Best Of The Web
“April 1, 1979 fell on the Sunday after Israel’s historic second consecutive Eurovision Song Contest victory. Shimon Shiffer, who was then a diplomatic correspondent for Israel Radio, had been touting a report from the morning hours that the Israeli government was going to declare “Hallelujah,” the song performed by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey that had given Israel its second Eurovision title, as the country’s new national anthem in place of “Hatikvah” that day. It was the perfect Fake News; no one doubted the item’s veracity. When Prime Minister Menachem Begin himself announced at a cabinet meeting that he had no idea what the report was talking about, they took the April Fool’s joke off the air.
A few days before the practical joke, March 26 – 40 years ago on Tuesday – Israel signed its peace treaty with Egypt. It was a Monday, and the rest of the world reported with amazement Israel’s atmosphere of euphoria while the country was making its final preparations for the song contest that Saturday in Jerusalem. There was a sense that the stirring song and its lyrics – “Hallelujah for what has been and what has yet to be” – precisely captured the national mood. No song or country could take a home team victory at the Israel Convention Center (then known as Binyanei Hauma) that weekend.
A year earlier, Israel had been surprised when “A-Ba-Ni-Bi,” the disco hit by Ehud Manor and Nurit Hirsch about children who sing in a Hebrew Pig Latin, won in Paris and brought Eurovision to Jerusalem. Izhar Cohen outdid romantic ballads from Belgium and France, as well as the disco hit by Luxembourg’s popular duo Baccara.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."