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Dec 15, 2019

should Ishay Ribo be banned from secular radio stations?

An article in Mako is complaining about hadata, or religious coercion, in the form of faith-based music.

The author has a problem that he turns on the radio in his car and hears two men singing a song being played about asking God to save us. And this is on Galgalatz, the IDF music station, not religious radio. He changes the station and hears two men singing a song about God. He switches to a third station and hears Neta Barzilai (the recent Israeli Eurovision winner with the chicken clucking song), Moshe Peretz and Omer Adam singing about the great God. He goes back to Galgalatz figuring the song will soon be over and something else will be playing, but the next song playing is also similar to those.

According to Gal Ochovsky, faith-based music is the hottest genre in Israel right now. Ishay Ribo is the hottest concert ticket in town. According to Ochovsky, Ishay Ribo consistently steps up the religious coercion in his songs, with his latest release being the ultimate in faith music, with the next step being separate-gender concerts and no female singers will be broadcast on the radio.

Ochovsky claims the religious are conquering the airwaves. He claims that the religious singers and performers, such as Ishay Ribo, Shuli Rand, Amir Benayoun, Hanan Ben Ari, and others, are trying to turn everyone religious through their music.

Ochovsky says that this is what the religious radio stations are for. Tefillot should not be on the general radio stations. He claims there is a direct line between these songs and Rav Firer's evening event that was cancelled and songs like Vetain Chelkainu that had only male performers participating about gemara-learning groups that only men learn in (I guess he has not heard about the women's daf yomi).

Ochovsky says this is not a musical trend, but it is a faith campaign. The music is not really music - all you need is a nice melody, a guitar and that everyone should realize the song is about God and we believe and thank Him, and nobody cares about production and quality and musical notes. He protests that stations like Galgalatz are in on that action.

While singers like Omer Adam and Eyal Golan and the like can get away with the occasional song like Modeh Ani and Mee Shemaamin lo Mefached and others like that because it is diversity in their repertoire, and they perform alongside women. There is a certain sense of the Middle Eastern tradition in this, and not something overtly religious.

Ishay Ribo can sing about whatever he wants, with whoever he wants. He can sit with Natan Goshen and cry out to God all day long to save them, but these are missionary type songs. Right now Ishay Ribo only performs separately once a year, but in a few years he will add more and more gender-separate concerts, and he'll start performing with singers like Yonatan and Ahron Razel who will request gender-segregation.

According to ochovsky this faith-music industry is an attempt to subvert the secular character of the State and turn it more religious.

Personally I doubt Ishay Ribo is attacking anything and trying to change the country, but I really know nothing about his inner feelings and motivations. I do see how Gal Ochovsky is worried and feels threatened by the success of singers like Ishay Ribo, because extremism is regularly spreading, as we saw by the Rav Firer event (in the sense that suddenly an event with secular performers in front of a secular audience was justified for excluding women).

I get that Ochovsky sees a trend that he does not like, but this is the free market. People like Ishay Ribo's music and the radio stations play it because it brings in the listeners and therefore the advertising revenue. Ishay Ribo is not banning women - he is a lone singer who sometimes collaborates with other singers but he performs before mixed crowds. Assuming he wont in two or three years is just an assumption. He should not be banned from the radio waves just because Gal Ochovsky is making an assumption about something that might or might not happen. I can understand the secular radio stations not playing Mordechai Ben David and Motti Steinmetz music, should they choose not to, as a way of taking a stand, because those types of performers do behave in ways that the secular community eschews, and those performers eschew the secular community, so I can understand not giving them a platform. Banning Ishay Ribo and others like him seems to me to be an overstep.

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  1. Is this a joke, he objects the the lyrics of music and what might happen in the future and therefore singers he doesn't like should be banned.

    If I am vegetarian, could I lobby the radio to ban songs about chickens, or could someone gay complain about cis-normal heterosexual values being promoted in to many songs to coerce people to be heterosexual?

    If only there was an app available which you could select whatever songs you wanted and weren't forced to listen to the playlist selected by a radio station - ow wait....

  2. This is beyond absurd. It's a free market. If people wanna hear it, he can sing it.

    Amazing how someone singing about god is offensive, but the filthy music that permeates the airwaves are fine.

    1. the darkness naturally shines through them they cant even entertain the idea of inspiration.


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