A song of hate

Madonna mia ! The 2019 Eurovision from Tel-Aviv has ended. There was an icy wind blowing over the audience and the city when the Icelandic Hatari performed their selected “Hatrio mun sigra” extra-terrestrial chorus and band blared out in the Icelandic language that “Hatred Will Prevail”. As if we needed to hear that !!

Rather than Iceland inspiring us with a message of hope, tolerance and visions of good things yet to come, they chose to remind us, living in constant hatred by our surrounding neighbors, that we are blanketed in a hatred that will continue to prevail. A very bad choice, indeed.

Their dark costumes radiated no light for hopes of friendship. Let them return to the wilderness of cold Reykjavik and Keflavik, tributes to the early Vikings of nordic conquests.

The gay Dutch singer Dunan Laurence brought honor to the Netherlands which has not won a competition in decades. Holland, reputed to be the gay capitol of Europe, was well-represented by a newly out-of-the-closet singer con piano. More power to him. Much glory to the Dutch kingdom.

Unfortunately, Israel did not score. I think we did not receive even one point. Nonetheless we were gracious hosts to the participants from more than forty countries. While here, they had opportunity to see the delightful city of Tel-Aviv built from the sands of the sea by Jewish hands in the earliest years of the twentieth century.

They may even had time to enjoy the camaraderie of Jerusalem’s citizens while enjoying the one good thing that Icelanders do not have…. Falafel in pita drenched with tehina and topped with a teaspoon of hot schug.

Eurovision can bring out the best in international entertainment. Sometimes, as was the present case, it can bring out the farthest away from the best. Iceland’s song that “Hatred Will Prevail” is an example.

The cleanup begins tomorrow as participants pack up and wend their way to Ben-Gurion International Airport for their voyage to their distant homelands.
We can be proud of Eurovision 2019, thanks to Barzillai, Israel’s 2018 victor with “The Toy”.

Next year we will participate in Amsterdam, a royal city, and I hope we will deliver a royal demonstration worthy of King Willem Alexander’s hospitality. He himself is a relative newcomer to the Dutch throne. Holland has been ruled by Queens for almost one hundred years. Wilhelmina was succeeded by Juliana who in turn was succeeded by Beatrix.

The national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassauwe” can end with “God save our king” for a change.

The annual Eurovision performances are an event to which all participating nations look forward obviously hoping to bring honor and fame to their countries. And much glory also to themselves.

Music fills the air. Costumes are magnificently and colorfully designed. Enthusiasm fills every space.

Now Israelis can return to their matbucha, shawarma, and without neglecting pizza. And the Icelanders can return to their cold-water fish diets while relaxing in the memories of the igloos.

While having landed in Iceland in 1951 for a re-fueling stop, I had an opportunity to spend a portion of the day in Reykjavik. Nothing spectacular to recommend.
Neither was their Hatari performance of a world full of hate.

L’shana ha-baa b’Amsterdam b’2020. Will Donald Trump be making an appearance?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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