Posts Tagged ‘Netta Barzilai’

– contest not in Jerusalem as some were hoping in 2018 but in Tel Aviv (*) –

All selected artists/groups for Tel Aviv Eurovision Song Contest – which is it’s original name – have been invited to produce before the contest a short video-clip (video post-cards), clips used in the live broadcats of the event. …. These clips were set and filmed in different parts of Israel… whatever territory might entail… so I saw a few (I do not watch the Eurovision thing normally, but now it has enough other meanings to do so when Isarel becomes a part of Europe)… in the clips I saw beautiful fields, beaches, townscape (no fences and walls in sight) – all without an actual mapping of the location… I became under the impression that there was no ‘video shot’ fired in the West Bank, let alone in Gaza… so public relation managers must have advised prime minister Netanyahu not to use the occasion of Eurovision to showIsraeli occupied/liberated enclaves within the West Bank as Israeli landscape background for these clips.


This screen shot is taken from: “ISRAEL21c is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization and the publisher of an English-language online news magazine recognized as the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel.” The’ABOUT’ section states also this: “ISRAEL21c was founded in 2001, in the wake of the Second Intifada, to broaden public understanding of Israel beyond typical portrayals in the mainstream media. The organization’s founders – Israeli-American technology executives – understood the great power of the Internet and developed a first-of-its kind online product with global appeal and reach.

The mash-up video giving flashing fragments of several of the ‘Israel postcard video clip series made for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
There are several small nations included the city state of San Marino (*), very new ones also, like the latest version of Macedonia, BUT I could not find anything related to a young or old nation called by the name of Palestine… REASON ENOUGH TO REPOST MY SONG CONTEST PICTURE made in 2018… which shows the spectacular swirling tear gas cartridges thrown from helicopters and hand swung pyromatic objects by people unhappy by what goes under the name of the state of Israel.
Meanwhile I keep wondering since when Australia (that participates in the song contest) is considered an European nation or country? Certainly they did any tradition aboriginal dances and songs in Tel Aviv. 21st century nationalism often comes in disguise like the Polish ladies performing in what is supposed to be some kind of national costume… covering all the body parts that need to be covered when the Pope would be the dressmaker… I will try to make later an analysis of the song that brought Israel the first price last year…. with the fat lady doing her stage stampede with skinny boys and girls that emanate a non Jewish state expression of gender roles… this because of the tourist campaigns of the city of Tel Aviv proposing itself as a pro-gay community paradise..
Alas, I am waiting for the day that Tel Aviv becomes a city state (like San Marino) which also gets rid of all nationalistic devides and a twofold or even threefold city state of Jerusalem (something like Brussels) where orthodox jews, secular pro Palerstinian jews and orthodox Palestinian nationalists all have their own quarters… They can then all participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, making that device into an liberating machine for mankind: A PLATFORM OF CONTESTED NATIONS.
The winning Israeli song of 2018 had a #MeToo theme with the song “I am not your toy boy”, which is a good thing in a gender emancipatory sense. The #MeToo theme needs to be expanded to other phenomenon of repression and rape… to ‘the rape of nation states’.
No nation state can deny that its history is based on the favouring of one group of people over another one and what is presented as its sacred history is nothing more than a constructed myth about a past that never existed the way it is represented now. Of course a myth tends to have some traits of reality that existed in the past, it is not all imagination, but as the nation state proposes it’s unique identity, this can only be done by neglect or discrimination of elements that are excluded.
The landscapes of Israel shown in the song contest video-clips prove my point… the reality of occupation, of unwanted settlement in territories that do not belong to Israel according to established international law, was excluded from the Eurovision Song Contest broadcasted visuals. No fences, no walls, no road blocks, no Gaza, no West Bank.

What kind of Eurovision we will see in the future with the split up of national states on the one hand and a further integration of European nations on the other? Will it become a contest of regions? Will the number of participating regions and even city-states make it into an event with over one hundred contesting ‘national or cultural entities’? Welsh, Scottish, Norther Ireland, Catalan, Basque, Occitania, Flanders, Wallonia, Limburg, Friesland, Sachsen, Transylvania, Liechenstein, Rutania, name it… Will it be something smeared out over a song-contest season taking several months… and most important will we then get a more idiosyncratic regional cultural impact on melody, text,language and choreography of the contesting singers, musicians and dancers? As it stands now diversity of the stage acts is dwindling by the year and with participants from the other side of the globe we may ask if this is more due to a globalising than an europeanising cultural effect, with less and less unique cultural species around.

A Eurovision Song Contest of regions could counter the melting pot effect of styles… or am I here proposing a xenophobic renaissance of autochtone tribalism and is the fusion of all national styles into three theatrical prototypes – as we witness now – something we should welcome as a positive outcome of peaceful coexistence?

The total neglect and exclusion of the Palestinian nation in the year 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel shows that such a development may take many decades before it can becomes a reality. At least I like to propose it as something to strive for, utopian as it may seem today.

