Eurovision 2019 was won by the Netherlands in a nail-bitting finish to an extaordinary evening when the Jewish State pulled out all the stops to produce what is being billed at ‘the best Eurovision ever’. In fact The Jerusalem Post observed that Israel was just as much a winner for pulling off the competition without hitch despite BDS and terror threats.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most-watched TV events of the year, with people tuning in from as far afield as Australia and the USA to see the musical spectacular. In a boost for the Israeli economy, tourism sector and international goodwill, this year’s contest took place in Tel Aviv, with the grand finale on Saturday 18th May 2019.
Eurovision 2019 in Israel followed the win of Israel’s Netta Barzilai in Lisbon in. 2018 with her song, TOY. The location of each year’s contest is decided by the winning country. There was initial speculation that the capital of Israel, Jerusalem would host the competition, however, oganisers decided on Tel Aviv on the beautiful Mediterranean coast.
Israel has won Eurovision a grand total of four times so this is not the first time it has hosted the competition. However this time it faced opposition from the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Israel has countered this with an extensive PR campaign against discrimination and anti-Semitism.
BDS called on artists, music fans and broadcasters to avoid the 2019 contest ,while Israel called the boycott discriminatory and anti-Semitic.
“We want to show Israel as it really is, a diverse, beautiful and sensational place,” said Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, “while at the same time, successfully dispelling the lies BDS spreads.”
The Eurovision finals, broadcast to around 50 countries, attracts some 189 million per year. The event is run by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) together with the host broadcaster. Israel, like Australia, is one of the non-European nations to take part in Eurovision.
Following her Eurovision win last year, Netta Barzilai released her second song, ‘Nana Banana’ on Friday, May 10th. In its lyrics, she opposes the boycotters’ stance against Eurovision.
“When you boycott light – Eurovision is light, it’s a light festival – you spread darkness. And darkness isn’t a good thing. Eurovision was founded after World War Two in order to heal up a torn up nation and it’s light. They (the boycotters) might be going (protesting) against their own beliefs. And I say no to that. I say ‘Nana Banana’ to that,” Netta exclaimed.
Security was tight during Eurovision 2019 amid fears BDS activists may seek to disrupt the competition. Fears were also been heightened by a surge of violence between Palestinian militants and Israel, however the competition went off without a hitch.
Pray for Israel that the nation would continue to stand strong in the face of BDS and terror threats. Pray that Israel would continue to shine on the world stage.
Tel Aviv Gears Up For Eurovision 2019
This post was compiled by Al Gibson with material from the Reuters News Agency / Video and Pic: Reuters (used with permission)