Eurovision Winds Up Happily

The giant Eurovision pop music competition came to a climax with the finals this evening in Malmo, Sweden. Pretty much all of the news surrounding the event related to Israel’s participation. Israel’s representative, Eden Golan, all of 20 years old, was booed during rehearsals. Thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators turned out Thursday for the semifinal rounds, and again tonight during the final round of competition:

Thousands of people protested in Malmo on Saturday against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, as the event final was held at the Malmo Arena.
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Police estimated that between 6,000 and 8,000 people joined the demonstration.

That doesn’t seem like a very impressive turnout. Among the protesters was Greta Thunberg. Check out this heartwarming video of her being hauled off by Swedish police:


Before the finals, last year’s Swedish winner, Loreen, said that if Eden Golan won, she would refuse to hand her the trophy to protest Israel’s conflict with Gaza. It turns out that “Loreen’s” real name is Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui, which explains a lot.

Of course, Golan’s experience wasn’t all negative. She received great support from her fellow Israelis, and many others. This video of her and Israel’s Eurovision delegation was shot before she took the stage tonight:

Despite all the background noise, Israel was among the contest’s favorites. But now, the votes are in. The Eurovision winner is determined by a combination of votes from the judges and from Europe’s public. Switzerland’s representative, Nemo, won the contest. This is the leader board; there were 25 finalists:

More interesting, perhaps, is the popular vote. This table shows the points received from the judges and from the public. It turns out that Israel, Eden Golan, got more votes from the public than any contestant except Croatia:

This is only one data point among many, but it suggests that the anti-Semitism that so dominates today’s news prevails among the elites and a very noisy minority, but doesn’t have much purchase with the general public. For now, let’s leave it with that optimistic thought. And with a final view of Ms. Golan, who must be a tough kid, in her semifinal performance:

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