Israelis go wild after Eurovision Song Contest victory


Eurovision is traditionally held in the country that won the previous year, and when Netta gave her short acceptance speech, she made it clear: "Next year in Jerusalem".

"When Israel sends to the world a symbol for being different, tolerance and liberal values, suddenly the world is not against us and we win!" wrote Yariv Oppenheimer, a former leader of the Peace Now left-wing group in Israel.

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. The victor is decided in a live public vote. Israeli public broadcaster Kan partnered with Rabbi Interactive Agency of Tel Aviv to offer an augmented-reality Facebook effect using Barzilai's photos and clips. Jerusalem was the only capital city not called by name. Netta beat competitors from 42 other countries. Thank you. I love my country.

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Mr Benjamin Netanyahu briefly broke out in a chicken dance in tribute to Netta Barzilai's triumph when he was on his way to a weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Netanyahu referenced Barzilai again in a speech Sunday morning, saying: "These days Jerusalem is blessed with many gifts". Barzilai said excitedly addressing her swarms of supporters to the background of illuminations lighting City hall reading "Netta", "Toy", and an Israeli flag in celebration of the victory.

The victor, Netta, recently spoke about her song which was about women's empowerment, and represented the #MeToo movement.

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"The song has an important message", she is quoted as telling the Daily Express before winning the contest, which features artists from dozens of countries in and around Europe, plus Australia. She has been unapologetic about her weight, the loud colors she wears and the funky chicken moves that have become her trademark.

As Netta's victory coincides with the celebrations in remembrance of Israel's 70th anniversary as an independent state, the party witnessed an exuberant crowd, warmed up by DJ Dalit Rechester. "I am happy that we managed to create a reason for joy in a country that does not have a lot of reasons to celebrate", she said at a press conference after she landed at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport.

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.

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