France Threatens to Boycott Eurovision Over Israeli TV Series Depicting ISIS Attack

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Mali Levi and Roy Miller in the 2019 Israeli miniseries "Douze Points."
Mali Levi and Roy Miller in the 2019 Israeli miniseries "Douze Points."Credit: Meged Gozani

On Wednesday, France threatened to boycott the Eurovision song contest due to a television series to be aired in May on Israel's public broadcaster. 

The three-part miniseries, called "Douze Points”, is about ISIS terrorists who use the French representative at the contest in order to carry out an eye-popping terror attack on air.

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As first published on the Ynet website, the French broadcasting authority, informed the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation that if this series is aired, they would boycott the Eurovision contest. One reason for this is that, by chance, France will be represented this year by Bilal Hassani, a gay Muslim Frenchman, exactly like the series’ protagonist, a French-Algerian homosexual.

Bilal Hassani performing on stage in Paris during Destination Eurovision France, January 26, 2019.Credit: AFP

For now, the Broadcasting Corporation is not planning to pull the plug on the series, emphasizing that it’s a comic thriller that was written a year ago, unconnected to real events.

The series was created by Assaf Zelikovich and Yoav Hebel last year, right after Neta Barzilai won the contest in Lisbon.It is now in its final editing stages, includes French actors and was partly filmed in France.

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In an interview published last month in Haaretz, the series’ creators said that it criticizes Israel, not France. “Many times, Mossad agents appear in series such as Kfulim (False Flag) or Hamidrasha (Mossad 101), and they’re always presented very seriously. We said – enough of that – we have to have some fun with it” said Hebel. “They are people like everyone else, sometimes messed up. They too have two kids at home and a wife reminding them to pick up diapers on their way. We put them in comic situations that bring out the human side of them.”

The European Broadcasting Union’s executive supervisor of the Eurovision, Jan Ola Sand, is currently in Israel. The Broadcasting Corporation says this is unconnected to the dispute with France.

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