Israel Wins Eurovision Song Contest on Jerusalem Day

Francisco Leong / AFP / Getty

JERUSALEM, Israel — Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening, bringing the coveted prize home on the day the country celebrates “Jerusalem Day,” in observance of the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The winning song, “Toy,” performed by Netta Barzilai, was a fan favorite in the weeks leading up to the contest in Lisbon, Portugal.

The song’s lyrics emphasize themes of women’s empowerment, and include a reference to Wonder Woman, who is famously portrayed onscreen by Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

It was Israel’s fourth win overall and the first since 1998, when the transvestite singer Dana International won with “Diva.”

The win means that Jerusalem will likely host next year’s contest — which, to some Israelis, may be even more exciting news than the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem on Monday.

Many Israelis were riveted to their televisions into the early hours of Sunday morning, and crowds watched on big screens at pubs in Jerusalem, both indoors and outdoors, celebrating when the final winner was announced.

Following the victory, thousands of Israelis flocked to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, where impromptu celebrations broke out:

The celebrations will continue Sunday, when Jerusalem will host dozens of events commemorating “Yom Yerushalayim,” the day in 1967 when Israeli forces re-united the city during the Six Day War.

The following day, May 14, the U.S. embassy will officially open in Jerusalem, marking the date on which President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel 70 years ago.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was hoping to see Israel finish dead last in the competition.

That effort was a complete failure — and Israel’s cultural triumph, on the anniversary of its military triumph, and on the eve of its diplomatic triumph, was a joyous response.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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