Fellow blogger Hunk du Jour will be featuring a Q&A with Israeli musician Ivri Lider beginning at 8AM this morning. Lider was featured in this year's "Out 100" list, and is currently working on an English language album (along with another Hebrew album.)
Hunk du Jour: To be honest, when I think of middle eastern countries -- the thought of a gay artist not only being accepted, but being so popular isn't something that I would expect. Is there a disconnect between how the world views the middle east (or specifically, Israel) and what daily life is like?
Ivri Lider: Yes. Israel may be in the Middle East, but it is by no means "Middle Eastern." I think peoples' impression of Israel is skewed by the things they see on the news and read in the papers. That's not to say it's a perfect world over here, but things aren't nearly as bad as you might think they are from what gets reported. Culturally and artistically, Israel is much closer to New York and LA than to Baghdad and Tehran. In many ways Israel is even a much more liberal country than America, as we found out when my [American] boyfriend got a visa as my partner.