Premium

Boycotts, bullet-proof vests, and bigotry: why Israel loves Eurovision, despite it all 

Netta, whose song Toy won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest
Netta, whose song Toy won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest Credit: getty

Hosting this year's Eurovision Song Contest offers Israel a chance to project itself as sunny and tolerant - an effort that's overshadowed, as always, by politics. Some Orthodox Jews were up in arms that the finale lands on the Sabbath, and its rainbow colours don't exactly appeal to religious conservatives. Other groups, meanwhile, charge the contest with "pink-washing", ie using gays, lesbians and others to put a liberal face on a state, they say, is occupying someone else's land. 

The military has extensively deployed its Iron Dome aerial defence batteries to defend the contest from attack. It's an "absurdity", says Iceland's entry (experts in the absurd: they're a BDSM techno band) that ...

To continue reading this article

Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles

  • Unlimited access to Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Save 25% with an annual subscription

Just £75 per year

 

Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Only subscribers have unlimited access to Premium articles.
Register for free to continue reading this article
Or unlock all Premium articles.
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week