Why is Israel in Eurovision? Why the country takes part in Eurovision Song Contest
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Liverpool this week despite Ukraine taking home the win last year and the UK coming second, as Ukraine continues its fight against Russian forces.
This year’s slogan is United by Music, reflecting both the unique partnership between the UK and Ukraine, and Eurovision’s goal of bringing Europe closer together through shared experience.
The event will be hosted by Graham Norton, Alesha Dixon, Mel Giedroyc, Rylan, and more.
As families across the globe get ready to watch the exciting final, many have been wondering why Israel is a contender despite not being a European country.
Why is Israel in the Eurovision?
Israel’s inclusion in the contest isn’t new. The country made its debut at the beloved Eurovision Song Content for the first time in 1973.
It was allowed to enter the competition as the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) was an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which hosted the event.
Soon after putting its name in the hat, Israel took home a win at the 1978 competition held in Paris thanks to Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta’s A-Ba-Ni-Bi song.
The contest was held in Jerusalem the following year and won for the second time in a row, with Milk and Honey’s Hallelujah.
Their third victory came almost two decades after, in 1998, when the event was held in Birmingham. Dana International’s win with the song Diva caused widespread celebrations across the nation.
Their most recent win to date was in Lisbon back in 2018. Netta sang Toy and earned Israel its highest-ever score with 529 points.
This year, the country will enter the contest with Noa Kirel and her song Unicorn. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter revealed her song recently, on March 8.
Israel isn’t the only non-European country that joins in on the musical fun. Over the years, Cyprus, Armenia, Morocco, and Australia have entered the competition, too.