Israeli Teapacks in Eurovisionland…….

It is difficult to think of a song less likely to win over Eurovisionland. Quite apart from its harsh view of the future, it does not go out of its way to communicate. While the chorus “They’re going to Push the Button!” rings out loud and clear, much of the lyrics are almost opaque, filled to bursting with private in-jokes. The song begins with Kobi Oz singing in heavily-accented English. His own English is far better than this: he is parodying Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. But who would know? Only those who would then laugh at his If-I-Were-A-Rich-Man fear that the world will be “blown to biddy biddy kingdom come.” It’s difficult to imagine that many Europeans are so familiar with Israeli life as to pick up the references to kidnapped soldiers, corruption in high places, and the discomfort of our hot dry sharav. And for sure they won’t pick up the repeated allusion to Israel’s 1974 Eurovision entry – Natati La Chayay – I gave her my life.

More and more I begin to look at the creation and choice of this song as a true representation of the Israel I know and admire. Not only because it is a musical overview of all this country’s styles, from folk-dance style accordion, to Oriental rhythms, to Western hip hop. But also for the way in which it is true to its cultural context. Push The Button is daring, disturbing, fascinating, and thick with meaning. Like Israel. It seems to say – “I am Israel. I am conflicted, I am scared, I will not lie, and even at the cost of losing your friendship and support I refuse to give up my own authenticity. I will not ‘make nice’, and I will explain myself only on my own terms. If you want to know me better, you’re just going to have to make more of an effort.”

More here. *L* KGS

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