May 23, 2019

Reading Israel's Controversial Eurovision Promo

“The video opens with two Israeli tour guides meeting two European tourists at the airport. “Stop don’t say a word, we know just what you’ve heard—that it’s a land of war and occupation!” sings one. “But we have so much more than that!” chimes his colleague, and leads them out for a “quick indoctrination.”

So begins the shamelessly edgy promotional video, produced by Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan, and starring host Lucy Ayoub and journalist Elia Grinfeld. And it’s chock full of offensive jokes.

“Most of us are Jews but only some of us are greedy,” sings Elia as he helps the bewildered tourists convert their cash. “And you might notice people here are very, very needy,” Lucy adds, as someone steals one of the tourists’ phones. They even rhyme “Jerusalem” with “Yad Vashem”, with a mock-serious side-glance at the camera.

The jokes didn’t land with everyone; in fact, they united the far left with the right in a show of humorless unity. Jewish Voice for Peace, which has been calling for a boycott of Eurovision because of course they have, tweeted that “Antisemitism and misogyny set to music is a bad look, Israel.””

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