Latvia Wins Eurovision Song Contest, Israel Finishes 12th

The Latvian song "I Wanna" won the Eurovision song contest Saturday, with the Israeli entry "Light a Candle" sung by Sarit Hadad finishing 12th with 37 points.

Due to the Israeli song's ranking, Israel will participate in next year's contest, to be held in Latvia.

Yoav Ginai, who wrote the lyrics for the Israeli song, told Israel Radio that the delegation was very pleased with the results. "This is a great achievement in light of the difficult situation, and the political nature of vote." Ginai told the radio. (Swedes, Belgians told not to vote for Israel in Eurovision contest)

Ginai told the radio that the Israeli delegation encountered anti-Israel remarks during their week-long stay in Tallin. "We heard very unpleasant remarks at the hotel and during rehearsals," Ginai said.

The Israeli delegation handed out to the crowd several small flashlights before the competition, and the spectators were asked to turn them on during Hadad's song.

The Society for the Well-being of the Soldier purchased 10,000 compact disks of Hadad's most recent album, which contains the song, and handed them out to soldiers Friday.