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Eurovision Starts in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Monday May 13, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

The Eurovision song competition began Sunday in Tel Aviv. While not a very popular music competition in the United States, Eurovision is the biggest musical event of the year worldwide.

As expected, there were calls for boycotts and threats of terror. More than 20,000 Israeli police are on hand - just in case. 250 million people around the world are expected to watch and Madonna, we are told, is scheduled to take the stage in a show of solidarity with Israel.

Each year, the previous winner's home country hosts Eurovision. Israel is hosting this year because last year's Israeli contestant, a woman named Netta Barzilai, won the competition with the song Toy. The Israelis created a huge statue of Netta in downtown Tel Aviv.

Israel has won Eurovision four previous times, once with the iconic song Halleluyah.

Two semi-final rounds will take place in Tel Aviv on May 14th and May 16th. The grand finale will be held on May 18th.

For Israel, winning and then hosting Eurovision, an international event based on merit and creativity, engenders a renewed sense of pride and validation. It is perfectly timed after Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day.

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13 May 2019 11:56 PM in Thoughts

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