I ma grateful to my old friend Jimmy St James for drawing my attention to this story. Israel has chosen its entry for the Eurovision Song contest – Push the Button by Teapacks. However there is doubt that it will be able to follow in the footsteps of Izhar Cohen and Alpha Beta, Milk and Honey and Dana International and bring victory to Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post it is possible that it will not be permitted to take part in this year's competition. Eurovision Song Contest organizers said they might ban it because of its "inappropriate" political message. The song is sung in English, French and Hebrew and seemingly refers indirectly to Iran's nuclear ambitions and its hard-line leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "It's absolutely clear that this kind of message is not appropriate for the competition," Kjell Ekholm, an organizer of the contest. We'll have all the delegation leaders here in Helsinki next week, and I'm sure we'll talk about this case within the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) group."
According to Teapacks, the thing that caught their eye was the lyric which refers to "crazy rulers." Band leader Kobi Oz said he was convinced others would attribute the line to Israel's leaders, and thinks all the commotion "is great…as long as they let us sing the song in the end." Oz added that he planned to continue preparing for the contest as long as he didn't receive official notice from Eurovision not to. "I'm not concerned by the whole deal because I know that the song is apolitical…the song is really universal."
Part of the song in translation goes like this:
Messages are exploding on me
Missiles are flying and also falling on me
Police and thieves are running all over me
They jump on me and feed on me
My God, my God, give me answer my God, Hashem
This nightmare is too long
When I'm barely alive and everyone is aiming at me,
Perhaps it's too early to sing
When I gave you my life
Oh, Oh - the Police
Whoa, Whoa - Rescue Unit
Here is a song without a scale
Red is not just a color, it's more like blood.
Here is the song itself:
To be honest the song is a world away from the Sugababes song of the same name but it has all the ingredients of a classic Eurovision entry: it is catchy, there’s an accordion and the band appear to be manic in silly way (Okay it's pretty dreadful, but that's what Eurovision is all about!). However, Eurovision songs are meant to have lyrics like Ding a dong, Diggy loo Diggy Ley although mentioning the “Arockalypse”, as last year’s winner Lordi did, is also perfectly acceptable. I wonder though that if the song had been entered by a country other than Israel then there would have been no controversy at all