Borderland Pop: Arab Jewish Musicians and the Politics of Performance:

Galit Saada-Ophir

This article deals with the emergence of a popular musical field as an Arab Jewish borderland on the margins of the Middle East conflict. This borderland has crystallized as a site of empowerment for some Arab Jews, mostly Yemenites, and has simultaneously encompassed multiple ethnic conflicts. The conflicts have emerged between the borderland itself and the dominant Israeli musical style and concurrently through the inner struggles between different Arab Jewish styles competing for cultural supremacy. This study demonstrates the paradoxical nature of the Arab Jewish musical borderland, in which frequent crossings of musical borders not only fail to breach national boundaries but also serve to sustain them.