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On Stage: BDS vs Neta Barzilai
by Zvi Manasseh | May 10, 2018 | BDS, Israel
Netta Barzilai during her time in the Israeli Navy's band (Photo: Facebook)
Netta Barzilai, Israel's representative and bookmakers' favorite to win the 2018 Eurovision contest, held this year in Lisbon, has come under fire from anti-Israel activists calling for the public to boycott the musician.

Activists in the BDS Movement last week opened a Facebook campaign in Europe calling on the public to sabotage Israeli participant Netta Barzalai's chances by giving her "nil points" (zero points) in the popular song contest.

BDS activists are claiming that they are trying to ensure her failure to win because she represents a country that runs an "apartheid policy and brutal oppression". They also said that each of the singers do not attend the contest purely to sing, but rather to represent their countries of origin. One prominent anti-Israel website even admitted that Barzilai doesn't seem to have any involvement in the military or notable political opinions, but the very fact that she is a normal Israeli who served in the IDF and who is "part of the system", means she is worthy of boycotting.

The campaign, titled "Eurovision boycott of Israel – ZERO points to the song of Israeli Apartheid," uploaded a photo of Netta from her days in the Israeli Navy's band, noting she had served in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge and sang "My Sailor, My Angel" to IDF sailors.

Protesters spotted a video shot in May 2014 on Barzilai's Facebook page taken while wearing the uniform of the Israeli navy. In the video, Barzilai sang together with other Navy members, to much applause from the ship's crew. Anti-Israel activists noted that after this performance, the ship sailed close to Gaza and took a major part in the "unrestrained" shelling, which they claimed caused "severe damage" to the civilian population.

Activists gave particular focus to a sad incident which took place on July 16, 2014, when four children from one family
who played on the Gaza beach were allegedly killed by naval shells. On the campaign run by the BDS people, a photo of Barzilai in Israeli navy uniforms was superimposed on pictures of the dead children's bodies, along with the caption "This is Neta Barzilai – and this is what Neta Barzilai's angels did on the Gaza beach!"

The self-righteous condemning and "justification" of Barzilai is richly ironic given that an investigation revealed that the children had been killed after an errant missile fired by the Hamas terrorist organization ended up falling short in Gaza instead of landing on an Israeli city.