Dutch broadcaster: Parody of Israeli song wasn't anti-Semitic

Dutch broadcaster BNNVARA denies that parody of Israel’s winning Eurovision song was anti-Semitic.

Ben Ariel,

Netta Barzilai
Netta Barzilai
Reuters

A Dutch broadcaster denied on Tuesday that a parody of Israel’s winning Eurovision song that aired on a state-funded television show was anti-Semitic, AFP reported.

The parody of the song “Toy” by Netta Barzilai aired Sunday on the first edition of a new television show “The Sanne Wallis Show” on the public broadcaster BNNVARA, starring comedienne Sanne Wallis de Vries.

“We’re giving a party, are you coming? Soon at the Al Aqsa Mosque, it’s standing there empty anyway,” read the lyrics of the Dutch-language song parodying “Toy,” which the performer sang against films showing footage of Arab riots on the Gaza border. The mosque is a busy Muslim place of worship in Jerusalem.

The part that triggered criticism of anti-Semitism reads: “If your party’s crashed, make sure you cash on embassies, with your ka-ching, ka-ching and you ping-a-ping, with your dollars and cents and your funds, with your ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.”

The Israeli foreign ministry sent a letter of protest to BNNVARA with a copy to the Dutch foreign ministry over the parody.

The letter, excerpts of which were seen by AFP, said, "It was not only biased against Israel, it included unfortunately also some anti-Semitic hints like mocking kosher food or referring to money in the old anti-Jewish way.”

"Showing sad and depressing videos in the backdrop of the Israeli Eurovision winning song was not only in bad taste, but it was wrong and disgraceful," added the letter.

BNNVARA later told the NOS Dutch public broadcaster that the parody was not meant to be anti-Semitic.

"In the Sanne Wallis show happenings of the past week are discussed in a satirical way," it said.

"The parody questions Israel's policies and is in no way an indictment of the Jewish community," added BNNVARA.

De Vries declined to comment, the NOS added, while the Dutch foreign ministry could also not be reached for comment.

Israel’s victory at Eurovision has prompted calls for a boycott of next year’s contest, which under the accepted protocol will take place in Israel.

One such call came from Dublin Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha, who said Ireland should boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in order to show solidarity with the “horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people.”

Mac Donncha’s call for a boycott came a day after several leftist Irish lawmakers expressed support for boycotting Israel following its winning the Eurovision song contest.

Iceland’s national broadcaster, meanwhile, last week indicated the country would take part in next year’s Eurovision song contest in Israel despite a popular petition calling to boycott the event.


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