Middle-Eastern cover of Radiohead's "Karma Police," by Shefy & Sabbah of Tel Aviv

Rotem Shefy (vocalist) and Leat Sabbah (cellist/arranger) describe this as "Our very own Middle-Eastern version" of Radiohead's 1997 hit "Karma Police."

"What seemed at first a satirical cover transformed into a full-blown middle-eastern version, recorded with oud player Yaniv Taichmann and percussionist Ori Dekel," says the duo. "Video made possible thanks to the donations we received through a successful Kickstarter campaign!"

The video was released about a month ago. Thanks to Boing Boing reader Alex Rozenfarb of Tel Aviv for sharing this one some weeks back on our Facebook page. Sorry I missed it then, glad I found it now.


  1. I love the wavering tone of Middle-Eastern vocals and instrumentals, very mind-bendy.  This is a great Radiohead cover.

    Another Radiohead cover that I think is superior to the original is Reckoner with Gnarls Barkley, His vocal take on this song is very powerful.

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  2. Lovely cover. The Millennial feel fits in really nicely. 

    The irony is, of course, that Tel Aviv is the probably the most European-centered city in the Middle East (except, perhaps, Beirut). 

  3. I was about to buy the song on iTunes, then I remembered the Palestinian civil society’s call for boycotts of Israeli cultural products if they do not explicitly criticize the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories… http://www.bdsmovement.net/

    Unfortunately, the Rotem Shefy and Leat Sabbah don’t even mention the Palestinian influence on this piece, even though it’s much truer than the vague “middle eastern” influence they mention. 

    Le sigh…

    1. You know, Jews came from all over, this includes Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, libya etc. These women might be decedent from any of these places making your point moot.

      1. Yes, Jews came from all over the world, but that does not negate the power disparity between the oppressor (Israeli Jews) and the oppressed (the non-Jewish Palestinians). 

        1.  Try living as a Jew in a Muslim Arab country for a while before making that claim. There’s good REASON why Jews got the hell out of Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, et cetera and came to Israel. The mapping of “oppressor” and “oppressed” is not nearly as neat as you claim.

    2. What Palestinian influence? Can you point to anything in this performance that is specifically Palestinian as opposed to Arab (and “Arab Jewish”)?

    3.  Take a look at the comments from Arab visitors on the Youtube page for this performance. Your BDS is so pathetic not even the Youtube comment crowd is with you.

      Le chuckle.

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