20 March 2019 - 14 Adar II 5779 - י"ד אדר ב' ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Israel wins Eurovision song contest E-mail

Female Israeli artist Netta Barzilai’s song Toy won the 63rd pan-European song contest final on 12 May at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal.

Coming into the contest, Netta’s song was clearly not the favourite, and with antiIsrael sentiment in evidence at the event it was an incredible achievement against the odds. In fact, the song earned the fourthhighest score in the competition’s long history, with 26 countries participating in the final.

At this year’s contest, Israel would have come in third if the decision had been solely up to the official juries of the 43 countries that participated. But the juries, which gave Israel 212 points, determined only 50% of the scores. Callers gave Israel another 317 points on top of its total to 529, nearly 100 points more than the next-closest contestant, Cyprus.

Barzilai’s victory was the fourth for Israel, following its wins in 1978, 1979 and 1998, and suggested that catchy pop trumps politics in the four decades Israel has taken part. Barzilai’s eccentric feminist anthem Toy, which combines clucking chicken noises over looped vocals and English lyrics, seemed to win out over any qualms about Zionism.

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