Netta Barzilai of Israel wins Eurovision Song Contest

Netta Barzilai of Israel wins Eurovision Song Contest

Andrew Cummings
May 16, 2018

Israel won Eurovision with 529 points, followed at a decent distance by Cyprus with 436 points.

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday by acknowledging Israeli singer Netta Barzilai's win a day earlier in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, an worldwide singing competition.

And President Reuven Rivlin tweeted, "We're proud of you. Next year in Jerusalem!", - he wrote.

Those are not just empty words.

Crowds packed the the central city square to hear Barzilai perform her winning song "Toy", which was long favored to win after its trills, chicken-like clucking sounds and lyrics that embraced #MeToo movement making it a viral and catchy hit.

He was speaking at an inaugural event marking Jerusalem Day, an annual celebration of the reunification of the Holy City under Israeli sovereignty following the country's victory in the six-day war in 1967. That's because the 1980 contest dates conflicted with Israeli Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron). "That's how it went with Dana", he noted, citing the 1998 victory in the Eurovision contest by an Israeli transgender woman, Dana International". Netta's unabashed display of affection for her country was celebrated back home in a reminder of the gift she will present to her country: next year's hosting of the contest, worth millions of dollars to the nation's economy. Roni added that her Tel Aviv school played the song to mark passing time between classes, rather than the regular school bell.

Her experience has given her plenty of poise onstage. Not only thanks for a wonderful song and fantastic performance and incredible victory, and for bringing the Eurovision to Jerusalem next year - but for who you are.

Nevertheless, the victory had her overcome with emotion. Everything is for you, thank you so much. Thank you for choosing daring. "Thank you for celebrating diversity!" "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".

The culprit, named Dr ACActivism, stole her microphone, leaving her unable to sing for around 15 seconds. Announced by President Donald Trump last December, the move upended a decades-old US policy of refraining from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's sovereign capital until peace is reached between Israelis and Palestinians.

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