching and listening to my favorite male Israeli singer-Shlomo-need I write his last name? I am blessed to live here, I love what we have and am proud to be a permanent resident of this fine country.