Grapevine: Real winner

Many felt that Shalva’s performance of “A Million Dreams” was the real winner of Eurovision. The BBC tweeted, “Shalva Band Just one of a million reasons why Eurovision is the Greatest Show.”

By
May 23, 2019 11:55
3 minute read.
The eight-member Shalva Band

The eight-member Shalva Band. (photo credit: KESHET)

 
■ IT’S NOT often that the BBC reports favorably about Israel, and one of the rare exceptions was regarding the highly talented Shalva Band. Even though all its members have a disability of some kind, each is musically gifted and together they make music so beautiful that it sometimes moves people to tears – and always elicits sustained applause. Shalva bowed out of the possibility of representing Israel at Eurovision because of rehearsals taking place on the Sabbath.

But Eurovision organizers felt that Shalva was so good that the band had to somehow represent Israel at Eurovision, so Shalva was among the guest performers during the second Eurovision semifinals, winning not only a standing ovation but numerous tweets from bloggers and journalists – including the BBC, which tweeted, “Shalva Band Just one of a million reasons why Eurovision is the Greatest Show.”
Many felt that Shalva’s performance of “A Million Dreams” was the real winner of Eurovision. Shalva will be traveling abroad a lot during the coming year as invitations continue to pour in.


■ ALTHOUGH Shabbat desecration was one of the reasons that Eurovision was not held in Jerusalem, the fact that it was held in Tel Aviv, did not prevent anti-Eurovision demonstrations by thousands of haredim in the capital on Saturday evening. One man was arrested for assaulting police and disturbing the peace. A taxi driver who was was blocked by demonstrators got out of the car and physically attacked several haredim. Six people were arrested. 
On Friday, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau issued a call for all Sabbath observers to desist from any kind of work for 10 minutes before candle lighting, and for another 10 minutes after the conclusion of the Sabbath, to protest its public desecration in Tel Aviv. Three rabbis from the religious Zionist camp, Dov Lior, Chaim Steiner and Tzvi Tau, published a letter against holding Eurovision in general in Israel, and specifically against the desecration of the Sabbath that resulted from it. They were also concerned by what they termed Eurovision’s “lack of modesty.” The issue, they wrote, was painful and in contradiction to the principle of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. They emphasized that the State of Israel has always preserved the sanctity of the Sabbath and its Jewish character in the public domain. 
“We cannot accept a situation in which the most elementary values of our people are trampled on all sides,” they wrote, adding that such incidents seriously affect the very existence of the Jewish people.
No one can tell whether the mass demonstrations on Saturday night were in response to what was stated by the four above-mentioned rabbis. If they were, any damage caused could be attributed to rabbinic incitement. In Israel to date, rabbis get arrested for fiscal corruption and sexual offences, but not for incitement, though they do get arrested for participating in demonstrations that get out of hand.
■ FROM TIME to time, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion attends services at the Hazvi Yisrael Synagogue. He’s led the service, he’s read from the Torah, and now he’s on the verge of delivering a lecture. He will be the guest of honor on Saturday, June 1, at a seuda shlishit (third meal) gathering in honor of Jerusalem Day. The mayor will host his own Jerusalem Day reception on June 2.


■ ANTISEMITISM IS increasingly a topic of discussion in Israel, partially because so many people have relatives abroad living in countries where it is on the rise; and partially because Israel wants to be prepared in the event of mass immigration if antisemitic incidents become more frequent and violent. On Tuesday, June 11, CAMERA, in conjunction with The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and the Innovation Fund will host a panel discussion in English at the Khan Theater where Dan Diker, fellow and senior project director at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Ricki Hollander, senior media analyst for CAMERA, and Aviva Rosenschein, international campus director for CAMERA will share their views on “The Mainstreaming of Antisemitism: The Media, BDS and Celebrated Bigotry.” The discussion will be moderated by David Hazony, executive director of The Israel Innovation Fund.
The event will pose a dilemma for many interested people who have already agreed to attend the annual Guardian of Zion award ceremony, which is being held on the same night at the King David Hotel. Natan Sharansky the recipient of this year’s award, will deliver the Distinguished Rennert lecture: “How to Make Sure that Jerusalem Unites Us as Israelis and as Jews and Doesn’t Divide Us.” 


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