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Israeli culture minister decries Western culture

Culture Minister Miri Regev belittled Western education to appeal to her constituency, but these populist declarations contradict the social mobility achieved by Mizrahi women through university studies, including her own.
Likud legislator Miri Regev, a former brigadier general and political hardliner of Moroccan origin, looks out a car window during a campaign stop in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv February 25, 2015. Israel's Sephardic community, Jews of Middle Eastern descent, have traditionally been the Likud party's backbone. But political analysts say Sephardim, disproportionately poorer than Israel's Ashkenazi Jews with roots in Europe, may throw their support elsewhere in the March 17 election, angry over the high cost of
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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?’”

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