Israel's Embassy in the Netherlands has lodged an official letter of protest over a parody of the Israeli Eurovision winner that critics said bordered on being anti-Israel.
A satirical Dutch TV show has lampooned Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest-winning song “Toy,” with new lyrics that harshly attack Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.
Israel's ambassador to The Hague sent the protest to the Dutch television channel that broadcast the video, the Foreign Ministry and Central Jewish Board – the umbrella group for Holland's Jewish community.
"Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and satire, are important elements of a democratic and pluralistic society, as exists in the Netherlands and Israel," said the Israeli protest letter. "We cherish and respect these principles, yet in that show you went too far."
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The letter went on to say that Israelis "don't rejoice when Palestinians are killed. When people lose their lives, and it doesn’t matter on which side, we don't laugh. You shouldn’t either!" The letter went on to say that the impression of Barzilai was good and the song was performed well, "but all the rest was very problematic."
Sport and Culture Minister Miri Regev also commented on the parody on Facebook, writing Israel "is nobody's toy. Incitement and false propaganda won't beat us either. It only empowers the achievement of our Netta!"
Popular Dutch comedian Sanne Wallis de Vries, starring in the eponymous “Samme Wallis de Vries Show,” appeared looking like Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in the spoof, sporting both a kimono and similar distinctive hairstyle.
The first verse of her song, freely translated from the original Dutch, says: “Look at me, I’m a very sweet country / The world’s leaders are eating out of my hand / With one kiss I put out every fire. We’re throwing a party, are you coming? Later, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which will be empty soon anyway.”
Just before the chorus, De Vries replaces the original transition that mentioned Wonder Woman with the words: “From Haifa to the Dead Sea, there are fireworks and kosher satay / Come dance with me to the music.”
Instead of the chorus where Barzilai sings “I’m not your toy,” the Dutch comedian sings, “Look how beautifully I launch missiles.”
The video accompanying De Vries shows footage of the Palestinian protests on the Gaza border last week, including scenes of smoke and Gazans being taken to hospital on stretchers.
When De Vries sings about Israel’s 70th anniversary, she notes, “The Palestinians aren’t invited to her party.” As she sings, in the background viewers are shown the opening ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, with special emphasis on President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
The spoof version triggered much discussion online, with some Dutch viewers tweeting that the song was "anti-Israel" and also “Jew-hating.”