Why this deluded affection for the Palestinians?

19 May 2018 9:00 AM

Not your toy, Netta Barzilai (image: Getty)

The worst entry for this year’s Euro-vision song contest was that vast cater-wauling aboriginal. I can’t remember her name, only that her performance convinced me still further that Australia might not, technically, be a part of Europe. But then I was a little worried by the winner too. The song ‘Toy’, sung by Israel’s Netta Barzilai, was easily the most musically imaginative in the contest and so probably deserved its victory. But the lyrics were the usual deluded, self-aggrandising victimhood rot. ‘I am a beautiful creature,’ she sang, despite fairly compelling evidence to the contrary, right there in front of our eyes. An energetic and likeable performer she may be, but I suspect we have unleashed a monster on the world, like that lachrymose bearded freak who won for Austria a few years back and then wouldn’t shut up for ages.

After the contest, Netta — who had nothing to do with the writing of the song — gibbered about ‘diversity’ in the manner of a Chatty Cathy doll programmed by the Guardian’s editorial board. Much as did last year’s winner, a Portuguese bloke everybody has fortunately forgotten about.

But then spewing out meaningless PC garbage is as important these days as having a decent song — which means that next year’s contest, which will be held in the rightful Israeli capital of Jerusalem, should be interesting viewing. Live From Golgotha, as Gore Vidal presciently put it.

This will cause problems, I’d suggest. Some countries — the Turkic alliance mainly, but probably also a few useful idiots from the civilised West — will most likely refuse to take part. The organisers might try to engineer a compromise in which Palestine is allowed to compete, and so we may be treated to some sweating, overweight Hamas bint in a sparkly dress, surrounded by artfully choreographed burning tyres, singing:

La la la lei lei lei lei!
Throw all the filthy Jews in the sea!
Kill them all, kill them all, inshallah!
Peace and diversity!
La la la lei lei lei! Intifada!


All set to a cheesy hi-NRG beat with a melody lifted from that stuff they play when belly-dancers are doing their thing in some noisome fly-blown Arab whoretrap. Yes, I can’t wait either.

Do not underestimate, though, the kudos acquired by Israel in winning the contest. It probably comes third in the list of things Israel wanted this year: an end to the nuclear deal with Iran, the US embassy relocated from lovely, liberal Tel Aviv to the real capital, conservative Jerusalem. And third, the imprimatur of millions and millions of exceedingly camp Eurovision fans. It is truly an excellent riposte to the hyperbolic shrieking from the pro-Palestinian BDS brigade across our continent.

There is no real animus against Israel among ordinary Europeans, not even among the liberal pro-LGBTQI hordes who turn out to vote for the Eurovision Song Contest. Don’t forget, the contest has shown people do vote according to local and indeed international politics. But they had no problem in voting for Netta. They did so because it was probably the best song in the contest and she was appealing, in an odd kind of way.

The public, even the Eurovision public, knows best. It is not obsessively anti-Semitic, even if it lapses into a kind of casual, millennial anti-Semitism from time to time. Under BDS, Netta would not be allowed to perform in the UK. They are clear about that, these fascists — no Jews! As it happens, I’m marginally in favour of that standpoint with regard to Netta, but only because I think she might become fabulously irritating. Like a sort of moronic Björk, puffed up full of herself and without very much in the way of talent, bless the girl.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are having their week of rage again, thousands congregating at the border fences. This was more to do with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem (i.e. the capital city of Israel) than the Eurovision Song Contest result —though there might have been a few among the querulous hordes insisting that Lithuania (my favourite) was robbed. Or more likely, it was the injunction by Hamas that protesters should storm the border fence, a statement given little publicity by the British media, which concentrated instead on telling us that lots of Palestinian ‘children’ had been shot by Israeli security forces. They are children when they are Palestinian. They are violent young men when they try the same business anywhere else.

This was very far from the peaceful demonstration that the Palestinians — and most of the western media, particularly the BBC — insisted it was. Stuff was set on fire. The young men hurled rocks and fired catapults at soldiers and civilians. They had been warned not to do so through countless leaflet drops by the Israelis. I would have preferred the Israelis to use CS gas and rubber bullets — hey, call me a liberal — against these insurgents, or maybe just to have broadcast ‘Toy’ over and over again to the jihadis.

But the reporting of the stand-off does enormous discredit to the western media, imbued as it is with a misplaced sentimental affection for the Palestinians. It was the same when Israel fired rockets at Iranian positions in Syria — scarcely a mention of the rocket attacks that had provoked that response.

And indeed when the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered himself of the usual grotesquely anti–Semitic comments during a three-hour rant in Ramallah recently. Again, hardly reported. And it wasn’t reported for the simple reason that the views of Abbas, which are shared by an enormous proportion of Palestinians and are considered pretty moderate by Hamas, do not fit into the convenient assumption of western liberals that the Palestinians are not remotely anti-Semitic at all, they just want peace, my frent. A magnificent delusion.