(*) The New Yorker had this picture and comments on the choice of Eurovision city and the failed attempts to boycot the 2019 Israel Eurovision event:

The host city is often a country’s capital, but this year the European Broadcasting Union, which produces Eurovision, nixed Jerusalem. The city has hosted the event twice before, in 1979 and 1999, but those were times when Jerusalem’s future seemed more open-ended, and Israel’s claims on it more ambiguous. Barzilai won the event, last year, during the same week that the Trump Administration moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and more than sixty Gazans were killed at the border with Israel. If the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Donald Trump were going to try to settle the fate of Jerusalem by fiat and force, the executives of the European Broadcasting Union, apparently, were not going to be party to it.

So Tel Aviv was swapped for Jerusalem, Israel’s état réel for its état légal, a decision that rightist pundits called “a win for the B.D.S. movement”—the Palestinian-inspired movement of Western activists advocating for boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions—although any hard feelings caused by the flap quickly dissipated. In the end, no country backed out of the contest. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, a B.D.S. supporter, had called on artists to shun the event, particularly Madonna, who was considering making an appearance. But Madonna, an acolyte of Kabbalah—a Jewish mystical tradition—confirmed that she will perform at the closing event, on Saturday night. Israelis will settle for that.


Caption of the New Yorker: “Left-wing Israelis protest the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year is being held in Tel Aviv.Photograph by Menahem Kahana”

(**) There is a very interesting andwell documented Wikipedia page on the Eurovison Song Contest and the participating countries, explaining how the odd definition of Eurpean works according to the EUROVISION broadcats association as well as listing those ‘countries” that tried in vain to participate (Liechtenstein, Lebanon, Catalonia, Kosovo, Qatar, Scotland, Wales, Soviet Union, Tunesia).

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“THERE IS NOTHING LIKE AN ISRAELI PARTY” a line noted by journalists swarming around the Israeli singer Netta Barzilai who just had won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lissabon. She won the competition with an act & song that referrred to the #MeToo movement as could be heard in the lyrics that repeated several times the line “I am not your toy, you stupid boy”…


click image for larger version

Israel is now the country that will host next year’s Eurovision spectacle (as Israel is a member of the European Broadcasting Union)… and the town hosting that event will be what the state of Israel wants to see as “it’s capital”: Jerusalem.

Only one day after it was shown what sentiments lay behind that future host city of this innocent mass entertainment show. The day that the Americans opened their new embassy in Jerusalem and Palestinians were demonstrating against this act and claim, especially along the border with the Gaza strip.

Another kind of movement – #UsToo – manifested itself in a asymmetrical war like demonstration, whereby during the ‘wave attacks’, under cover of smoke fumes produced by burning car tires, attacks with catapults and stone slings against Israeli border troops, things did get so much out of hand that the Israeli army started to shoot with more than tear gas canisters…

The real numbers are not yet known, but it seems that there are over 40 dead on the demonstrators side and over one thousand wounded… Nobody wants to say that the demonstration was all peaceful, though most being present were not committing live endangering acts of violence … what we know for sure is that on the Israeli side there were no deadly casualties…

Will we see the day that there will be only events like ‘song contests’ that play out differences and competition between nations? Will it be the Broadcasting Union of the Levant & Mesopotamia that swarms the world with a new television show, the LEVANT/MESOPOTAMIA-VISION Contest, with female singers from a more liberal Iran, the new configured Syria displaying newly found brother- and sisterhood, Kurdish singers without war songs, an Iraqi bard duet with a Shia singer and a Sunni oud player… a sensational Israeli/Palestian post-punkband?

We will be all be watching it from our portable devices… there will be big screens in the open air to celebrate this great event… but first let’s do the ground work to make this happen in the future: take a stance beyond today’s hardliners and partisans of whatever unilateral ‘righteous causes’… we need to write the lyrics for a new top hit: #Us Too…. for all those good willing people that are fed up with harassment and assault in the name of national states, political power groups and religious organisations … a song that will “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem” [ref Wikipedia #MeToo]
NB curiously the Israeli version of the #MeToo movement hashtag is #UsToo in Hebrew :גםאנחנו#

Image & text sources used:
– “After Eurovision win, Jerusalem gears up to strut stuff on world stage” header of article in the Times of Israel of May 13th. 2018 on opening of American embassy in Jerusalem and winning of Israel of Eurovision Song Contest and Jerusalem as Eurovision event host in 2019.
The Times of Israel
– screenshot of Eurovision performance by Netta Barzilia of the song Toy
– two pictures of the confrontation on March 14 at the Gaza-strip border with Israel, near Zeitoun, by the photographer Mohammed Amed of an Israeli drone that drops tear gas canisters on Palestinian protesters and Palestinians running for cover from the gas.
Washington Post
– Celebration of national ‘Jerusalem Day’ 13 May 2018 on Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem, a photograph I altered a bit by adding the silhouette of the ‘Dome of the Rock’; Western Wall Plaza was created in 1967 after the Six-Day War by bulldozing what was then the Moroccan quarter, an extension of the Muslim quarter.
Ray Tribune

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