The Israeli pop singer Netta Barzilai is a remarkable singer with an over-the-top club culture style reminiscent of Bette Midler. Just on the merits of her talent, she may well deserve winning the Eurovision 2018 singing competition this evening in Lisbon, Portugal. But unfortunately, Netta is part of the Israeli apartheid system which she does not disavow but in fact embraces. The Israeli government is grooming & using young performers, including Netta, to counter the cultural boycott of Israel (BDS) & Netta is conscious of the role she is expected to play. She said, “We’ve done something crazy for Israeli propaganda” by becoming a finalist in the Eurovision competition. That isn’t something you’re likely to hear from a performer without a political agenda & it is Israel’s political agenda that is the problem. This is Israel’s fourth Eurovision win with previous wins in 1978, 1979, & 1998. Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2018 is more fevered only because of Israel’s tactics to counter the cultural boycott called by Palestinians in 2005. Because Israel won this year, the Eurovision competition will be held in Israel next year which is a direct affront to BDS. That’s what Israel was going after in promoting Netta.
By her own statement, one doesn’t know where Israeli grooming ends & Netta’s talents begin. She won the performance singing “Toy,” a song combining nonsense lyrics with MeToo girl empowerment language. It was probably carefully chosen to appeal to young, modern cheeky youth. The thing about that empowerment stuff in Israel is that you can’t sing lyrics against bullying & sexual abuse if you support denying human rights to Palestinians & don’t speak out against the snipers & tanks at the apartheid fence with Gaza. Would it hurt her career? She would no longer be groomed by Israeli handlers. But she would be embraced by millions around the world who would respect her for such a stand. Anyway she doesn’t need Israeli groomers because her talent is considerable & she could have a successful career without compromising her soul for genocide.
(Photo is still shot from video performance of “Toy” which she performed at Eurovision without the Israeli flag.)