The Israeli Band Bringing Ancient Hebrew Poetry to the World

Drawing on the Jewish musical traditions of the Mediterranean and Middle East, Israel’s Yamma Ensemble scored its runaway hit with a performance of Psalm 104 that has garnered some 5.8 million views on YouTube, bringing in listeners from around the world. Talya Solan, the band’s lead singer, and Yonnie Dror, who plays various traditional and Western wind instruments, discuss their music in an interview by Amanda Borschel-Dan. (Audio, 25 minutes.)

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli music, Jewish music, Mizrahi Jewry, Popular music, Psalms


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria