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Omer Adam’s new song ‘Kakdila’ called out for racist overtones

Released in time for Novy God, the Russian celebration of the New Year, song plays up stigmas about Russian Israeli women

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

A screenshot from Omer Adam's latest song, 'Kakdila,' which has been called racist by several prominent Israelis (Courtesy screenshot)
A screenshot from Omer Adam's latest song, 'Kakdila,' which has been called racist by several prominent Israelis (Courtesy screenshot)

Mega pop star Omer Adam, who dominates Israel’s Spotify and Apple charts, is now in hot water over his latest single, “Kakdila,” which has been deemed racist and sexist by several prominent Russian-Israelis and at least one government minister.

The song, partially sung in a fake Russian accent, is about a young Russian woman, her drinking and her inability to speak Hebrew well, and hints at her sexual exploits.

Called “Kakdila,” which means, “How are you” in Russian, it was released in time for Novy God, the Russian celebration of New Year’s.

The song is trending on YouTube, where is has more than 5,000 comments about whether or not it’s racist, while Adam is being taken to task by public figures and others for his lyrics.

The most prominent Israeli to speak out against him is Labor Party leader Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, who on the Ynet news outlet called the song “the most vulgar three minutes heard during the last year.”

Michaeli reprimanded Adam for emphasizing stigmas about Russian Israelis rather than celebrating their culture.

Israeli singer Omer Adam performs live at the annual Kleizmer Festival in the northern Israeli city of Safed, on August 14, 2019. (David Cohen/Flash90)

“I want to believe that Omer Adam isn’t an evil person,” wrote Michaeli. “I want to believe that if Omer Adam saw the girls whose lives were over because they heard this song and thought it was cool and believed what it implies, he would make this song disappear from the world. But he doesn’t believe them. He doesn’t choose to meet and doesn’t see and doesn’t deal with the reality.”

Adam responded to Michaeli on social media, telling her that his own family comes from the Caucasus, a region of former Soviet republics, and that he never intended to insult anyone by a song written and performed in jest.

The singer also pointed out that Michaeli’s life partner, humorist Lior Schein, once had a satirical TV show that poked fun at Russian Israelis on a regular basis.

Instead, he told her to mind her own business and improve public transportation in Israel.

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