MembersVeni, Vidi, Vici

Prior to departing Israel for the Eurovision song contest, Neta Barzilai promised to “conquer” European hearts and minds. She did not disappoint.

By Yossi Aloni |
Neta Barzilai,
Photo: Flash90

“I’m not your toy, you stupid boy,” Barzilai belted out during the chorus of her song “Toy,” which brought Israel its fourth ever victory in the Eurovision, a massive international spectacle with an estimated 200 million viewers. Barzilai managed to tally up an impressive 529 points, awarded by viewers calling in their votes, which gave her a comfortable victory over runner-up Cyprus (436 points).

From the outset it was clear that the European audience was in love with Neta and her unique performance, not to mention the overt message of female empowerment. For just a moment, politics were pushed aside, and the world embraced Israel’s representative. It was also a welcome respite for Neta’s fans at home, who poured into the streets of Tel Aviv to celebrate being a normal country, if only...

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