Pushing the Button

The world press is abuzz about the Israeli entry in this year’s Eurovision song contest: “Push the Button” by the Israeli rap group Teapacks. Contest organizers say they may ban the song because of its “inappropriate message.” Seems “Push the Button” is a semi-satirical song that expresses fear about nuclear war and crazy world rulers. (Guess who they might be referring too?)

If you’d like to read more, here’s an article about the controversy from JTA. Apparently the Eurovision folks are going to convene a meeting in Helsinki to figure out how to handle this. (Good lord!!)

Those of you who follow such things will note the irony in all of this: Israel WON the Eurovision contest back in 1998 with “Diva,” a song sung by Israeli transsexual Dana International. Apparently Eurovision’s tolerance extends to LGBT acceptance but not as far as concern over nuclear proliferation…

You can see a performance of “Push the Button” by clicking above. Politics notwithstanding, I personally think it’s a pretty lame song (though I do appreciate Teapacks’ attempt to deal with such a terrifying issue through humor).

For video of Dana International in her moment of victory, click below. (Viva la diva!)

2 thoughts on “Pushing the Button

  1. Lesley Williams

    An interesting sidelight to this story, which the JTA article touches on, is the whole question of why Israel takes part in a “Eurovision” contest in the first place. In his article, “Sorry Wrong Continent”, Israeli journalist Uri Avnery states:

    “I believe that one of the most profound causes for the historic conflict between us and the Arab world in general, and the Palestinian people in particular, is the fact that the Zionist movement declared, from its very first day, that it did not belong to the region in which we live. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for the fact that even after four generations, this wound has not healed.

    “In his book _The Jewish State_, the founding document of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl famously wrote: ‘For Europe we shall be (in Palestine) a part of the wall against Asia…the vanguard of culture against barbarism…’ This attitude is typical for the whole history of Zionism and the State of Israel up to the present day….

    “Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak declared that Israel is ‘a villa in the middle of the jungle’ (the Arab jungle, of course), and this attitude is shared by practically all our politicians…These days it would be hard to find anybody who would assert that Asia – India, China – is barbarian. But it is easy to find people in Israel, and throughout the West, who believe that the Arab world, and indeed the entire Muslim world, is a ‘jungle’. With such an attitude, one cannot make peace. After all, one does not make peace with poisonous snakes and ravenous leopards.”

    You can read the entire article at



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