It is not my intention to contest the painful personal experiences that Minister of Culture Miri Regev had at home, growing up in the southern development town of Kiryat Gat.
“I, Miri Siboni Regev, never read Chekhov. I almost never went to the theater, I listened to [Israeli-Moroccan singer] Jo Amar and Sephardic songs and I am no less refined than all the consumers of Western culture,” Regev said of herself proudly, defiantly, in a kind of personal confession featured in a Sept. 12 interview with Yisrael Hayom. The interview stirred a huge public debate. “When I was young, I was convinced that Mizrahi culture is ugly, and I was embarrassed about it. I used to ask my mother, ‘Why would you go listen to [Sephardic-style] liturgical poems in the synagogue?’”