Netta Barzilai’s Extravaganza in Tel Aviv During Violence: A Matter for Psychiatrists

While in Jerusalem, Israel bows to an evangelistic vision of Armageddon, and in Gaza people run toward bullets – in Tel Aviv, the Eurovision victory show set a new record for repression

Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, appearing in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv upon her return from the competition, May 14, 2018.
Moti Milrod

In Jerusalem, Israel commemorated its subjugation to Christian evangelism, to a radical religious vision that will push it into a war against Islam – in other words, one that invites an incomparably violent and terrifying future. In Gaza, people ran toward the border fence and died en masse from live fire. And in Tel Aviv? Tens of thousands, a number of participants that no civil protest could chalk up came to dance with Netta Barzilai, winner of the Eurovision song contest last Saturday.

No writer would have dared to invent such an inconceivable scenario, which goes well beyond “unpleasant” and “inappropriate.” This is not a matter for experts in proper etiquette, it is a matter for psychiatrists. Those esteemed doctors should explain how such enormous repression can occur, how such a crude denial of reality is possible.

You don’t need to be an big expert on evangelical perceptions, the vision of the second coming of Jesus, Armageddon or the rest of the horrifying ideas attributed to those whom the right has adopted in its foolishness as its best friends, and who today set the tone in the American administration too – as could be seen at the ceremony marking the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, in which the two preachers among the speakers were given a royal welcome.

You simply need to listen to the message coming from the administration to understand that it does not aspire to peace, but is summoning up a terrible war for Israel – one that is unavoidable, according to this viewpoint, and of a scale that we have probably never experienced before.

You don’t need to be a big expert on Hamas or Gaza to understand that a horrifying disaster is growing and mushrooming behind the border fence, one that will explode on Israel. Even before that happens, Israel will cause every sane body in the world to rise up against it and expel it from the society of liberal democracies. The shock of Monday is just a promo for the situation that will ensconce itself here, which will be based on aggressive declarations and a bloodbath. When will it burst the tough bubble of those who danced in Rabin Square?

The public, which wants to celebrate life, the rights of the “diverse” and the “other,” the power of the individual and the rights of the individual, secular normalcy, women's rights, progress and liberalism – all the things that Netta Barzilai supposedly represents – does not understand at all that it is in true existential danger. What do chickens do on their way to slaughter? Apparently they dance to the sound of a looper.

It’s almost funny, even with all the sadness and horror, to recall the right-wing public being led by the settlers during the period of the Oslo Accords, which they claimed put certain areas of the “homeland” in future danger. To remember the demonstrations, the blocked roads, intersections packed with wild-eyed people, who stopped car after car to explain, to convince. People who, in their own minds, were fighting for their lives. And they succeeded in their uncompromising fight in changing the course of history. They managed to “save themselves” and what's more, they imposed their doctrine and path on an entire country.

And facing them? “I’m not your toy,” scream the dancing masses, in an astounding reversal of reality, because that is what they truly are: Toys dancing foolishly all the way to their disaster.