Foreign Policy Magazine

What if Israel Threw a Eurovision Party and Nobody Came?

A glitz and glam song competition turns political.

EUROPE IS CURRENTLY STRUGGLING TO REDEFINE ITS TIES to Britain and chafing over its rapport with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. But the continent’s most complicated relationship may be with Israel. Many Israelis still view Europe as a fount of anti-Semitism, generally latent but sometimes blatant. And many Europeans consider Israel’s long military rule over millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to be one of the world’s ugliest human rights violations. All of these tensions could peak in May, when Israel hosts Europe’s annual pop song competition, Eurovision.

An extravaganza of glitz and camp, Eurovision was established 63 years ago by an association of European public broadcasters as a way to knit Western Europe together during the Cold War.

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