Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Israel’s ‘American Idol’ Reveals Larger Moral Rot

Alleged criminal ties sully popular show, boost protest movement

Print Email
Kochav Nolad’s logo.(Facebook)

And you thought Simon Cowell was mean. Margalit Tzanani, a veteran Israeli singer and one of the judges on Kochav Nolad, the Israeli equivalent of American Idol, was nabbed by police this morning on suspicion of engaging Israel’s most notorious criminal, Amir Mullner, to threaten and extort money from her former manager. If that’s not bad enough, the manager, Asaf Atadji, is currently representing some of the singers who got their start in Kochav Nolad, Israel’s top-rated television show, putting a reality-TV spin on this already surreal bit of reality.

The story, however, is more than merely titillating: it has gotten political. A few weeks ago, Tzanani—who has made her reputation as a hot-tempered and low-brow entertainer—spoke harshly against the current wave of protests sweeping Israel, claiming that the young demonstrators demanding affordable housing are nothing more than whiny, privileged, Ashkenazi kids (Tzanani is a Yemeni Jew). Perhaps in response to the singer’s comments, the protest movement’s leaders scheduled their mass rally the other week on the evening of Kochav Nolad’s season finale; the 300,000 people on the streets across Israel gave the singing contest an unusual drop in ratings.

While the criminal allegations have nothing to do with Tzanani’s political opinions, they are likely to contribute to the transformation of Kochav Nolad from cultural landmark to the emblem of all that’s corrupt and morally bankrupt in Israeli society. After years of caring deeply about Tzanani and her brand of frivolous celebrity, young Israelis are now focusing their energies on more profound problems. Whether or not their protests succeed remains to be seen. But witnessing an emblem of unbridled mindlessness tied to crime is a nice symbolic victory.

Singer Margalit Tzanani Arrested for Extortion [Globes]
Related: In the Middle [Tablet Magazine]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Oy, Liel, really, at least get your facts straight. The protesters held their first rally on the night of the KN finale by accident- that night, all the judges and stars expressed support for the protests that night, including Margol. She only backtracked the week after.

Carry on with your inane self-hate and gloating about Israel’s “moral rot”.

And the protest with 300,000 was the THIRD rally, not the first. Honestly, please at least pretend to be a journalist and do some basic fact finding.

Jerusalemite says:

How long has Liel been out of Israel? Cant you find people who live here to write about what happens? Margalit Tzanani is a wonderful singer (not low-brow) who sold out (in my opinion) by becoming a judge
on Kochav Nolad and doing commercials. She has always been outspoken.
After her criticism of the Tel Aviv tent protesters she was criticized, reversed herself and sang at a protest in Beersheba. So now she has been arrested. Is it a coincidence or is it an attempt by forces threatened by mass protests from many sectors of Israeli society calling
for social justice and a more equitable division of the pie to punish Margol and send a warning to other entertainers? In any case,she is
innocent untill proven guilty and the flip remark about Simon Cowell is
entirely out of place. I dont need to read Liel to get the facts but it
distresses me that Tablet doesnt get the story straight for Americans who dont know Hebrew. Maybe you should stick to writing about the Park Slope food coop

Write a lot more, thats all I’ve to say. Literally, it seems as although you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog once you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

appreciate the article,My problem might be resolved.

I like this website presented and it has given me some sort of inspiration to have success for some reason, so thank you.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Israel’s ‘American Idol’ Reveals Larger Moral Rot

Alleged criminal ties sully popular show, boost protest movement

More on Tablet:

How To Make Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables

By Joan Nathan — Video: Filled with warm rice and unexpected spices, they’re perfect for a cool autumn night—as a side dish or vegetarian entree