So, “the lovely” Lena took the Eurovision prize back to Germany. Given that they have saved the economies of a significant amount of the contestants, any other result would have been a travesty.
Having said that, there was a clear lack of appreciation for this from the Greeks. The Germans actually gave more points to them than the other way around. They clearly don’t have the required appreciation of Eurovision voting etiquette and diplomacy.
Quite how Iceland managed not to be last, having spent the last year destroying economies in Europe, refusing to pay back debts and erupting volcanoes at our planes, is a mystery. They at least got the predictable nil points from us.
It would have been hilarious next year had Iceland or Greece actually won the competition, though. Live from a rented-out Town Hall, the pyrotechnics consisting of matches and deodorant cans, the music and equipment replaced with ‘Singstar’ on Playstation. Every national representative would have to sing a different Disney song.
Why Israel are in Eurovision remains beyond me, in any case. They’re clearly not European. If Israel are allowed in, surely Palestine and certainly Lebanon and Syria should be ‘European’ too, on purely geographical grounds. Israel would, of course, protest against this. They’d clearly get no points from any of them.
There does appear to be a predominant view amongst many that Israel are really just another Western European country. The only problem is they’re in the Middle East, are largely right wing religious fundamentalists, and have stolen a load of another country’s land and refuse to give it back.
My point isn’t that Israel shouldn’t be part of international cheese competitions, or European ones in particular if needs be. The problem is the exclusion of other states that are equally aggressive and reactionary, but happen to be Islamic.
Had Syria or Iran publicly railed against the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the way that Israel have, they would have been put under huge diplomatic pressure and vilified by politicians worldwide. North Korea have been put under huge pressure after sinking a ship; Israel openly invaded and destroyed most of a country last year and have faced no sanctions.
The disgusting pandering to Israeli diplomatic pressure by the BBC when they refused to show a charity appeal to help the Gazan innocents whose families and properties had been destroyed by Israeli shells highlighted this bizarre set of double standards. This showed up again recently, as Frankie Boyle was condemned for comparing Palestine to a “cake… being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.”
Whilst this was undoubtedly over-simplifying the matter, it was a joke, and the only reason it came in for specific criticism was because it was regarding the actions of Israel. It seems you can make jokes about the Jewish religion but not their politics – the opposite being true for Islam.
If the actions of Israel on Monday morning are held in anything but strong and consistent contempt by the western world, what remains of our credibility on matters in the Middle East must surely be lost. The blockade on Gaza is deplorable, causing what the UN calls “grim” and “deteriorating” humanitarian conditions. Daniel Ayalon’s dubbing of the aid convoy as an “armada of hate” is taking irony to a new level. If you’re trying to avoid confrontation, don’t storm an aid boat with dozens of heavily-armed commandos. If it was only a “policing type activity”, why go about it in such an aggressive manner? If they were armed merely with knives and metal bars, why was there any need for anything but riot gear? Even if the violence was started by a protestor grabbing an Israeli’s gun, why were there any guns present in the first place?
Israel have been ceded the political advantage for too long. Gaza for Eurovision 2011!