The Israeli entry, Push the Button, could be banned because of its "inappropriate" political message.
By MIRIAM SHAVIV
A seed of doubt has been planted as to whether Teapacks, the band chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision contest, will in fact be permitted to take part in this year's competition. According to the Associated Press, Eurovision Song Contest organizers said Thursday they might ban this year's Israeli entry, "Push the Button," because of its "inappropriate" political message.
The song, scheduled to be performed at the contest in Helsinki in May, won Israel's competition overwhelmingly on Tuesday when a panel of judges and viewers from home voted on it after seeing a live performance. The song is sung in English, French and Hebrew and seemingly refers indirectly to Iran's nuclear ambitions and its hard-line leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It includes the line Missiles are flying and also falling on me.
"It's absolutely clear that this kind of message is not appropriate for the competition," Kjell Ekholm, an organizer of the contest, told AP.
"We'll have all the delegation leaders here in Helsinki next week, and I'm sure we'll talk about this case within the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) group."
But Channel 1, which broadcasts the Eurovision contest, told The Jerusalem Post that the reports of a possible ban were patently false. "We've checked with the Broadcasting Authority, we've checked the rules, and we've run the song by the EBU. It passed without a problem. The EBU has reviewed the words and permits them. All that's left for us to do now is to wish the song the best of luck in the competition."
According to Teapacks, the thing that caught their eye was the lyric which refers to "crazy rulers." Band leader Kobi Oz said he was convinced others would attribute the line to Israel's leaders, and thinks all the commotion "is greatâ€¦as long as they let us sing the song in the end."
Oz added that he planned to continue preparing for the contest as long as he didn't receive official notice from Eurovision not to. "I'm not concerned by the whole deal because I know that the song is apoliticalâ€¦the song is really universal."
Teapacks insists that the song is something people everywhere can relate to.
Israel Radio DJ Benny Dudkevitch told the Post that in his estimation "Teapacks may have not necessarily be the best choice for Eurovision, but the song is certainly an Israeli oneâ€¦with a very catchy chorus."
It is worth noting that two other songs entitled "Push the Button" have topped the charts in recent years, one by the Chemical Brothers and the other by the Sugababes - both UK bands.
Part of the song in translation goes like this:
Messages are exploding on me
Missiles are flying and also falling on me
Police and thieves are running all over me
They jump on me and feed on me
My God, my God, give me answer my God, Hashem
This nightmare is too long
When I'm barely alive and everyone is aiming at me,
Perhaps it's too early to sing
When I gave you my life
Oh, Oh - the Police
Whoa, Whoa - Rescue Unit
Here is a song without a scale
Red is not just a color, it's more like blood.
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