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So Israel won’t be in this year’s Eurovision final.
Is this scandalous? Hardly. Our entry was lame.
Not that Eurovision’s standards for song excellence are in the stratosphere (or even above sea level).
But Israel has been included twice in this list of Eurovision’s top ten worst scandals.
5. Belgian waffle
In 1978, the foot-stomping Israeli Eurovision classic ‘A-Ba-Ni-Bi’, sung by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta, romped to victory with a massive 157 points. The popularity of the show was such that it was televised live in several Middle Eastern countries. Israel’s success was, though, too hard to stomach for Jordanian broadcasters, who pulled the plug on the show and instead entertained the viewing public with a picture of daffodils, before announcing runners-up Belgium as the official winners.
4. Fly the flag
Israel also kicked up a fuss in their own homeland in 2000. Ping Pongwere actually a spoof group, the brainchild of two journalists, and had somehow won the honour of representing Israel. During rehearsals they concluded their utterly dire performance of ‘Be Happy’ by waving small Syrian flags. A furious Gil Samsonov of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority ranted: “They will compete there, but not on behalf of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority or the Israeli people − they are representing only themselves.” Needless to say, the band paid their own way to and from Stockholm.