Chaim Ingram

ACUTE ANGLES. Euro Dual Vision

Rabbi. Should Israel have participated in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Or should they have said “to hell with you and your hypocritical rules, we don’t need your tainted competition”?   K. K.

Dear K.K.

I have had near-zero interest in Eurovision for the past 45 years. It has been painful to see how the contest has degenerated into a pageantry of vulgarity specialising in wokist showcasing of “alternative lifestyles”.

However one cannot help but to have been drawn into the conversation this year as the Israeli entry by Eden Golan was subject to censorship over its original lyrics which were said to allude to the events of October 7th without a shred of hard evidence and despite the composer’s vehement denial, and, even though the song has now been revamped to the satisfaction of the European Broadcasting Union, has drawn shrill protests -simply because it is an Israeli entry – from the same rowdy, left-wing elements that have been threatening Jewish students on campuses worldwide.

My inclination prior to the contest was to agree with you and to feel that in view of the hate-fuelled campaign directed against Israel and, outrageously, against Ms. Golan personally (including  from her fellow-contestants) which the EBU did little to control,  her withdrawal from the contest would be an admirable demonstration of principled contempt for the hypocrisy of a contest that claims to eschew politics yet, in practice, is redolent of it.

However, I am now glad that she didn’t withdraw.  Because the voting pattern revealed something quite fascinating. It renewed my belief in the power of the “silent majority”.

Apparently, there are two components to the voting system, each comprising 50% of the total marks awarded.  One is the “popular vote” from the viewing public. The other is the assessment of hand-picked juries in each participating country comprising professionals connected to the music industry with media experience.

While the voting public placed Israel second out of 25 entries with 14 countries awarding top marks to Israel – more than to any other single country – the “professional” vote placed Israel well down the rankings at twelfth.

Why the discrepancy?  My hunch is quite simply that Eurovision became Euro Dual Vision. Ironically the music-industry judges (and it is well known that artists and media personalities tend largely towards the political Left) appear to have voted with politics rather than musical quality in mind, while the voting public ignored the noisy, hate-filled, leftist picketing and politicking and voted for the song on its merits – and musically the song was widely acknowledged as an extremely powerful ballad.

It was also evident that Ms. Golan showed commendable moral courage, confidence and pride in performing her song, oblivious to the hissing and booing that rang out throughout her performance,, and, I believe, won the admiration of the “silent” but moral majority of the viewing public. Perhaps kiddush haShem is too strong a term to describe her valiant performance. Then again, perhaps not.

Incidentally, I wonder how many people know that the Hebrew segment of the song comprised the following lyric: Lo tsarikh milim gedolot, rak Tefilot.  Afilu im kasheh lir’ot, tamid ata mashir li ohr ekhad katan. Big words aren’t needed, just prayers. Even if it’s hard to see, You always leave one single light!   

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Ingram is the author of five books on Judaism. He is a senior tutor for the Sydney Beth Din and the non-resident rabbi of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. He can be reached at