Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Controversy over Dutch TV parody of Israel’s Eurovision winner song

A Dutch parody of Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai has caused a diplomatic stir after Israel's Embassy in the Netherlands lodged a formal complaint to the Dutch TV channel that broadcast the video.

A Dutch parody of Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai has caused a diplomatic stir after Israel’s Embassy in the Netherlands lodged a formal complaint to the Dutch TV channel that broadcast the video.

The sketch, which was aired on Sunday night, appeared on a satirical show by popular Dutch comedian Sanne Wallis de Vries, featuring a singer who has replicated Barzilai’s kimono and distinctive hairstyle and replaced the words of her Eurovision winning song “Toy” with new lyrics criticising Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians.

Israel’s ambassador to The Hague also sent a letter of protest to 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 letter. “We cherish and respect these principles, yet in that show you went too far.”

Israelis “don’t rejoice when Palestinians are killed,” the letter explained, adding that the impression of Barzilai and the overall performance were good, “but all the rest was very problematic”.

The song quickly went viral and made the rounds on social media.

The chorus of Barzilai’s song was changed from “I’m not your toy” to “Look how beautifully I launch missiles.”

Touching on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish state, the song continues:

“We’re throwing a party, are you coming?

Later, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque,

which will be empty soon anyway.”

The singer then adds: “The Palestinians aren’t invited to her party.”

The performance takes place in front of a screen where footage from the Palestinian protests on the Gaza border last week is displayed, including scenes of smoke and protesters being lifted on stretchers after having been shot by Israeli snipers.

The spoof has triggered a controversy online. Some Twitter users praised the song for “telling the truth”.

Others, however, accused the comedian of being “anti-Israel” and “anti-Semitic.”

Others responded, defending the song against claims of anti-Semitism.

In response, the TV station denied accusations of anti-Semitism, saying: “The parody questions Israel’s policy and is emphatically not an indictment against the Jewish community.”

Categories
Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNetherlandsNewsPalestineTwitter Trends
Show Comments
Remembering Jamal - One year on
Show Comments