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Hosting the Eurovision song contest gave Israel a chance to show its true self to the rest of the world

By Dov Eilon | | Topics: Eurovision
Israel made the most of its opportunity to host Eurovision. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Just before our editorial deadline in May, Tel Aviv played host to the Eurovision Song Contest. The previous year, quirky Israeli singer Netta Barzilay won the competition, and ever since Israel has been suffering Eurovision fever. It was also an opportunity to bring a great many foreigners who would not have otherwise ever visited to get to know the Jewish state in person.

Eurovision 2019 was taken by Israel as a golden opportunity to present a different side of the country not often seen in the international mainstream media. It began back in April, when the contestants from 40 nations (minus Israel) arrived to begin rehearsals. In their off-hours, they got a chance to form their first impressions of Israel, and many posted to social media about their experience. Of course, many of those posts still contained reports of conflict, as Hamas and its terrorist allies were busy trying to recapture the spotlight with an early-May rocket barrage from Gaza.

Still, the overriding sentiment was that Israel, and especially Tel Aviv, had not been accurately portrayed in their home countries. “Tel Aviv...

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