Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Mazel Tov! Israel Wins Eurovision Song Contest

Mazel Tov! Israel Wins Eurovision Song Contest

Barzilai eventually racked up 529 points, compared with 436 for runner-up Cyprus with "Fuego" by Eleni Foureira, and 342 for third-place Austria with Cesar Sampson's "Nobody But You".

About 200 million people watched this year's contest, held in Lisbon, Portugal.

Israel has won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, with singer Netta Barzilai besting 25 other nations in the final of the worldwide singing competition.

Jamala's performance at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with her song "1944" was highly appreciated and ranked 6th in the poll.

Those are not just empty words.

Her winning song's main line is "I'm not your toy, You stupid boy, I'll take you down".

It may be tricky to pin down a date since the May calendar is full of Israeli holidays including Independence Day. Netta Barzilai's "excellent" song could not win Eurovision "because Europe is imbued with bi-coloured anti-Semitism: The classic Christian anti-Semitism of Holocaust's perpetrators and Muslim anti-Semitism that's striking root" there, he wrote, vowing to eat his own "hat" if he's proven wrong. On the day of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the optics of this was no accident. And Dana International became a national hero when she won with "Diva" in 1998.

It was the fourth time Israel has won the contest, now in its 63rd year.

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Only 82 female directors have competed for the top Palme d'Or prize since 1946 compared with almost 1,700 male directors. In the past she has spoken out against the different regulations for men and women.

Netta performed her winning entry Toy two times, accompanied by the enthusiastic crowd.

Her experience has given her plenty of poise onstage.

If Eurovision really is about unity, about celebrating what we have in common, these desperate attempts to politicise it only cheapen the whole thing.

Nevertheless, the victory had her overcome with emotion. "The team and I worked very hard and gave a good performance, and I don't think we could have done more than we did". Thank you so much for accepting differences between us.

Barzilai, a plus-sized 24-year-old, said "Toy" was a celebration of diversity and a protest against the objectification of women and body shaming. "Because we are separated with so many views and political sides and all that, this contest made us one country, one people and I'm so happy for that".

Americans who find themselves in Israel in May discovered with a sense of surprise that there exists a major global competition that is important to much of the world...and has nothing to do with soccer....but Americans barely know it.

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I love you all, my loves.

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