- Israel won Eurovision with a goofy song and it’s a BIG DEAL
- Jerusalem Day happened and I didn’t notice this year
- The United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem and it’s a BIG DEAL
- Beitar Jerusalem changed its name to Beitar “Trump” Jerusalem and that’s just DUMB
- The violence on the Gaza border erupted and it’s a BIG DEAL
- Guatemala opened its embassy in Jerusalem and nobody noticed
- The Nakba was commemorated by the Palestinians and people mostly outside Israel noticed
- Ramadan started on Thursday
- Shavuot will be celebrated on Sunday
Like I said, I really wanted to write about Eurovision. People in the US have never heard of it, but I’m sure everyone has heard of ABBA, winners of the contest in the 1970s. For Israel, it’s a big deal. It brings us into the family of nations. Israel competing in European contests links us to Europe (Eurovision, European Champions League [soccer/football], European Championship [basketball]). Winning a competition means that the next finals competition will take place in the winner’s country and, for Israel, that means recognition and a chance to win over the Europeans to show them that Israel is not the vicious colonial oppressor perpetrating genocidal mania.
There is a lot of pride in Israel that we won and I so much wanted to like the song. To be honest, meh. It sounds dumb: “I’m not your toy, you stupid boy!” And chicken noises? I tell myself that it’s similar to beatboxing. But the message is strong and I’m glad that the winner, Netta Barzilai, is such a unique and amazing person. I saw this and I think it’s worth sharing. Take the two minutes:
(Seriously, I could watch this video over and over. I love her!)
Fun fact: The last time Israel won Eurovision was in 1998 with a song called “Diva” sung by transgender artist Dana International.
This great achievement was overshadowed by the US embassy opening the day after Jerusalem Day. We had a lot of big names and it was very political. Most people I know were more concerned about not getting stuck in traffic.
Israel states very clearly that Jerusalem is the undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people. Even during the 19 years Jerusalem was divided, Israel yearned to unify it. The US moving its embassy to finally officially recognize the capital is important and more countries are moving to do the same. I’m glad about it, of course. Still, I’m left with the question: Why move it now? It’s a feather for Trump’s cap in the sense that he kept a campaign promise (though it’s actually a promise to another country). But I’m not sure what it does for the big picture in the Middle East. I’m not an analyst, so I’ll let you research it on your own. I haven’t found a good answer yet.
All of that was overshadowed by the violence in Gaza. Some media is reporting that the riots are because of the embassy move, but that’s not entirely true. It’s a convenient coincidence. Some foreign media are reporting it as peaceful protesters getting mowed down by oppressive military forces and that’s not true at all. It’s a short blog post and you can do your own research, but I will leave you with a few thoughts.
- The “protest” started on March 30 as The Great March of Return set to culminate on Nakba Day (May 15). The plan seemed to be to breach the fence, burn down border crossings where humanitarian aid comes through, burn tires, throw rocks, and plant explosive devices along the border. The Molotov cocktails are not for sipping poolside and bonus points apparently awarded for cutting people’s hearts out with cleavers. Source.
- Salah Al-Bardawi tells an interviewer on Arabic TV
- A “protester” arrested at the border has had enough (of Hamas) and tells the truth
Israel is not always right and it’s definitely okay to criticize actions taken by the government. The job of the army is to defend the citizens of Israel (aka their families) and that is exactly what the IDF is doing in Gaza right now.
Honestly, I wish I could have just written about Eurovision.