Israel has participated in the Eurovision, the largest European music festival, since 1973. The Jewish state regularly invests substantial resources in the contest and goes to great lengths to shine; with four victories, as well as two second places, it has been highly successful. Given its symbolic significance, as well as its actual impact on Israeli cultural diplomacy and nation-branding efforts, the annual media event and the process of selecting an artistic representative frequently elicit values-laden debates. Against this backdrop, the article investigates the evolution of the ways in which Israelis have presented themselves on the Eurovision stage, as well as the country’s internal discourse surrounding this annual cultural ritual. Israel’s participation in the yearly spectacle, I argue, has become an important element of ongoing Zionist-Israeli nation-building.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- media event
- nation branding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations