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June 18, 2018 10:47 am

Turkish Prime Minister Terms Israel’s Eurovision Win an ‘Imperialistic ‎Ruse’

avatar by Israel Hayom /

Israel’s Netta Barzilai performs after winning the 2018 Eurovision song contest at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes. – With the presidential and parliamentary elections in ‎Turkey only a week away, Turkish Prime Minister ‎Binali Yildirim has found a new way of discrediting ‎Israel in hopes to score political points: the ‎Eurovision song contest. ‎

Israeli singer ‎Netta Barzilai won the 2018 ‎Eurovision song contest ‎held in Lisbon, Portugal, in May ‎with her ‎catchy techno-dance tune “Toy.” ‎

Turkey pulled out of the annual song contests in ‎‎2012 citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the ‎competition. ‎

“Israel only knows how to kill, not sing,” Yildirim ‎said on Saturday.

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He further claimed that the winning Israeli ‎song was “not good,”  telling local media that the “imperialists”—the judging countries—“changed ‎the rules” to ensure that next year’s Eurovision ‎would be held in Jerusalem, something he predicted ‎would “spark a religious war.”

‎“They let Israel win even though it didn’t have ‎enough points, so it could host the competition,” he ‎said.‎

Yildirim ‎also attacked Barzilai ‎personally, saying: ‎‎‎“She can’t sing.”

The prospect of holding the 2019 Eurovision song ‎contest in Jerusalem has already sparked ‎some controversy. Earlier in June, the European ‎Broadcasting Union, an alliance of ‎public-service ‎broadcasters that organizes the contest, asked ‎Israel to find an ‎alternative venue rather than ‎Jerusalem for the contest, citing the “politically ‎‎charged” nature of the Israeli capital.‎

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